Month: October 2012

Talbots to describe expedition in Laos

Talbots to describe expedition in Laos

Lee and Marty Talbot will talk about their January-February, 2011, expedition into the Nam Theun Watershed in central Laos at the ECWG Nov. 3 dinner at the Cosmos Club.

The expedition took them into the Nakai Nam Theun National Protected Area in central Laos.

Because of its remote location and rugged topography, parts of the area still have not been visited by Westerners and the area remains remarkably little known.

They travelled by aluminum boat and dugouts canoes up the main rivers into the watershed and spent nearly three weeks visiting eleven of the main villages in this remote area, in part to assess the effectiveness of the government efforts to assist the villagers. The villages are remote and scattered through the roadless watershed area, so these visits required days of hiking, some riding on the backs of motorbikes over mountain trails, and considerable travel by dugout canoes.

The second goal of the expedition was a very remote area high in the Annamite Mountains near the Vietnam border. This is a high forested region with possible grasslands considered to be a priority biodiversity conservation area but essentially unknown.

They proceeded by boat and foot, camping on sand bars, to a very remote village where they obtained village porters.

They then hiked south, a very rigorous endeavor involving following poachers’ trails or going cross country, camping en route. They found the grasslands, and recently abandoned camps that would accomodate over a hundred Vietnamese poachers, large numbers of poachers’ snares and, stores of illegally cut rosewood. They heard poachers’ shots every day.

The cocktail hour will begin at 6 p.m.

Dinners are $50 per person. Reservations must be received before noon on Tuesday, October 30, 2012 by Bill Runyon, 1812 19th St. NW Washington DC 20009, (202) 234-749;  email:

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Frank Power to give talk on John Wesley Powell

Frank Power to give talk on John Wesley Powell

ECWG member Frank R. Power MN’93, will give a luncheon talk on John Wesley Powell at noon on Tuesday, Oct. 16, at Maggiano’s Little Italy restaurant at 5333 Wisconsin Avenue in Chevy Chase.

Power says: “We have regular dinners in the Powell Room at the Cosmos Club, but how much do we know about the man after whom it is named?  John Wesley Powell (1834 – 1902) was a Civil War hero, geologist and explorer of the American West.

“He is famous for the 1869 Powell Geographic Expedition, a three-month river trip down the Green and Colorado rivers, that included the first known passage through the Grand Canyon.

“He served as director of the U.S. Geological Survey from 1881 to 1894. – He was simultaneously Director of the Bureau of American Ethnology that he founded it in 1879. During his government tenure he touched off controversy by advocating strict conservation of water resources in the developing states and territories of the arid West.

“Powell was also a founder of the Cosmos Club and the National Geographic Society as well other major scientific and cultural institutions. Come and learn more about his remarkable life.”

Reservations must be received before noon on Friday, October 12, 2012 by Bill Runyon,1812 19th St. NW, Washington DC 20009; (202) 234-7490