News & Updates

A few members of our time have read The Overstory by Richard Powers, and the consensus is that it is a very good read. A story about trees, forests, deforestation, movement organizing, and the question of whether real change is possible, this book is worth the trees it was printed on (or the fuel burned to power your e-reading device). The many characters that carry on the story lead disparate, believable and fascinating lives that intersect in unexpected (and sometimes unseen) ways, overcoming personal, professional, and political stumbling blocks. No matter what your life story, the odds are good you will identify with at least one of the dreamers, doers, do-gooders, and ne'er do-wells that star in The Overstory.

It would be hard to avoid learning something about trees, planets, law, history, psychology, war, science, organizing, geography, the national forest service, or mycology in the pages. And most of what you'll read corresponds to real institutions, actions, and heroes, even if in fictitious ways. Despite the deep realism, significant number of characters, and astounding quantity of facts included in the book, it is an excellent and compelling page turner. Perhaps this is because each of the characters, no matter how boring their answer to the time-honored question "And what do you do?" has a powerful character development arc, just as we all do.

Read more in The Atlantic review here, and if you read it, savor the descriptions of the big trees of the west. I found myself ending the novel with an ache for an impossible (in the time of coronavirus) road trip, but perhaps with enough forwarning, the book can be the road trip for you.

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Last month, while urban farming and foraging for sour cherries, I listened to Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer. Not long after, Adrienne Maree Brown posted the following pull quotes to instagram, and shared her reflection that this book could be read as a prequel or foundational text for her own work, Emergent Strategy. I couldn't agree more, both texts are gifts. Braiding Sweetgrass is a work of understanding our place in society and our responsibility to our ecological home. It's definitely worth a read, a way to come home to this land offering new teachers in the species we coexist with. Enjoy these quotes from Kimmerer, curated by Brown:

We offer so much gratitude for both these women, and all Black and Indigenous teachers, for their work and wisdom. Miigwech!

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While we continue to wait for the Four Necessity Valve Turner Trial, environmental protections continue to be removed and fossil fuel infrastructure projects go forward, further endangering a livable future.

MN 350 is hosting a webinar on Tuesday evening to share updates on the Line 3 project in northern Minnesota that expands and reroutes a pipeline through environmentally and culturally sensitive landscapes. The old Line 3 pipeline is in dangerously bad condition, speaking poorly of the long-term maintenance plan for pipelines.

The webinar is Tuesday, June 30, 2020 6:30 PM -  8:00 PM CT you can register here.

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