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In the Shadow Of Death

Our final resting places offer safe havens for many rare plant and animal species.

Four white-tailed deer graze atop a rise, oblivious to Jay P Lee and GW Palen, and other folks named Stowell and Whitehead and Slayton and Potter interred there. It’s afternoon – an uncommon feeding time for deer that usually prefer dawn and dusk – on a fall day at Mount Hope Cemetery in Lansing, Michigan. The deer browse amongst the graves, apparently unperturbed by the writer, photographer, and ecologist walking at the…
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by: Eric Freedman – Spring 2017

Repurposing Rocky Flats

The transition of a heavily polluted nuclear site into a wilderness refuge raises questions about the implications of hiding our tainted environmental past.

On arrival, Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge is, frankly, uninviting. A bevy of heavy trucks heading to and from the adjacent aggregates mining site churn up clouds of dust as they pass the multi-padlocked refuge gate. A faded sign with the US Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) logo announces “AREA BEYOND THIS SIGN CLOSED. All public entry prohibited.” Just outside the refuge entrance, RVs are crowded into a storage area at the…
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by: Eric Freedman – Spring 2016

What Is a Critter Worth?

On the value of wolves and eagles, ravens and squirrels

They were heinous crimes with lethal results. A conspiracy by father and son, planned with malice aforethought. Perpetrated over a period of years. Bodies, lots of bodies. Dozens of bodies. Followed by lies and cover-ups. And ultimately arrests and a plea bargain in the deeply troubling saga of the Sowinski family. photo Glenn Roze From 2007 through 2010, Alvin Sowinski – the father in this tale – was poisoning wildlife on the…
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by: Eric Freedman – Winter 2015

Extinction is Forever

A Quest for the Last Known Survivors

I wanted to view Martha in the flesh, so I made a strange pilgrimage to Washington, DC, to visit the last resting place of the best-known endling of the Great Lakes. I could have gone to Cincinnati, where she died on September 1, 1914, at the age of 29. Instead, I journeyed to see what’s left of her, tucked away in a steel storage locker at the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum of Natural…
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by: Eric Freedman – Autumn 2011


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