James Godwin defines ‘challenge’ a little differently than the average person. “I have to be aware of hornet’s nests, venomous snakes – to me that’s not a challenge, that’s just a part of being out there.” For 24 years, he has conducted fieldwork on Alabama’s rare species and has contributed data to NatureServe. Now, Godwin leads a pack of scientists from the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources deep into the rural areas of the northern part of state. They are hunting for the hellbender - finding one could have serious implications on the future of these waterways.
People have found tranquility, recreation, and have built their lives around the Hood River for hundreds of years. From the glaciers atop Mount Hood to its junction with the Columbia River which makes up much of the border between Oregon and Washington state, the cold rushing water makes for incredible views and rich habitat.
If a 4,061 acre forest were a house, then Todd Crabtree would be the ideal appraiser. His habitat models take distributors of federal funds on a house tour to see all the unique features not visible from the street. These “prospective buyers” give funding to the land that is most valuable and worthy of protecting. His work has led to the protection of over 4,000 acres of ecologically important land that supports threatened species in Southeast Tennessee.