The Joy Trip Project | Reporting on the Business, Art & Culture of the Sustainable Active Lifestyle
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Assignment Earth, Environmental Protection / 20.07.2010

The Sage Grouse is a candidate for designation as a threatened or endangered species. As the Interior Department considers the bird’s fate, several research projects are underway across the west to study its behavior, movements and nesting patterns. Wildlife biologist Bryan Bedrosian locates the birds at night. Sage Grouse sleep out in the open so they can see predators coming. But this also blows their cover. “The way we see them is by a really powerful spotlight we bring out," Bedrosian said. "And through binoculars we can pick up the shine, the reflection of their eye." Using this common technique researchers can spot a group of sleeping grouse for 800 meters. To capture them Bedrosian deploys rock music and what looks like an over-sized butterfly net. “We go up to them playing loud music so it distracts them, covers up our foot steps, disorients them a little bit to what’s happening,” he said. With almost 44 percent of Sage Grouse habitat lost to agriculture, urban development, road construction, energy production and other causes, scientists like Bedrosian are providing vital information that may help this chicken-sized desert bird from going extinct.  What researchers discover could restrict future land usage, especially in Wyoming where sagebrush, the birds’ primary environment, covers more than half the state.
Charitable Giving / 13.07.2010

People constantly ask me: "Do you ever run out of story ideas?" Actually I don't. There's always something to write about. The hard part is keeping it fresh and interesting. Typically I write about people I meet who do good in the world, selfless individuals who work tirelessly to improve the lives of those around them. Over the last few weeks in fact I've been inundated with dozens of amazing stories about people doing great things on behalf of the environment or for the benefit of others. The hard part as journalist is to pick the stories that are most engaging and compelling. Unfortunately what happens is that when so many people are doing so much good the cynic in me becomes a bit jaded and I'm left to wonder which stories are truly worth exploring further, to write about and share with a broader audience. Even Everest climbers and ultra-distance runners raising money to cure cancer or end hunger are becoming cliché. We’ve been there, done that, another tired phrase. Suddenly I understand why the nightly news is always full of murder and mayhem. These are exciting isolated events that draw a person's interest because they're unusual. Deeds of common good are, well...boring.
Climbing, Video / 12.07.2010

This new video by rap artist Odub and singer/songwriter Misty Murphy celebrates the life and enduring legacy of the late climber Todd Skinner

Environmental Protection, Film Review, Mountain Film, Podcast / 07.07.2010

An interview with director Louie Psihoyos

The truths discovered in documentary films often reveal far more than meet the eye. In his Oscar winning movie "the Cove" photojournalist Louie Psihoyos takes us on an adventure that perhaps shows us more than we want to see. “I lead an elite team of activists to penetrate a secret cove in Japan to reveal a dark secret,” Psihoyos said. The Cove, part action thriller, part nature film is the exciting story behind a covert operation to document one of the most horrific atrocities of the 21st century, the systematic slaughter of dolphins. “They kill more dolphins than anywhere on the planet right there at this cove, which incidentally is in a Japanese national park, a marine sanctuary,” Psihoyos said. That’s the irony of this whole thing. But it’s also the scene of the captive dolphin trade. Most of the captive dolphins in the world come from this little cove.”
Assignment Earth, Environmental Protection / 28.06.2010

For millennia, water has spread across the broad expanse of the Florida Everglades. But in the last 100 years or so man has blocked its path with roads and dug canals to drain and reroute its course. Now some parts of the Everglades have too much water and some have too little. "The problem is the Everglades are our water supply." said Eric Buermann of the Southern Florida Water Management District. "And there's only 40 percent of the natural Everglades left after man's drainage and decimation of the natural environment." Investing almost $1 billion the state for Florida has instituted a research program to correct the growing problem. Engineers hope to apply what scientists learn to get water running again where there's too much of it and let it flow into places where there's much too little of it, like the Everglades National Park.
Banff, Breaking News, Cycling, Film preview, Outdoor Recreation, philanthropy / 25.06.2010

My good friend adventure filmmaker Dominic Gill is in a tight spot and he needs your help. Just when he was about to embark upon another epic transcontinental bicycle trip his partner Ernie Greenwald has taken ill. The 76-year-old cancer patient suffered a bout of pneumonia after a round of chemotherapy  and simply can not peddle along the 4,000-mile journey as planned from California to New York. But Dom still hopes to make the ride. And in the classic fashion of his award-winning film of the same title he hopes to find a few people across America to "Take A Seat" and cycle their way across the country in Ernie's place. There's only one catch. You have to be disabled.