Camera in tow, Jana Morgan and a few friends dove in and looked around. Her images expose a mesmerizing world of green sea grass and a community of marine mammals that seem blissfully ignorant of the debate that rages on land about how to split the cove’s sand between people and animals. – UT San Diego
A great move by the photographer, but I don’t need the photos. I am a full supporter of the seals on this one. By my reckoning, every inch of the coast is owned by humans, so why not give them this small section?
The debate rages around the famous La Jolla Children’s Pool, originally created for the kids of La Jolla then taken over by the seals. That happened many decades ago and ever since a fight has been raging among the local community.
The creator of the man-made cove built the cement walls to shield children from harsh waves. She then willed it to the children of future (hence the name Children’s Pool).
Then the seals came in, 100s of them, and it became an instant tourist attraction. This places environmentalists and nature lovers on one side, open-access for children on the other side. An unfortunate split.
The debate still rages every morning as both sides trek out to the beach and mark their territory. The open-access folks plant a flag in the sand that says “open” and shoo away the seals from that part of the beach. During which the pro-seal activists film this to ensure no harmful shoo-ing occurs, and, lately, document any problems the pregnant seals and baby seals encounter with all this conflict.
Burt’s Bees cofounder Roxanne Quimby wants to hand the government a new national park in northern Maine—election-year politics and residents’ NIMBYism be damned. Brian Kevin investigates the boldest conservation plan in decades.
Technically, this Idaho-shaped chunk of land, which contains a 30-mile stretch of the International Appalachian Trail, is known as the East Branch Sanctuary. But around Millinocket it’s simply referred to as “Quimby’s land.” The self-made millionaire owns it, along with 119,000 acres of other timber-company lands that she started buying up back in 2000, when Burt’s Bees was raking in about $23 million a year. Her plan was to give the property to the National Park Service, thereby galvanizing other donations that would eventually establish a 3.2-million-acre wilderness in the last great undeveloped region east of the Rockies.
But the campaign stalled out of the gate. Public land is a tough sell in northern Maine, where residents are accustomed to hunting, fishing, snowmobiling, and cutting timber. Many didn’t cotton to the rhetoric of a wealthy environmentalist; others feared that the proposed park would spell the end of the region’s struggling paper mills.
But a dozen years and a few hundred Ban Roxanne bumper stickers later, Quimby is back with more practical ambitions. Last spring she announced plans for a dramatically reduced 74,000-acre Maine Woods National Park just east of Katahdin, carved entirely from her own property. And thanks to better diplomacy and a new emphasis on economic benefit, Quimby is beginning to win hearts and minds.