To be surrounded by the constant struggle between life and death, all veiled by scenery more beautiful than anything conceivable by man, is electrifying, terrifying and inspiring. There is something inexplicably human in venturing to the world’s wild lands. These wildernesses offer life-changing thoughts and experiences that can mend people into who they are and who they become.
Perhaps the most powerful of these is experiences is offered by sitting atop a mountain in a secluded wilderness. Beneath the treeline, millions of organisms flourish, evolve and go extinct. Predators hunt prey and the trees that have stood for centuries keep growing. Ancient rivers rush down deep, rocky channels – carved out over millions of years – before flowing out into the oceans where all things eventually return. Rocky mountain peaks stab defiantly at the sky, standing as strong as when they pushed their way from the earth’s crust over a billion years ago. It is in these moments, compared to the mountains and streams, that we realize our lives extend for mere seconds. Mere seconds to get it right. Mere seconds to become all we wanted and do everything we dreamed.
There are men and women who dedicate their seconds on this earth to preserving wild lands, the inhabitants of them, and in turn, the vitality of our ecosystems, economies and existence. Their sacrifices are plenty. Fortunes, comforts and lives are laid down and lost for the sake of saving the world’s wilderness – and unbeknownst to most – mankind’s relatively simple existence. They are the faces of conservation.
This page and the following stories are dedicated to those men and women who strive to conserve and preserve the world’s wilderness and wildlife for future generations.