Thursday, December 15, 2005

Swans on Hokkaido in Japan
Merry Christmas!
Now make the world a better place

Another Christmas and another year coming to an end. As I do every holiday season, I reflect on the past year and count my blessings. Life has been good to me and 2005 was no exception. With time spent with friends and family hiking, kayaking, running and cycling-it was a fantastic year of adventure. The Delaware Water Gap, Ontario's Georgian Bay, Washington's Olympic Mountains, the Pyrenees, Bulgaria's Pirin Mountains, Nevada's Great Basin National Park, the White Mountains of New Hampshire, and my beloved Kettle Mountains-WOW-what a year!

But life is more than what you take from it-it's what you give back too. I make it a habit to donate a good portion of my income to worthy causes and charities each year-and considering that I don't exactly rake it in-it makes the giving all the more rewarding. So, who do I give my money to? A handful of organizations dear to my heart for the work that they do trying to make planet earth a better place.

Some of my favorite groups that I contribute to are:

  1. The Nature Conservancy- they are a saving grace in my home state
  2. The Society for the Protection of New Hampshire's Forests-on my list for 22 years now
  3. Oxfam America-very busy this year with so many tragedies-I upped the ante
  4. Earthjustice- sometimes wild critters need a good lawyer too
  5. Washington Trails association- a saving grace to the state I now call home
  6. Cascade land Conservancy- Puget Sound isn't getting any less populated
  7. Save the Redwoods- I have a soft spot for those big trees
  8. Conservation Northwest- someone has to go to bat for eastern Washington
  9. Western Canada Wilderness Committee-protecting some of the finest lands in the world
  10. Washington National Park Fund-protecting my playgrounds

I hope that you too give a little bit back to the world that gives us so much pleasure. Merry Christmas-Peace on Earth-and Happy adventuring in 2006!

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