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Help me report on the North American deserts, and I’ll give you a story a week on the continent’s most intact, most threatened, and most biologically diverse ecosystems.

Back this work
*This project is live and producing stories.
At 50 backers Chris Clarke is providing sustainable reporting you won't get anywhere else.

Here’s what you’ll get:

  • One original story a week, on threats facing the desert.

  • Exclusive interactions with me in BEACON discussion forums.

  • Access to every story, by every writer on BEACON.

  • My top-level backers will get a “Desert Defender” T-shirt in a size of their choice, courtesy of the folks at BEACON.

America’s deserts are under assault.

Long considered barren and empty, useless for anything but nuclear testing and toxic waste dumping, the arid lands of North America have long been spared the overwhelming development visited on places like the Great Plains’ grasslands and the West Coast’s old growth forests.

But the deserts aren’t barren. They’re not empty. The North American deserts have their own rich biological diversity, and a rich cultural history as well. North America’s deserts make up almost 800,000 square miles of largely intact habitat.


But because they’re seen as barren, our deserts are targeted for the kinds of developments that wouldn’t fly in more heavily populated areas, like landfills and sewage sludge dumps. And as our society confronts its contributions to climate change, the desert is increasingly offered up as a sacrifice so that people who live elsewhere can go “green” without rethinking their lifestyles.

The landscapes that are the soul of North America are being threatened.

With your help, I’ll report on those threats – and on the unique natural and cultural aspects of the desert that are so very worth preserving.

You? Add your name to the list →

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Chris Clarke BIOGRAPHY

I’ve been reporting on Western environmental issues since the late 1980s, at first for local grassroots environmental publications and then branching into the mainstream. My work has received an Utne Alternative Press Award, and a respectable showing in the Advocacy Journalism section of the 2013 Los Angeles Press Club Awards.

Aside from publications I’ve edited, including the award-winning Earth Island Journal, my work has appeared in Orion, Camas, Bay Nature, California Wild, the New Internationalist, and about thirty daily papers nationwide. I write about 500 pieces a year for Los Angeles’ KCET, the nation’s largest independent public television station.

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Stories about Defending the Desert need to be told

Help Chris Clarke bring them to BEACON. At 50 backers, Chris Clarke can provide sustainable reporting on the topic you won't get anywhere else.

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