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Narratives Worth Exploring

River Restoration, Special Events / 10.07.2019

At the moment he ascended to the podium, James Rasmussen wasn’t exactly certain what he was going to say. A capacity crowd was gathered in the ballroom of the Westin Cleveland Downtown Hotel for the annual River Rally conference. Among the honorees nominated by his peers to receive a 2019 River Hero Award, he walked up to the microphone with an air of apprehension. James Rasmussen at the River Heroes Award Ceremony “I was more than apprehensive,” Rasmussen told me in an interview. “As of that morning I was going...

Commentary, Essays, Madison, Nelson Institute, Outdoors For All / 03.07.2019

Much of last Friday morning and afternoon I spent cooking and cleaning house. To celebrate the last week of class I invited my students to enjoy a home cooked meal and the shade of my backyard on a beautiful summer’s day. Though it would have been easier to order the same food items as takeout from Chipotle, I’m not about that it. Grilled chicken, beef and vegetables, tortillas, fresh mango salsa, cilantro rice and vegan pinto beans was the least I could do to reward all the hard...

Adventure Activism, Charitable Giving, Commentary, Environmental Protection, Ice Age Trail, Kids in Nature, Madison, National Forests, National Parks, Outdoors For All, Public Land, The Pathways Project, U.S. Forest Service, Urban Parks, Walking, Wisconsin / 03.06.2019

Much of the joy in my life I owe to the generosity of strangers. The advent of social media has merely expanded my capacity for building relationships with people I hardly know. For as long as I can remember I’ve enjoyed the benefits of an existence vulnerable to the whims of fate. With a vague notion of what the future lay in store, I’ve pretty much trusted in the naive belief that everything will just work out for the best. Many of my adventures have been made possible...

American Rivers, Environmental Journalism, National Forests / 16.05.2019

Even the best laid plan can go horribly awry. On this particular occasion a day-hike to the headwaters of the Chattahoochee River was unceremoniously canceled due to a torrential rainstorm that was further exacerbated by a tornado warning. But undeterred by the inclemate weather on an otherwise lovely Sunday morning in late April our small group gathered nonetheless to drown our sorrows at a Midtown Atlanta establishment called Tacos & Tequilas. As they say, when the going gets tough, the tough get going...to brunch.
Commentary, Essays / 01.05.2019

Please join me in a meditation of blissful ignorance. For the next 30 days take the first hour of your morning and avoid all forms of electronic media. From the moment you wake up spend 60 conscious minutes doing anything else. Don’t turn on the radio or the TV. Don’t check your email. Don’t browse the Internet. Don’t update your Facebook status or peruse others’. No Instagram. No Twitter. No Snapchat, if that’s still a thing. Instead, devote your intentions to having a wonderful day. Wash your face. Brush...