Commentary

Commentary, Diversity, Outdoor Retailer / 11.07.2018

More than 25 years ago I attended the Outdoor Retailer Show for the first time. It was in January of 1992 and I believe that it was in Reno, Nevada. I was 26 years old, just three years out of college, but I had spent much of that time working at the REI store in Berkeley. At the beginning of my career in the outdoor industry I made the rounds doing a variety of jobs ranging from retail to guiding. I even worked teaching classes in wilderness first-aid...

Climate Change, Commentary, Destinations, Environmental Protection, Expedition News, National Geographic, On Assignment, The Adventure Gap, The Arctic / 08.01.2018

Even after many years of adventure travel I still agonize over the purchase of a new piece of equipment. With my finger hovering over the “buy now” button at the Baffin.com web site, I weighed the prospects of full commitment to this latest project. The outlay of serious cash for a pair of three-pin ski boots was the first step in putting together an ambitious kit capable of withstanding the harshest cold-weather conditions on the planet. Five years now after a double hip replacement and well into my...

Commentary, Diversity / 01.01.2018

There’s a moment in public speaking when you know you’ve got them. Someone in the back of the room shakes their head.  Tongues click with disgust. Oh the injustice! A sharp intake of breath from the third row sets the hook as others gasp, right on cue. A grown man wipes a tear from his eye.  Then, at the end, there’s the question I’m so often asked: “What can we do to help?” Over much of the last two years I’ve traveled around the country presenting to audiences on...

Commentary, Diversity, Madison, Nelson Institute, Yosemite / 23.10.2017

Much of the past weekend I spent happily lamenting an embarrassment of excellent choices. It seemed that the third week of October 2017 was an exceptionally good moment in time to explore, discuss and celebrate the emergence of diversity within the environmental conservation movement. There were at least four events across the country that brought together people of color to share their efforts to make the outdoors more welcoming and accessible to a broader cross-section of the American people. Sadly I was only able to attend two of...

#BlackLivesMatter, Commentary / 17.10.2017

As I walked to the coffee shop this morning I noticed a neighbor rolling out an American flag. He was no one I recognized, perhaps he’s new. But with all due respect I made eye contact with a smile. I gave him a friendly nod and said, “good morning”. He seemed to return my greeting with a note of caution and a mumbled “morning”, like a man anticipating an unwelcome confrontation. Without breaking stride I just kept walking and went about my business. As a journalist it’s my job...

Commentary, Diversity, Fly Fishing / 19.09.2017

On my 51st birthday, Chad Brown, a friend and colleague, took me fly fishing on the Clackamas River in the pouring rain. Two days earlier I saw the forecast for showers in the city of Portland, Oregon. It didn’t look good, but I hoped for the best. At 5AM Chad arrived at my hotel with his chocolate lab named Ax. The handsome dog lifted his head for a quick scratch behind his ears as I ignored the bright orange sign on his tactical harness that said, “DO NOT PET”....