Essays

American Rivers, Environmental Justice, Essays, ThinkOutside / 20.10.2019

Over the last several weeks I’ve enjoyed many opportunities to reimagine the outdoors. I’m not suggesting that the natural world should be seen as landscapes with purple skies or orange grass populated by prancing unicorns ( as cool as that might be). But rather I envision an environment in nature where everyone is not only made to feel welcome, but encouraged to become active participants in its long-term preservation. I want to see everyone outside. Recent reporting projects included stops at the Chattahoochee National Forest in Georgia, the Willamette...

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...

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...

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...

Commentary, Diversity, Essays / 05.02.2019

Thank you to the many people who read, shared and commented on my recent reporting piece for SNEWS on the CEO Outdoor Equity Pledge. I felt compelled to write it and I am sincerely grateful for the support of my editor-in-chief Kristin Hostetter. She really held my feet to the fire, insisting that despite my personal biases and emotions I remain objective and write this story with the balance it demands. As I have received several complements from both sides of this issue I take great pride in...