Currently, I’m in the Boone area of North Carolina for the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games. This is my ninth time at the games celebrating my heritage and the Cameron Clan.
Grandfather Mountain in the background of me wearing my Cameron kilt
Being up here, it hasn’t just been age-old Scottish traditions that have amazed me. The biodiversity on this mountain is utterly amazing.
Grandfather Mountain reaches a height of 5,946 ft. The mountain is estimated to be 300 million years old. A third of the mountain is operated as a scenic travel attraction by the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation, Inc, which is a great organization that funnels all proceeds into preserving the mountain. This third includes the mile high swinging bridge.
the mile high swinging bridge on an especially foggy 4th of July
The other two thirds of Grandfather Mountain is owned by the state of North Carolina. This area is wild and undeveloped, which is great! Accessible only on foot, visitors to Grandfather Mountain State Park can hike several miles of rugged alpine trails that lead across or around rock walls. I like to believe that I am one of the rare people who have touched every square inch of that mountain!
one of a few bears near the museum at Grandfather Mountain
Through my many hikes, jogs, and strolls, I’ve found more animals and plants than I even knew existed on Earth. This variety of life is referred to as “Biodiversity” and is being threatened by human activity. Thinking about this reality up on the Mountain really breaks my heart. Every form of life on our planet is unique and deserves respect regardless of its worth (or lack thereof) to human beings. Humankind is part of nature and the natural world is priceless to humans. As the human population is increasing, there exists insatiable demand for raw materials, which directly causes decreases in biodiversity. It is therefore vital to control human consumption and conserve biodiversity.
What can you do?
- Reduce (or eliminate) pesticide and fertilizer usage
- Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – of course
- Composting – also reduces what goes to the landfill and a safer alternative to fertilizers
- Eat local produce and incorporate meatless meals if you don’t already!
- Reduce car-use — biking, walking, car-pooling, riding public transportation, or even a more fuel efficient car can do a lot of good
remember to not only be careful on this rugged mountain, but to also be careful with this rugged mountain