Thanks to my sister Michelle McIlroy for designing the logo!


Ever since I was a child, I have been very interested in nature and the environment. I have a B.S. degree in wildlife biology, and have worked as a zookeeper, wildlife biologist, and ecologist. I am conducting a brief survey of world leaders, government officials, religious leaders, corporate CEOs, environmental groups, wildlife experts, and others regarding nature and the environment. I am also very interested in religious views, customs, and beliefs from around the world, and the interactions between religion, culture, society, and the environment. This is something I am doing out of personal interest, and is not connected to any group or organization. I have been working on this project since the summer of 2006, and hope to eventually turn it into a book and/or documentary. I am hoping to make this into a global project, with responses from all segments of society. Feel free to contact me directly if you have any questions or comments. If you have not already done so, I hope that you will consider taking part in my project, and please spread the word to anyone you think might be interested! Thanks for stopping by!


January 24, 2007

Anne Gilbert

Writer --- self-employed

Today’s Date: January 23, 2007

1. What interaction with an animal and/or nature in your life has had the biggest impact on you?

Crows come to mind. There are lots of them around here, and I've seen them do some very interesting things. They are smart, too. As for "nature", when the sun shines around here, you can't fail to see Mount Rainier, which is a volcano.

2. Did you have a favorite place in the great outdoors during your childhood?

One place my family was very fond of going when I was young was the North Fork of the Stillaguamish River near Darrington, Washington. It was, and still is, pretty rural. There are mountains all around, and the river is just wild enough, even in the summer, to be interesting. At one time, My family used to picnic in one part of what turned out to be a horse pasture. At one time I had a picture of the horse who used the pasture. I didn't know it at the time, but it turned out to be an Appaloosa with a particular, distinctive spotting pattern. Later, I think this influenced my writing(there is an Appaloosa-type horse who plays a part in the story I'm writing). Anyway, one thing I remember about the horse. The first time my family and I visited the place, she had recently foaled. She didn't do anything, but she was obviously very protective of the foal(she kept looking at us as if to say "don't get too close"). The following summer, the horse was so darn friendly that she came to our picnic table and tried to eat the picnic basket!

Now? Now, there are many places. There is an arboretum on the other side of the hill from where I live, and I like to walk there when the weather moderates (we've had kind of horrible weather for the Puget Sound region the past couple of months). There are lots of birds and trees, and in the spring, you can sometimes see hatched tadpoles in the ponds.

3. As a former zookeeper, I would love to know what your favorite animal is, and why?

Wolves and cats, in no particular order. No, not dogs. Wolves. In their wild state. Because they are wild, and highly complex, social beings. Cats because cats are "domesticated" --- sort of --- but retain enough of their independence so that no cat, no matter how docile, is entirely predictable.

4. What do you think is the greatest environmental challenge facing us now, and what do you think will be the greatest challenge in the future?

Having just gone through the horrible weather patterns I mentioned earlier, I think the absolute greatest challenge we face at the moment is global warming. It's affecting everyone, in various ways. Here, it takes the form of increased rains and flooding in rural areas A story in this morning's paper, about Hmong farmers who lost most of their year's crop of flowers --- they depend on growing them for their livelihood --- rotting because of massive floods. These floods come almost every year now, and they are often quite damaging, and not just to Hmong farmers. And they come earlier, in November, or sometimes late October, rather than December or January as they once did. There has been less snow in the mountains (this year is an exception), so ski resort operators lose money. And the oceans are warming up so that what few salmon are left after overfishing, are now migrating farther and farther north. And that's just in the Pacific Northwest. The rest of the world has other, perhaps even more horrible problems caused, in part, by global warming. This will only get worse if we don't do something about it now. I have no particular ideas of what to do about it, only that we should all, every person, every nation, every part of the world, try to do whatever we can to deal with it.

5. If you could give everyone one piece of advice regarding the environment and our natural resources, what would it be?

If you see a problem "out there", don't keep quiet. Speak up. Do everything you can to see it fixed. Now. Tomorrow the problem may be incomparably worse. Or tomorrow, it may even be too late.

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