by Michael dEstries
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The April edition of National Geographic Adventure has a great interview with actor Harrison Ford on his environmental crusades. According to the article, since 1991, Ford has been a strategic guide for Conservation Internationalsupporting “biodiversity research, protecting endangered species, and working to persuade corporations with a history of polluting the planet to become stewards of it instead.” Harrison opens up on lost worlds, tourism, and how a friendship with a fox turned him onto environmentalism. Here are some highlights:

On settling down in Jackson, Wyoming:

I went to Sun Valley, but it was too built-up for me. So my wife at the time and I rented a car and drove toward Jackson. I’d only heard about it, and we saw it for the first time from Teton Pass. I was blown away. We knew immediately that we wanted to be there. A number of people involved in CI [Conservation International] live in Jackson, and when I became a landowner there, I felt a sense of stewardship for the Earth that I hadn’t really experienced before.

On going where no others have gone before:

I went down to Venezuela and ended up renting a helicopter and flew with my sons to the tops of the tepuis, these freestanding jungle mesas, “lost worlds” as it were. In fact, it’s almost impossible to access them without one. So we were able to land and spend some time there. We were trapped for about six hours by clouds that came in. Unbelievable. Spectacular environments. Very likely places where no other person had ever set foot before.

How a development and an animal turned him into an eco-warrior:

When I was 12, we moved outside the city to former agricultural land where they built all these tract homes. There was an irrigation ditch, and next to it was this little oasis of nature where a fox lived. I would go out there often and sit by myself. The fox became used to me and would come close—ten, six feet [two meters] away. And I think there’s something about that experience that tilted me toward nature in a different way than a visit to a national park or something would. I was struck by the fact that these houses we were living in, these streets we were driving down, had displaced something. That more than us belonged there.

Check out the full interview over on Adventure!

About Michael dEstries

Michael has been blogging since 2005 on issues such as sustainability, renewable energy, philanthropy, and healthy living. He regularly contributes to a slew of publications, as well as consulting with companies looking to make an impact using the web and social media. He lives in Ithaca, NY with his family on an apple farm.

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  • ash

    “I was struck by the fact that these houses we were living in, these streets we were driving down, had displaced something. That more than us belonged there.”

    That is a beautiful and profound statement. I couldn’t agree more. Can you imagine what America looked like before we all moved in? I’d give a nut if I had one to be able to see just a peek!

  • wesley white

    Harrison Ford where are you living today 3/31/2008. Write back soon and please give me a audigrahp thanks.

    love Wesley White

    ps.i am your biggest fan

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  • Mary Rose Hilkemeyer

    I enjoy hearing that well-known people are advocates of forest preservation and responsible stewardship of our precious resources…However, I can’t seem to find anyone who will help us to bring awareness to our part of the world…small community, mid-America…Our state highway department wants to cut a highway through 600acres of private forest where we have also observed collard lizards on a glade. All we are getting is a run-a-round from the local officials…representatives. We have received information from the highway department that our forest,which by the way has been in the family for 150+years, is a preferred alternate to the highway plans. We are devastated, but still looking for advocates…We have also contacted a private forester. We just believe with so many people talking about saving the forests and wildlife and endangered species…and protecting streams and watersheds…surely someone will help us to get this 600 acres recognized as a place that needs to be left for future generations…and for the benefit of our planet. We would like to sponsor a benefit, and we would like many well-known advocates of better stewardship of our resources, to appear and help us to let the world know that even rural America needs protected from deforestation.
    Please email me with your comments and suggestions…Thank you. Mary Rose Hilkemeyer