Saturday, June 2, 2012

Update on the Anima Center


I've so often written about Speaking to the Earth, how this is something we have lost as an unsustainable industrial civilization.  What Jesse Wolf Hardin, Loba, and Kiva Rose do at the Anima Center in New Mexico is to live that way, and their work is so very important.  I'm taking the liberty again of posting from their blog as forest fire continues to threaten the center for the second time in a row.  I know they have many friends, and do this to spread the word.

To contribute to the Anima Fire Fund, either send a postal money order in any amount to:

Gretchen Geggis (Loba!)
PO Box 688, Reserve, NM 87830
or make a PayPal instant payment by going to:
Enter the amount as a personal “gift” and send to:
Whitewater-Baldy Wildfire Updates 
(from Anima Center Blog)

300 sq. Miles and Growing – Largest in Recorded State History
Under 6 Miles Away From Us – But We’re Nearly Sprinkler Ready!

The growing Whitewater Baldy Complex Fire is now over 300 square miles in size, engulfing 250,000 plus acres as of the publishing of this post.  On the map below, its northernmost spur appears to have crept a little closer still to us, though much of the red on the Northwest edge is certainly indicating backfires set to slow the progression.

June 1st Whitewater-Baldy Fire Perimeter, Anima location marked top left
The winds have been largely blowing out of instead of towards the Northeast, resulting in more smoke in the mornings and more worry about the fire’s direction, though they thankfully remain under 20mph.  The perimeter nearest us and the village of Reserve seems secure enough for the time being, but another day of those earlier 50mph winds could easily push the front again our way.
The mountain across the river from our cabins, in thick smoke that fortunately moves away by 11A.M. so far. Whitewater-Baldy Fire Photo by Jesse Wolf Hardin

On the list if more fire donations come in, will be expensive protective foil wrap to enclose the two guest cabins.  If not, all that may remain is to get a small trailer outfitted for the pump so that it can be moved easier, and purchase some kind of fuel reservoir so the pump purchased last Summer will run unattended for more hours, pumping water up and to… yes, you guessed it!….

Sprinkler Test #1 - Wolf and Rhiannon - Yippee!

Protective Sprinklers!
There is still lots of adjusting, routing and burying of the water pipes to go, but Trail Boss made sure the sprinkler system was ready to spray water on our main buildings.  What you see in the pictures is the excited first test of the system, with everyone (and even Kiva’s camera) getting a bit of a drenching.
The walls of our rough built structures have a lot of gaps where the water could get in between the walls and cause problems with rot, so Dan’l will close them up as best he can as time permits.  But already, even unadjusted, the sprinklers up the odds that a wildfire doesn’t take out our funky little home and office.

Projects Continue
Having the sprinklers working and close to ready means we’ve been able to think about other things besides the fire’s approach, including release of the recent 44 page long TWHC Newsletter, completion of the new 297 (!) page long Plant Healer Magazine… and the readying of The Medicine Bear novel with dear proofreaders’ help, a historically accurate story of not only the Southwest’s people but the land and lifeforms such as are suffering from the megafires today ( The flames, for second year in a row, have added to and rearranged our priorities, but they’ve also kept a fire under our arses so that everything that matters most gets done.  We were determined to be prepared for the fire, and determined that the magazine would be both more amazing than ever and go out on time.

As with life itself, there are mornings when it can be hard to see through the smoke and obfuscation... but always, the glow of the cliffs somehow remains visible, as does our purpose, and the work and love ahead.

A Positive Side
Being hounded by record breaking wildfires two Summers in a row can seem like nothing but a repeat nightmare, the destruction of plant and animal, the damage or threat to human homes, and the awful image of this sanctuary being torched after such intense and prolonged efforts to replant, restore and rewild it.  Cottonwoods may or may not burn, but the roots they’ve established in our 33 years of protection will live and sprout again.  The giant Ponderosa pine forest facing us on the east slope is unlikely to regenerate under current climate conditions, but sad as that is, there will be a succession of green life forms brimming with the anima vital force and eager to use this home and opportunity to thrive.

And if this canyon happens to be spared yet again from the flames of a record fire, through the efforts of fire fighters, prayers of friends and supporters or the canyon’s own will and purpose, then we will have the benefit of a protective buffer of already burned or reduced fuel-load land now both the east and west of us… with this river canyon being a rich strip of biodiversity acting as the seed bank and mother roots from which new life will spread.

1 comment:

Trish and Rob MacGregor said...

Have been reading about this fire elsewhere. Scary. I certainly hope the situation improves quickly!