Sunday, March 6, 2016

My Picks for Best Nature Writing of 2015 AKA The Steenies

    Criticizing inaccurate or sensational media fails about wildlife and nature is practically a sub-genre of posts on this blog. But, I recently realized that it was not fair of me to just focus on these forehead-slapping articles when there are a lot of journalists out there writing really great stuff. These pieces either inform us about important conservation issues or change the way we think about them; they deserve to be highlighted!  So, I took to Twitter to declare the winners of my impromptu writing award contest, Richard Conniff and Ben Goldfarb.

Both authors published some great stuff in 2015, but here are my favorites.

Richard Conniff: Learning to Live with Leopards, National Geographic. See also.

Ben Goldfarb: Safe Passage, Orion Magazine.

I was quickly egged on to formalize my esteemed awards ceremony.

So be it. The next category was near and dear to my heart, as we tackle the issue frequently here, but Christie Wilcox took it to the next level:

She was very gracious in accepting her win (while explaining her investigative technique).

At this point people were getting fired up.

Moving on...Last year an essay was getting a lot of attention for suggesting that perhaps we should get rid of predators because they are causing pain and suffering in the natural world. It needed a take-down, and it got one courtesy of Kristen Gunther.

If you have spent any time on this blog at all you know we talk a lot about how snakes have a bad reputation. Now they have a new advocate courtesy of Jason Bittel!

Incidentally Jason also won the award for being the most excited about his win.

Finally, human/wildlife conflict is a topic that has been really heating up in recent years. And that means there is a lot of opportunity for technology and creativity to make a big difference, Hannah Waters explains...

Please check out the articles I link to above and I'm looking forward to the 2016 ceremony! I already have some suggestions for potential improvements.

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