Everywhere you look, wild nature is in free fall. Climate change poses an existential threat to winter snow and the mountains we love. Horses and deer are causing devastating impacts on the high country. The Tasmanian government keeps pushing ahead with plans for commercial development in the World Heritage that the community spent decades working to protect. In the Daintree in far north QLD, hunting dogs are devastating the cassowary population. It’s the same story everywhere.
Yet we continue with ‘business as usual’ politics. The federal government continues to dither on energy policy, hamstrung and blocked by the climate deniers in its ranks. It often feels hopeless.
What we need is for people to get off the fence and get active. As Forrest Shearer, the prominent snowboarder and activist says, the main thing is to ‘show up’ – to get off your butt and get active – where you can, using the tools and points of influence you have. I regularly bemoan the lack of leadership from within the outdoor community. It is the landscapes we love and enjoy in our climbing, riding, walking, skiing and paddling that are being impacted. Yet vocal leadership on issues that matter continue to be few and far between in the ‘outdoor sector’.
So you have to acknowledge it wherever it happens – including the outdoor media.
It’s great to see the tone in the Explore Adventure magazine. In the current edition, editor Aaron Flanagan says ‘once again, members of the global outdoor community have had to step in and fill the cavernous leadership vacuum left by the feckless go-nowhere ditherers in our global halls of power. Despite repeated and increasingly urgent advice tendered by earth scientists, ideological nonsense-peddlers and selfish vested interest continue to hold sway over the policy direction of those charged with the responsibility of plotting and steering our future course.’
The current issue includes stories on the debate about the impacts of wild horses on mountain environments, and the campaign to protect the takayna/ Tarkine region on Tasmania’s west coast.
As Edward Abbey used to say, we need to fight for the land but also get out and enjoy it. Aaron says ‘getting outside into the wilderness always reminds us why it’s important to speak up about protecting the world’s pristine places.’ So true.
Wild magazine has also been a steady voice for conservation during the course of it’s long history.
Running a specialist print magazine in a small market like Australia is a tough job. So please support Outdoor and other Australian adventure magazines like Wild.