More and more studies are documenting the physical, psychological and emotion-al benefits of spending time outdoors in nature. Florence Williams’s The Nature Fix “Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative” looks at some of those studies and showcases what cultures around the world are doing to increase not only time in the outdoors, but also what they are doing to create more accessible green spaces.

2020 is going to be a pivotal year for nature and the environment. Everyone who appreciates and enjoys wild places, wildlife, clean air and clean water needs to be registered to vote. Then everyone needs to not only vote in all local, state and national elections, but everyone needs to actively advocate for the well-being of the natural environment. Currently, there are a number of policy makers that look at the natural environment, wild places and public lands as resources to be exploited rather than treasures to be preserved for the enjoyment of current and future generations. That mineral ‘extractive’ economy benefits the ‘few’ in the short term at the expense of the ‘many’ for generations to come.

I recommend that everyone try to keep up to date politically by subscribing to The Refuge Watch and The Link (for Friends members) from the National Wildlife Refuge Association.

Here are a few other environmentally aware organizations that are good sources of current information con-cerning threats to the natural world; the Sierra Club (sierraclub.org), The Wilderness Society (wilderness.org), Audubon (audubon.org), The Nature Conservancy (nature.org), and The Cornell Lab of Ornithology (birds.cornell.edu). I am constantly amazed at all of the contributions (both volunteer time &/or donations) that each of you provide to the FOW and, ultimately, for the benefit of the Wichita Mountains NWR. THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

 

Jim Stone, FOW President