Wednesday, March 16, 2011

rocks & pistols

In the years preceding my temporary split with Wyoming, I was a pretty outspoken little cus about the rampant oil and gas development in our wild, pristine part of the country.  My public letters and commentary cost me more than a couple of job opportunities.  I was loud enough to land myself in the professional world's equivalent of The Principal's Office on charges of insubordination.  (But as my commiserating coworker's said, You're not doing your job if you don't have a letter of reprimand in your file.)

There are certain truths that I hold to be self-evident and in the twenty-first century one of those truths is: What's left of our wild lands should remain wild.  I would go to the conservation group's meetings to help gather local steam and in the beginning I noticed two things: A) I was the youngest person there, and B) nearly everyone else was retired or had some other form of independent income.  I found this both frustrating and depressing.  Didn't anybody care?  What the hell, Generation X, where are you?  I heard people complaining in private, but they were all tight-lipped in public.  Come on, people.
These are photos from the last week and actually have little to do with this story.  Sorry.  

This winter, one of the issues I've been following for almost 6 years came to a head with the publication of a draft environmental impact statement for oil and "natural" gas drilling in a mostly roadless area of the Bridger-Teton National Forest.  (This is not your average Not In My Backyard, we *already* have it in our backyard--in the high desert just south of our forest the oil and gas development in the last ten years has been monumental.)
We are huge supporters of sustainable heating fuels.  

Turns out, my fellow Wyomingites had one eye open all this time.  They were waiting for a line to be crossed and when a Texas oil company came along and stuck one foot over the edge, holy hell, watch out.  Hunters, anglers, ranchers, outfitters, hikers, bikers, bird-watchers, tourists, business-owners, high school kids, former and current employees of the Federal land management agencies, and oil field workers themselves came out loud and strong.  "Not Your Average Treehuggers" their slogan reads.  They stepped up to the plate with their spurs on and pistols strapped to their belts.  Look out.  

I am beaming with pride.  Last week, the Forest Service expected to receive 10,000 comments on this proposal.  They received 30,000.  As a birkenstock-wearing, everyday, average treehugger, I feel like I only count for three-fifths of a vote in the wake of these shit-kicking, well-armed men and women.  Between our three-year absence and a toddler, I am not as involved as I should be.  Yet last week reminded me that those truths I hold to be self-evident are strong as ever and are now serving the new purpose as the foundation on which to grow my family.  I want to show Juniper we can stand strong on top of our ethics and push the envelop for what is right.  Get your spurs on and your pistols out, here she comes.
Armed with a handful of rocks and a giant heart...even better.         



:: In other, unrelated, news maybe you noticed the spring-like dress in the above photo?  The mittenless hands?  We may have started the week like this,

But then we got some of this,

Which led to this,

And inevitably to this,

Then, ta da!, asphalt, mud, rocks and leaves.
Getting outside is becoming less of a dress rehearsal.

:: New words: knee, toe, nose, toy, pato, wallet, mouse, moose, chicken, wood, rocks, and--just today--Owen.

Favorite words: eyes, uh-oh, ow-ee, no.

Favorite new pastime:
And, three new molars.

:: One last thing.  We're under contract on a house!  And if it weren't for daily conversations with our banker, I could hardly believe it myself.  Juniper and I have been busy drawing plans, sketching out a very necessary kitchen/dining expansion and daydreaming of where we'll set up her art table.  I am sure you will hear more details in the coming weeks and months.
Thanks to everyone who weighed in on our small house/ big house dilemma.  We went with your advice (and our own gut) and opted for the small house, awesome area.  Cheers.  

:: A final, random note: our Christmas tree continues to grace our livingroom window.
And, wow, did you really make it to the end of this War & Peace post?  


  1. A few things:

    The company that I work for has also had their eye on the Bridger-Teton oil saga~working with non-profits and higher government to protect the enviro. This whole thing makes me raging mad, but I always carry the prayer of hope with me ~and as you said...the locals came through and kicked some ass which is so hugely important. Well done.

    Three Molars: I am so sorry for all ~especially sweet Juniper.

    Small house: well done there too. :) We made that choice almost two years ago now and I couldn't be happier. Bigger is not always better. ;)

    The photo of the tree in the thawing river...amazing!

    Happy Day!

  2. I typed out a long comment and it wouldn't post. Boo!

    So, the quicker version - Congrats on the house, beautiful photos, loved the puddle jumping joy.

    Thank you for your bit of courage and activism. It's inspiring. It made me reflect on things I've recently done to support (some breastfeeding legislation here in Nebraska) and other topics that I can get involved in but [insert excuse].

    I did some activism in my early 20's and now that I'm in my early 30's, I should get back at it. Because it means even more now that I actually get how much I want to live and enjoy life. Both for me, my daughter, and just plain Humans.

  3. I loved the depth of this post. Way to go, Mama, for showing J. the importance of standing tall. So, so important.
    We have a few of those booties (all my favorite hand-me-downs) aren't they the best? Made in Canada, right?
    Love pics: buns in snow, puddle reflection where she's leaned as if to kiss and dog in snow, tail straight.
    We've had a mad bit of activism here this past week...

  4. Your pictures are gorgeous. Really. That tree in the puddle reflection? Amazing.
    Yay on the small house, and the purchase of a house!
    Dan and I have been the only young people (besides the friends we drag along) protesting various expansions into wilderness.


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