Tag Archives: award winning

With Grammy Award Winning Artists, Environmental Nonprofit Celebrates Local Indigenous Leader

PALO ALTO – Green Foothills’ annual Nature’s Inspiration celebration Sunday, September 27 from 5-6:30pm will honor Valentin Lopez, the highly respected Chairman of the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band since 2003. Chairman Lopez is being recognized for his tireless work bringing international awareness to the experience of Indigenous Peoples and his dedication to fighting for sacred lands.

“I am excited to be performing during Green Foothills’ Nature’s Inspiration in celebration of environmental land conservation and Indigineous rights.” Raul Pacheco, founding member of Ozomatli.

“Green Foothills has been a valued partner for the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band in our fight to protect Juristac from a sand and gravel mine,” explains Chairman Lopez. “Juristac is the Tribe’s most sacred site and serves as a major wildlife corridor in Santa Clara County. This is a natural partnership and we are stronger together. I’m honored to accept this award” 

In addition to a live acoustic performance by Grammy award winning Ozomatli’s Raul Pacheco, this virtual event will also feature Indigenous vocalist Calina Lawrence and a special pre-recorded performance by Rock & Roll Hall of Famer, Neil Young who was moved by the fight for Juristac and the work of Chairman Lopez. Chairwoman Charlene Nijmeh of the Muwekma Ohlone Tribe will open the event with a Land Acknowledgement.

“This is a celebration of the people in our community who are fighting for a livable planet. Join us for a few moving performances as we stand in solidarity with local Native American community members. Tickets and sponsorships support the work of Green Foothills and the Amah Mutsun and include a local pie, what’s not to love about that?” said Megan Fluke, Green Foothills Executive Director.

For more information, visit greenfoothills.org/natures-inspiration.

About Green Foothills

Founded in 1962, Green Foothills has worked collaboratively in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties to help protect over 183,000 acres from development, weighing in on over 900 land use issues and 60 ballot measures. According to Executive Director, Megan Fluke, “We envision a resilient region where wildlife thrive, everyone has natural beauty to enjoy, and communities live in balance with nature.” For more information, visit www.greenfoothills.org


The Modern Female Mowgli

“The Law of the Jungle is unforgiving, but also numinously complex. The honeyguide bird leads the badger to the hive so that the strong badger can break open the honey, benefiting the bird and the badger. A boy and an elephant become each other’s keepers. I suppose if these things are possible and permitted, the Law of the Jungle then must have been waiting through the ages for the day that a young girl would become mother to a tiger.”

Inspired by true events, this delightful book is about a young girl in India who rescues a tiger cub and tries desperately to get it to the relatively safe habitat of the jungle. The story begins in a village outside Mangalore, where the 15 year old protagonist, Isha, has been sent to live with her grandparents for the summer. It is here that she encounters the last surviving cub of a Bengal tiger — an encounter that changes her life. The book is a somewhat modern-day retelling of Kipling’s The Jungle Book, where Mowgli is, of course, a girl — the untamable, nature-loving Isha, who is too “wild” for a classroom. With a love for all things forbidden, she is known as “The Saint of Small Things”, and can singlehandedly climb trees, fight village boys and rescue snakes. Animals are more real to her than the people she knows in her life. 

The book is filled with numerous stories and anecdotes about the forest and its amazing animals. It’s a pleasure reading some of the most vivid, picture-perfect descriptions of the splendid beauty of the rolling coffee hills in Chikmagalur and Coorg as well as Kerala’s crystal coast. The awe-inspiring strength of an elephant is illustrated through the story of an old, eleven-foot tall tusker called Ramachandran who is kept in a temple in Kerala. The elephant has killed several people, other elephants, and even a few cows. The book also throws light on the tenuous relationship between tribal people and the Forest department. But most of all, it draws attention to the alarming reality of how so many of our wild animals — particularly tigers — are fast disappearing from the world. 

Naturalist, explorer, author and award-winning wildlife filmmaker Paul Rosolie spent the last decade in the rainforests of India, Brazil, Indonesia and Peru, following wild elephant herds, tracking tigers and documenting the illegal trade in endangered species. He first traveled to India in 2008 on a study program through Ramapo College, when he met his wife, Gowri Varanashi. Subsequently, the couple began working together in their company, Tamandua Expeditions. Rosolie, along with Gowri, went for several jungle adventures and road trips in the stunning forests of south India, where they encountered many of the incredible experiences that lead up to this book. In fact, Thimma’s character in the book has been inspired by a man from a tribal community inside the Nagarhole National Park, who helped Rosolie and his wife explore the forest. Rosolie has also spent time with Adivasi communities who were displaced from their forest homes as well as with communities that still lived in the jungle. 

Someday, I would love to watch a movie adaptation based on this book, which is an absolute treat for all wildlife enthusiasts and lovers of nature!

THE GIRL AND THE TIGER. By Paul Rosolie. Owl Hollow Press, 2019. 342 pages. $15.99. Paperback.

Neha Kirpal is a freelance writer based in Delhi. She is the author of Wanderlust for the Soul, an e-book collection of short stories based on travel in different parts of the world. You can read all her published work on www.nehakirpal.wordpress.com