Author: James Edward Mills

Business, Diversity / 08.04.2019

Over the weekend I had the wonderful privilege to visit for the first time Cuyahoga Valley National Park. But a canceled flight made for a harrowing day of air travel as my journey to Cleveland, Ohio from Madison, Wisconsin was rerouted through Denver, Colorado. I typically don’t like to fly on the same day that I give a presentation to avoid circumstances exactly like this. Though I had planned to arrive with plenty of time to visit the area and explore a bit, I managed to get to...

Hiking, Ice Age Trail, Madison / 01.04.2019

Lately I’ve been spending a lot of time at home. Most weekends you can find me exploring the Ice Age National Scenic Trail at a variety of different access points, some less than a 20 minute drive from my house in Madison, Wisconsin. Tracing the pathway of a receding glacier from the Pleistocene Epoch, which ended about 11,000 years ago, the IAT spans more than 1,200 miles. It passes through dozens of communities, large and small, across the state of Wisconsin and connects our people with a common...

Aldo Leopold Nature Center, Children In Nature Initiative, Essays, Kids in Nature, Madison / 24.03.2019

When did your love of the outdoors first begin? If you’re anything like me, you don’t remember. Even having grown up in a big city like Los Angeles, California, spending time outside was such a big part of my life that I can’t really say exactly when it all started. My parents made it a priority for me to have regular access to nature through hikes in local parks and camping trips to nearby wilderness areas. From a very young age my life included many opportunities for me...

#BlackLivesMatter, Commentary, Diversity, Outdoors For All, Television / 07.03.2019

This morning I woke up feeling a bit depleted. With a lengthy reporting project turned in yesterday for first round editing and a presentation last night at our local climbing gym I couldn’t seem to shed the weight of heavy thoughts. When you spend your days trying to parse out the disparities of social justice and to engage an emerging population of black and brown folks on the values of environmental conservation it can get to be little overwhelming.  At 5AM with temperatures hovering just a few degrees above...

Alaska, Diversity, Film Review, Native Culture, Natives Outdoors, The Arctic / 27.02.2019

In 2017 the Trump administration opened the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling. The development of this fragile ecosystem for energy extraction puts at risk the culture and livelihood of a community that has called the Alaskan wilderness home for millennia. The Gwitch’in People, who rely upon the unimpeded migration of the porcupine caribou herd, will likely witness not only the destruction of the habitat from which they derive a critical source of food, but also the natural environment that defines their ancestral heritage. Much like efforts...

Interview, LGBTQ, Podcast / 13.02.2019

Just a few days before the 2019 Outdoor Retailer Snow Show in Denver I got my reporting assignments. Among the various topics I was tasked to report on was a human interest profile on a young man attending OR for the first time. Wyn Wiley is a professional photographer from Lincoln, Nebraska. He's also known as the drag queen Pattie Gonia. Photo courtesy Wyn Wiley I’ll be honest I’ve  never interviewed a drag queen before and I have to say that I was a little nervous. I was more than...