Students start Critter Control |

Students start Critter Control

Allen Best

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS – Several fifth graders are getting an early look into some of the basic issues in conservation biology.Taking part in a Critter Control project, they are using Global Information Systems technology to help monitor roadkill along Highway 40, which bisects the community.One of their goals is to figure out why particular animals cross the highway in specific areas.The project, says The Steamboat Pilot, ha been wildly successful, and has received attention locally and nationally.Cyclist completes round-the-world journeyJACKSON HOLE, Wyo. Twenty-three years and 63,633 miles later, Steve Williams can claim the first crossing of all six inhabited continents.Williams, now 50, set out on this quest when he was 27. A failed professional cyclist, he still had a strong wanderlust and thought riding around the world “sounded like a really cool thing to do,” he told the Jackson Hole News & Guide.Annoying, challenging, and dangerous were the segments spent riding among bandits and grizzly bears, thick mosquitoes and bands of people who spoke no language that he knew. But those weren’t the most difficult times.There were the three months he spent riding above 12,500 in Tibet, subsisting entirely on rice, flour and sugar with no more authority to be there than a few letters from a Chinese official begging passage for him and companions until travel documents could be secured.More difficult yet was a ride on road bikes across Pakistan’s Babusar Pass, not quite 14,000 feet, a route he says hadn’t been used since the British were in India.Most challenging of all was among his first, the Darian Gap, the un-roaded forested province in Panama and Columbia. With two other cyclists on what they called the Too Tyred Tour, they spent three weeks bushwacking through the thick vegetation.Williams made his way around the world, stopping at places like Cape Town and Chamonix, to work for several months at a time before continuing on. It cost him about $1,000-a-month to be on the road. He got only one grant, for $4,000, during all his years of riding.Although Williams and two companions had completed most of his cycling in the 1980s, it gnawed at him that he had failed to complete the 15,000 miles from Kunming, China, to Bangkok, Thailand, a route infested with seven kinds of vipers, drug lords and a kaleidoscope of cultures. He did it alone.That done, he tackled two remaining legs from Argentina to Tierra del Fuego and from Inuvik, Alaska, to Jackson Hole. These he did during the last three years.Why do all this?”Culture has always been the key motivating interest culture and geography,” said Williams, who lives in Boulder. “How people live, what their cultures look like, what side of the hill they live on.”

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