As many of you know, I’ve become a pretty serious bird nerd. This was on full display this past weekend as I participated in a couple of Christmas Bird Counts in Northwest Montana. One of those bird counts was in Glacier National Park.

I hadn’t been able to get into the park much as of late and it’s always exciting to drive through those gates. Our group started out at Lake McDonald and worked our way down McDonald Creek spying flocks of goldeneyes, siskins, and grosbeaks. One of my favorite birds is the American Dipper which bobs while perching along crystal clear streams before hopping into the water to find bug larvae to eat along the creek’s bottom.

I sometimes think about their lives and how much different they are than mine… even though we inhabit the same world. They are always out fighting the elements, looking for food, staying warm, wary of predators (and avoiding them), nesting, raising, etc. I, on the other hand, have got a warm house, plenty of food, and am not too worried about anything going to eat me on a moment by moment basis.

There are many concerns that they don’t have, however, that do directly affect them. They don’t understand things like “land management”, “park budgets”, “habitat loss”, “tax law”, or the myriad factors that have consequence to their long-term survival. That concern is left to us.

I’m sure that you have had many incredible experiences in the national parks from seeing grizzlies to sunrises reflected in lakes to powerful waterfalls to slot canyons along red rock walls. Every time I am in a park, I’m always treated to some moment that is uniquely special.

This beaver would thank you if it could understand what you were doing for it.

With so many factors putting the squeeze on our national parks from high visitation to shrinking budgets, our park partners help bridge the gaps. Now they can’t bridge them all, but when we donate to them, more gaps can be filled. It’s why I support them and hope that you’ll join me in my second annual Hike 734 Give Back campaign.

To cut to the chase, I’m using this week to rally all of you fellow park lovers to learn about and help me raise some money for these non-profit park organizations. They are doing so much work behind the scenes to help provide a wonderful park experience from the trails, to shuttle systems, to signage, to kids programs. Hike 734 is going to be matching what you give (up to varying amounts for each park) for this week starting Monday, December 17th, 2018 to Friday, December 21st, 2018. Below are the instructions for doing your part.

I would love to have you show these organizations the same amount of love that you show our parks (which is actually showing our parks love too)!

Glacier Conservancy

Match amount: $2,000

Instructions for donating:

Click on the following link below which takes you to a custom page. Your money gets matched by me and then that gets doubled with another match!

https://glacier.org/give-back-glacier-hike-734/

Zion National Park Forever Project

Match amount: $500

Instructions for donating:

Click on the following link below which takes you to their donation page. Fill out the form and then, in make sure that you put “Hike 734 match” in “Comment” in the “Personal Info” section.

https://zionpark.org/pitch-in/

Yellowstone Forever

Match amount: $500

Instructions for donating:

Click on the following link, then click “Join or Renew Your Support”. Fill out the form and then, in make sure that you put “Hike 734 match” in the “Optional Comments” in the “Your Information” section.

https://www.yellowstone.org/donate/

Grand Teton National Park Foundation

Match amount: $500

Instructions for donating:

Click on the following link. Fill out the form and then, in make sure that you put “Hike 734 match” in the “Leave a comment (optional)” in the “Designation” section.

https://www.gtnpf.org/donate/

Yosemite Conservancy

Match amount: $500

Instructions for donating:

Click on the following link and make sure that “Hike 734” is in the section for “My gift will be matched”.

https://www.yosemiteconservancy.org/hike734

 

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