The Super Bowl of Conservation

Ospreys versus Civic-Minded Citizens

Everyone (that we asked) is in agreement. This year’s superbowl will be decided by which team is more in tune with conservation, nature, and the great outdoors.

Now, obviously you’re thinking, “You guys. One team has a formerly endangered, sea-faring bird as its mascot, while the other has, what? A Revolutionary War reenactor? This is a no-brainer!”

Well, conservation is kind of our thing, so we’ve been giving this a lot of thought, and it turns out that when you consider all of the important (according to our made-up criteria) factors, it’s a lot more complicated than a majestic wild raptor versus some dude in a tri-cornered hat.

So complicated, in fact, that even after examining everything we still couldn’t make a confident prediction. Thus, all this past week we’ve been asking you via Facebook: Who will be our conservation Super Bowl champion?

Here are the angles

Who’s got the best trail running through their region? The Seahawks with the Pacific Crest Trail? Or the Patriots with the Appalachian? Strong feelings and a close call here. Pats fans came within inches when they pointed out that the AT’s Appalachian Range has been toughened by several million more years of exposure to the elements, but in the end, pointier scenery prevailed. This one goes to the Seahawks.

Which team’s playing for the coolest whale? State whale of Washington: The KILLER whale. State whale of Massachussetts: The RIGHT whale. This one was tough. Though the critically endangered Right Whale may seem a more potent symbol for the importance of conservation, the Killer Whale, let’s face it, is just more charismatic. Case in point: How many hit movies have been made about Right Whales? So, while the Right Whale needed the win more, the Killer Whale’s killer good looks prevailed. Another one for the Seahawks.

Which team’s playing for the most eco-friendly, sustainable city? While Seattle fans were busy arguing that Seattle should win this one just by virtue of being so Seattle-like, Boston fans pointed out that their city is not only more walkable, but it’s been sustaining itself for nearly 400 years which must mean that they’re doing something right. Right? To the Pats!

Which team’s mascot holds more power as a symbol for conservation? Sure, the story of the osprey and other such majestic raptors is a powerful one: Once driven nearly to extinction by misuse of DDT, now thriving again due to successful conservation efforts. A story like that is bound to inspire many people to get involved. But who’s telling that story? Who’s fighting to ban DDT? Who’s monitoring and protecting these birds as their populations rebound? Engaged citizens, that’s who. Patriots. This one goes to the Pats.

Which team’s playing for the cooler National Park? New England for Acadia? Or Seattle for Mt. Rainier? Pats fans rushed in some initial yardage, pointing out that Acadia has mountains, sea, AND the nation’s earliest sunrise, then nearly won it with the hail mary’d assertion that Maine is literally cooler in year-round temperature than Washington. ‘Hawks fans intercepted, though, noting that the top of Rainier is at least as cold (and therefore at least as cool?) as anywhere in Acadia, plus it can be seen from 55 miles away, which is pretty righteous. ‘Hawks got this one, and with it… THE WIN.

So, there you have it. The Seattle Seahawks are going to win, because according your votes, they’re playing with conservation on their side.