180° South and Wild Places

180° South is a documentary I watched last night with my bf Alex, check out his Patagonia Tour here.  In the movie the scenes of way-south Chile and the dialogue of the characters strike the harmonious theme of conservation.  Conservation specifically of wild places and wild ecosystems in the South area of Chile called Patagonia. After the movie I asked myself “how can I conserve wild places?””What wild places are in Amarillo, Texas ?”

In 180° South the American adventurer Jeff Johnson gets to share conversation and travel with Yvon Chouinard and Doug Tompkins. Yvon Chouniard started the clothing and gear company Patagonia. Here is an interview/Q&A of Chouniard with an audience of college biz students. The most inspiring quotes connected to conservation after around the 3 min mark are, “The earth is our main share holder,” “when something money-wise goes wrong the solution is quality,” and “The more people know the less they need.”

The above quotes encourages me to include a conservation effort in my business Better Kitchen Gardens.  Again the question “What wild places are in Amarillo, Texas ?” 180° South showed huge glacial rivers, long breaking ocean waves, and mountain lakes. In fact groups of people are trying to protect these waters see ¡Sin Represas! and Conservacion Patagonica. Amarillo doesn’t have that kind of water.

Duh! Water! Amarillo needs to conserve water!

Amarillo has current water rights to underground water which are estimated to last the City of Amarillo 300 years, but water available to farming industry will only last 100 years. The estimations include population growth. 100 years is enough time to figure out more sustainable water use and even regenerative practices to begin to restore the hydro-logical cycle in the Panhandle.

Grey water systems will be part of the Better Kitchen Garden business which will help to sustain the domestic systems of homes. Concerning conservation of wild places Palo Duro Canyon comes to mind. The Prairie Dog Town Red River fork runs through Palo Duro Canyon. Before water gets to Prairie Dog Town Red River fork it goes through the neighborhoods of Palo Duro Club, Timber Creek, and Tanglewood. And before that water comes from Fiona, Herferd, and the city of Canyon. The path of water can be followed using the ‘terrain’ view on google maps and using the ‘show grade’ option on http://www.heywhatsthat.com.

Hydrologic restoration is necessaray beginning to ecosystem restoration and starting at the beginning of the river, the head waters, is necessary beginning to restoring a river down stream. Buffalo Lake Wildlife Refuge between Herferd and Canyon is a good place for me to get more information since they are already in the business of conservation.

My friend Patrick Gibbs breaks down stream remediation into an exceptionally 40 minute people power effort in his article Stream Remediation 1. See his other articles at mutualgift.net. He also showed me this amazing hour-long movie ‘The Upward Spiral’ by Paul Krafel, a keen elder figure, view at google video.

In the words of 180° South a character, a person on the edge of a cliff can take one step forward or turn 180° and take one step forward. Standing in the Prairie Dog Creek bed I can look down to the Red River and/or I can turn 180° and look up stream to the beginning of restoring wild places.


About ellieearly

I was born and raised in Amarillo, Texas. I moved back to Amarillo Feb 2011 after university in at Umass Dartmouth and post college adventures in central rural Tennessee on The Farm and surrounding land. Back in Amarillo I tried staring a business called Better Kitchen Gardens. This year, 2013, the High Plains Food Bank hired me to teach nutrition and gardening at the Mavrick Boys and Girls club. I'm a "Permi" a permaculutralist! I will use this site to share my Amarillo Permi ventures.
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1 Response to 180° South and Wild Places

  1. Patrick Gibbs says:

    Glad to read your ponderings, Ellie, and to hear that you’re thinking about things so pertinent to life. Yesterday I started reading a book about one person’s journey to ecological restoration — Ghetto Plainsman by Jarid Manos http://www.ghettoplainsman.com , who founded the Great Plains Restoration Council after steering his life away from gang violence and drug abuse. He, like Freeman House and others, understands that restoring the landscape around him goes hand-in-hand with restoring his inner landscape, his way of living. I think that you and I see it that way too.

    Keep on writing, gardening, and restoring!


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