5 Spot 

U of U professor Fred Montague’s wild life.

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U of U professor Fred Montague teaches wildlife ecology, environmental science and ecological gardening. He’s also an author and wildlife artist.


Is it dangerous being an environmentalist?


The danger lies in not being an environmentalist. If you consider that every atom in your body is 4.5 billion years old and comes from the environment (food, water, air, etc.), you’d be a fool not to be environmentalist.


Which local environmental initiatives get an “A” in your book?


Mayor Anderson’s initiatives to reduce CO2 emissions in Salt Lake City, TRAX, Wasatch Community Gardens, TreeUtah and the Community-Supported Agriculture programs. Also, the thousands of school children participating in gardens and activities like the “ecological footprint analysis” that connect them to the environment that gives them life.


How is Utah flunking out, environmentally?


In its expansion of roads and highways when more sustainable alternatives exist. Most of Utah’s population is lined up from Logan to Springville along the Wasatch Front. Rail tracks are already in place. No other U.S. major metropolitan area is poised to be a sustainable community like Salt Lake City is. I’m sorry, but the Legacy Highway compromise was not a victory for sustainability (or the environment).


How will Earth Day look 25 years from now, if population and resource usage trends continue?


Utah’s population in 2030 will be 3-4 million, still centered where the water is'downslope from the mountains. The regional climate will be slightly warmer, especially in winter'which means precipitation will increase slightly but so will temperatures. I’d think we’d be interested in maintaining the regional climate, since license plates proclaiming the “Greatest Flash Floods on Earth” don’t have the same tourist appeal. This relates back to today’s transportation choices.


What’s in your compost?


All nonmeat/nongrease kitchen food waste, all garden waste, all mulch, etc. Every weed is a gift. Let it grow. The idea is to accumulate biological capital in your garden.

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