I sit watching the brown slug of Argentina’s broad Rio de la Plata flow to the Atlantic Ocean. Sediment roiled runoff a mile wide originating in farm fields and city streets, draining from gravel roads and cattle feedlots – all emptying into the estuary. I studied this same phenomena in my own hemisphere during the past spring, wondering how much of the nonpoint source pollution in Montana’s Yellowstone River had been caused just within my short lifetime. The perennial dirty brown water exacerbated by denuded riparian buffers, irrigation returns, hardened stream banks and man’s other “utilitarian” measures aimed at “taming” her.
As our world’s finite and increasingly precious freshwater resources continue to lean ever closer to the tipping point, the weight of our problems and our responsibilities becomes greater. The need for action, for change, for repair and for restoration increases.
When one travels along the distance of these great rivers, as I have been fortunate to do, it quickly becomes obvious that no single entity – be it a government, a landowner or a corporation – can alter the present path of degradation. It will truly take a village – a conservation village.Tweet