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Narratives Worth Exploring

Capitol Christmas Tree, Charitable Giving, Environmental Protection, Essays, Video / 21.11.2017

By his own admission, Montana sawyer, Pete Tallmadge thought surely someone else would be a  better choice for the job. “When Kirsten Kaiser the 3 Rivers District Ranger called and asked if I would consider being the sawyer for the 2017 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree, I just about said ‘no’,” he told a crowd of neighbors, friends and family near his home in Troy, Montana. “To tell you the truth, I immediately thought of 3 or 4 other sawyers that she should call instead.” But the tall gentle man rose...

Adventure Activism, Diversity, Environmental Protection, Essays, Latino Outdoors, National Monuments, National Parks, Natives Outdoors, Outdoor Recreation, Public Land, Special Events / 06.11.2017

On the last night of the SHIFT Festival in Jackson, Wyoming the organizers hosted an after-party at the Organic Lotus Restaurant. By 1:AM a steady beat of house music still roused a group of at least 30 Millennials to dance away the night well into the morning. Damp with sweat I sidled over to the bar for a drink of water. Even after a double hip replacement it doesn’t take much to get this aging Gen-Xer out on the dance floor. Inspired by the energy and enthusiasm of...

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...

Environmental Justice, Film Review, Food, Gardening, Interview, Podcast, Sustainable Living, Urban Agriculture, Wisconsin / 20.10.2017

It was the summer of 2017 and I was just coming off a major reporting project. I’d spent the better part of a year working on series of stories about the private land owners, farmers and ranchers and their relationship with the natural world. Modern agriculture is such a big deal, because things like soil health and water quality directly impact the nutrition, physical health and wellbeing of people all over the world.  But farms no matter how big or small also have a profound effect on the...

#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...

Alpinist, Climbing, Diversity, In Memoria, On Assignment / 16.10.2017

When my friend Aimee Copp, the director of the Adventure Film Festival invited me to come to Boulder to take part in this wonderful event she asked me, “So James, what are your working on?”. I immediately told her about an exciting story that I’m writing  for Alpinist Magazine about a French climber who died on Aconcagua in 1995. She asked me to appear on stage at the Boulder Theatre to tell this remarkable story.If you’ve read the memoir of the great American climber Lynn Hill you may...