Mountain yellow-legged frogs (Rana sierrae—above—and Rana muscosa) have disappeared from more than 90 percent of their original range. (See Dr. Kerry Kriger’s short film at TEDEd to learn about the global plight of amphibians.)
Observe, learn, and help

(Note: Please think of the links below as a bystander’s rough map of online information and how to get there. Opinions expressed on this website are my own and may at times be at direct odds with opinions expressed on some of the websites below. Contents may have settled or inflated during shipping.)

Learn to identify plants, animals, biological soil crusts, and other organisms

Your vote matters, and so does your voice

Laws that affect the air we breathe, the water we drink, our wild neighbors (see an entirely unironic government press release here), our collective health, public land, and our planet’s oceans and atmosphere depend, for the most part, on someone to notice when things go wrong. Recently, a select few federal officials have tried to eliminate the role of medical and biological studies, scientific observation and results, and simple logic in policy decisions. They have eliminated or limited public access to information, rolled back environmental laws while quietly acknowledging dire consequences, reduced enforcement of laws, and reduced or eliminated opportunities for public comment.

Do citizens still matter to public policy? Absolutely. In spite of new exceptions, exclusions, and limitations, the National Environmental Policy Act still requires federal agencies to consider most of the environmental consequences of their actions and to make those considerations available to the public before making a final decision. Most states still require open meetings and allow public comment on projects that require state approval.

Visit the websites of local, regional, and other non-profit environmental organizations

Contact local agencies and tribal environmental offices

Investigate other opportunities to learn about or volunteer on behalf of denizens of desert and alpine neighborhoods