Entries in Video (16)


Sage-grouse Conservation Announcement 

Once seen in great numbers across the West, greater sage-grouse have declined in number over the past century because of the loss of sagebrush habitats essential for their survival and had been candidate species for listing under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

Because of an unprecedented effort by dozens of partners across 11 western states, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has determined that the greater sage-grouse does not require protection under the Endangered Species Act.

This collaborative, science-based greater sage-grouse strategy is the largest land conservation effort in U.S. history. The Fish and Wildlife Service decision validates efforts to advance large landscape conservation guided by science and honed by local knowledge. A  more detailed summary of the plans is forthcoming later this week, but the topline is clear. The federal plans will result in nearly 12 million acres of unwaivable protections and 23 million acres with stringent restrictions – that’s nearly 35 million acres of new conservation on federal lands through administrative designations and mineral withdrawals.


Doing Energy Right

From The Widlerness Society

We need a balanced approach to our wild lands – one that balances conservation with our needs for energy – and corrects the massive imbalance on lands out west. More than 90% of Bureau of Land Management lands in the west are open to oil and gas drilling – more than 200 million acres. And only 27 million acres are protected – less than 10% of the total lands managed by the BLM. 

We need solutions that put conservation and energy on a level playing field using tools like Master Leasing Plans to take a holistic look at landscape. 

There are many lands in the west that are Too Wild to Drill – we need to make sure that BLM lands are managed for more than just energy.


Save the Arctic Refuge

Local Alaskans speak about why it's critical to preserve the Arctic Refuge as designated wilderness.


Rebel Music: Native America

Watch the trailer for Rebel Music's premiere episode on Native America, featuring Frank Waln, Inez Jasper, Mike Cliff a.k.a. "Witko" and Nataanii Means! Follow the lives of four Indigenous musicians and activists as they incite change in their communities through their art. The full episode will premiere exclusively on the MTV Facebook page on Thursday, 11/13/2014 at 4pm EST. Watch at

Rebel Education also provides a lesson plan  that focuses on a deeper understanding of some of the key historical events that have shaped the story of indigenous peoples in North America, and offers a fresh perspective through the eyes of a new generation of Native Rebels who are determined to inspire their communities. This curriculum meets Common Core State Standards and is recommended for grades 9-12.


Racing with Copepods

Racing With Copepods - Trailer from Bazooka Mama Productions on Vimeo.

One of my fellow Rocky Shore Naturalists, Barbara McVeigh, has produced a video about 12 middle school youths in a one-week race sailing course where they learn about the fastest animal on earth: copepods. In Racing with Copepods, they connect with the natural marine world and become advocates for its well-being.

You can follow the production on Twitter or Instagram @bazookamama for updates and screening locations.

trailer editor CARLOS GRANA

Major funding provided by 11th Hour Racing, a program of the Schmidt Family Foundation. Special thanks to Sailing Education Adventures, Romberg Tiburon Center and S/V Derek M. Baylis. Copepod photograph by Dr Richard Kirby,

Here's my review of the film: 

Racing with Copepods is a natural and nautical adventure of self-discovery and scientific exploration that illuminates the fundamental link between people and planet. The students and scholars featured in the film portray an inter-generational, inter-connected perspective on environmental education that uses concepts such as sense-of-self and sense-of-place to evoke key lessons in responsibility and sustainability. The film powerfully and urgently reminds us that that we’re all on a race and need to tack before it’s too late.”


The Wilderness Society Gala Overview


Google "Street View" without Streets

The Wilderness Act turned 50 today; but many of the places protected by the law are far from the beaten path. Strapped with cameras, volunteers with Google's Backpack Trekker Program hike the trails to capture the beauty of the wilderness for others to see. Chip Reid reports.


Sidaction 2014: Kiss & Love


Founded in the 1990s, all of the major French television channels stood together to offer a unique program known as Sidaction (SIDA is the french acronym for AIDS, syndrome d'immunodéficience acquise). The impact was huge: 23 million viewers, 45 million euros collected, and a strong mobilization of world personalities, scholars, journalists and activists.

Today, Sidaction is a major French philanthropic event that continues to raise funds to fight against HIV and AIDS. Proceeds support projects providing people living with HIV a comprehensive care and covering part of the administrative and logistical costs of partner associations. It also supports basic, applied, and clinical research projects.

The original album sold 700,000 copies in France alone and there are high hopes for the new album to replicate that success this year, with the new single "Kiss & Love" (see video above). Over 120 artists have joined together for the album and many have participated in the album of duets due to follow in late 2014.

Here’s the original clip for the 1998 single ‘Sa raison d’être’ from the original group, which became the anthem of Sidaction:


Celebrating the gift of the wild

My colleague, Jared White, communications manager for The Wilderness Society, recently shared a guest column in the Bozeman Daily Chronicle (where I used to work as a paperboy!) about the importance of wilderness, in recognition of the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Wilderness Act.

The column is filled with powerfully inspiring quotes:

“Wilderness is full of blisters, sunburns, frostbites, raging water, and things with teeth.”

“When we travel wilderness[,] we surrender ourselves to a common heritage that shaped our American spirit.”

“I can’t believe we have all of this – I literally had no idea this even existed.”

The last quote is from “Untrammeled,” a short film produced by the U.S. Forest Service Northern Region, in partnership with local outfitters, Back Country Horsemen of Montana, Arthur Carhart National Wilderness Training Center, Wilderness Institute at the University of Montana, Montana Wilderness Association, Missoula Public Schools, Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribal Education Department, Bob Marshall Wilderness Foundation, The Wilderness Society, the Sierra Club Montana Chapter, and others.

Watch the trailer above and view the entire film on Youtube. Jared’s full column is below:

Celebrating the gift of the wild
By Jared White

Last weekend my girlfriend flipped her raft into the ice cold North Fork of the Sun River. We were deep in the Bob Marshall Wilderness, navigating the river on small inflatable rafts, when the rapid caught her by surprise.

 She bobbed and struggled in the current for a few hundred yards before abandoning her raft and paddle. Eventually she reached dry ground – tired, wet and shivering in the evening air.

As I was chasing down her discarded equipment I recalled a phrase Montana writer Hal Herring had once used to sum up the value of wilderness. He said wilderness is one of the last places on Earth we still have the freedom to get ourselves into trouble.

That’s one perspective, but after talking with wilderness users and explorers for years I can safely say there is no single reason people visit places like the “Bob.”

Some only visit in September to find bull elk in the thickest holes you’d ever care to look. A fellow in Choteau finds inspiration for his oil paintings only after breathing clean mountain air. I tend to like it because it’s one of the only places in Montana I can actually outsmart the fish.

Wilderness is a gift regardless of how we interpret its value. And this year in particular, it’s a gift worth celebrating.

This gift was packaged very carefully by smart men and women who came before us. Decades ago, thoughtful Americans couldn’t help but notice wild country was being consumed at a ferocious pace and nobody was making more. These were folks with names such as Robert Marshall and Howard Zahniser, who now only exist in memory, legend, and black-and-white photographs.

Because of their efforts (and countless others) Congress passed one of the most far-reaching conservation achievements the world had ever seen. The 1964 Wilderness Act gave everyday citizens the ability to draw a line in the dirt and say, “Hey, this place is special. You can develop that place over there and fill it with Starbucks and concrete and drill rigs, but this place here, this one’s for my kids.”

Less than 4 percent of Montana’s land base is designated wilderness. That designation shields these areas from the march of civilization and industry but it also makes them difficult for travel. Wilderness is full of blisters, sunburns, frostbites, raging water, and things with teeth. We can’t bring in machines and engines. There are no handrails, and cellular networks can’t reach into the deepest pockets of our backcountry.

In short, our wilderness is full of the same challenges and hardships that people have been experiencing for the majority of time we’ve populated North America. When we travel wilderness we surrender ourselves to a common heritage that shaped our American spirit. That we can still experience just a little of what Montana and America used to be is one of the most powerful gifts we could ever think of delivering to future generations.

According to U.S. Census data, the vast majority of the United States population is younger than the 1964 Wilderness Act. I don’t expect but a fraction of that population will ever venture into a place like the Bob Marshall but the opportunity will always be there for anyone to try. For me, that’s fundamentally what wilderness protects.

And once inside, that wilderness experience can be absolutely transformative. A recent documentary produced by the U.S. Forest Service demonstrates this. The short film, called “Untrammeled,” follows a group of Montana youth and captures their first reactions of traveling in wild country.

My favorite part of the film is an energetic interview of a young Montana high school student who exclaims, “I can’t believe we have all of this – I literally had no idea this even existed.”

And isn’t that the true value of wilderness? To awaken us to something we never knew? To open our eyes, make us suck in our breath just a little, and remind us the world is bigger and more beautiful that we could have ever have possibly imagined?


Biodiversity Academy

Two of my favorite academies—California Academy of Sciences and Khan Academy—have partnered to produce an online series that investigates the amazing diversity of life on this planet. In the short, informative videos, viewers learn what biodiversity is, why it is important, where it is found, how it comes into existence, how you study it, why it is threatened, and how it can be protected.

Why is Biodiversity Important?
Discover why a high diversity of species sustains ecosystems, which in turn provide important services to humans.


  • Biodiversity and ecosystem services
  • Ecological interactions
  • Ecological levels: from individuals to ecosystems
  • Ecosystem services
  • Ecosystems and ecological networks
  • Healthy ecosystems

Where is Biodiversity Found?
Explore how life is found almost everywhere on Earth, but is not distributed evenly. And learn why the clumped distributions of species are the result of a wide variety of both natural and human-driven factors.


  • Biodiversity distribution patterns
  • Biodiversity Hotspots
  • Extreme life
  • How biodiversity is distributed globally
  • Tolerance ranges of species
  • Why biodiversity is distributed unevenly

How is Biodiversity Studied?
Delve into the history of humanity’s passion to document and display specimens from the natural world and learn how biodiversity expeditions are conducted today.


  • Biodiversity analyses and uncertainties
  • Biodiversity analyses and unknowns exploration questions
  • Biodiversity Expeditions Past and Present
  • Biodiversity fieldwork
  • Field Methods for Documenting Biodiversity
  • How much biodiversity do we really know?
  • Studying biodiversity in the lab

The tutorial videos are narrated by Dr. Rich Mooi, Curator of Invertebrate Zoology and Geology, and the series includes a variety of supplementary educational materials, such as activities, case studies, community questions, glossaries, and quizzes.

According to the welcome site:

“We chose biodiversity as the focus of our first course with Khan Academy not only because it is so relevant to our institutional mission, but also because biodiversity is literally the stuff of life. It is the diversity of all the species on this planet, the genetic diversity represented by all the individuals, the ecosystem diversity, and the evolutionary lineages represented by all species, living and fossil. Biodiversity is all around us. It is crucial to the quality of our lives and the lives of all other living organisms, but we actually know very little about who all the players are in this pageantry of life, much less the roles they play and the benefits they can and do provide. We do know, however, that we are losing biodiversity at an alarming and unprecedented rate, driven by our own actions that result in habitat loss, pollution, climate change, overfishing and overhunting, to name a few. But it is not all bad news. We are learning more about biodiversity every day, and tremendous advances have been made in protecting and restoring biodiversity in many areas of the world. This course is designed to tell these exciting, amazing, crucial, and at times troubling stories of the diversity of life.

The course is designed for many audiences, including teachers, students, families, youth leaders, policy makers, and anyone interested in learning more about the diversity of life on our planet. We hope that you will not only learn things from the course, but will also be moved to become even more active stewards of the environment and its precious biodiversity.”

All of the video tutorials are wonderful and I especially enjoy the California Case Study, featuring Dr. Rebecca Johnson, my colleague and mentor who trained me as a Rocky Shore Naturalist.

Check it out!