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Howdy from Gunnison, Colorado!

I love this picture of Bill Zeedyk standing in front of a Zuni Bowl that he designed looking like a secular priest at the altar of a vast shrine with blue sky for a roof!

We acolytes visited the shrine while touring sage grouse habitat restoration projects as part of a conference on water in the West. When I was young, I had no idea so much of my beloved homeland was in dire ecological condition, mostly a result of erosion caused by poor livestock management over the decades. The great American conservationist Aldo Leopold once wrote “One of the penalties of an ecological education is that one lives alone in a world of wounds.”

Fortunately, I met Bill early in my studies. He’s a visionary on par with Leopold, in my opinion. He knows how to repair wounds and restore hope. Here, he’s stopped a headcut from migrating upstream where it would eventually destroy a wet meadow, a critical source of water and food for wildlife. And the Zuni Bowl is pretty to look at too! I think Bill’s work is a perfect blend of form + function.

Call it restorative land art.

The Gunnison restoration project involves many hands, from local volunteers, to ranchers, agency people, scientists, and others. It’s an inspiring example of the long western tradition of cooperation on the land. The goal of the project is to restore degraded ‘sweet spots’ in riparian areas so endangered sage grouse populations can weather the vicissitudes of climate change. Cooperation is key – a lesson for us all.

The altar and the temple are lovely. Visit if you get a chance!

Hope all is well.

Photo © Courtney White /