National Forests

#BlackLivesMatter, Black In National Parks Week, Black Lives Matter, Capitol Christmas Tree, Deserts, Diversity, National Forests, National Geographic, National Monuments, National Parks, On Assignment, Public Land, Unhidden, Yosemite / 27.12.2021

A few weeks ago, I received a detailed message from my friend and colleague Shelton Johnson. As an interpretive ranger at Yosemite National Park, he expressed to me his concern for the continued preservation of the stories he shares about the U.S. citizens of African descent who protected and patrolled these public lands more than a century ago, the famed Buffalo Soldiers.“I'll be retiring in a few years, and I'm currently the only permanent African American National Park Ranger in the Sierra Nevada which includes both Yosemite and...

#BlackLivesMatter, Black Lives Matter, Books, Capitol Christmas Tree, Choose Outdoors, Diversity, National Forests, National Geographic, National Monuments, National Parks, Unhidden / 03.12.2021

Earlier this week I met for lunch at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington D.C. with my new editor Allyson Johnson from National Geographic. A few weeks ago we finalized the details of a contract for me to write an ambitious new journal that shares the enduring legacy of Black American history as interpreted by the National Park Service. In part inspired by the Negro Motorist Green-Book published by Victor Hugo Green from 1936 through 1966, this project aims to reveal the hidden stories of our common heritage as citizens...

Capitol Christmas Tree, Choose Outdoors, Joy To America, National Forests, On Assignment, Public Land, U.S. Forest Service / 16.11.2021

This weekend I will be in Washington D.C. to deliver and photograph my seventh U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree. As one of the greatest honors of my life, each year I am tasked to tell the story of the United States Forest Service and its efforts to protect and preserve our natural resources through the harvest and transport of a tall evergreen tree from one of the 154 national forests to our nation’s capital. Known as the People’s Tree this majestic conifer stands as a monument to our shared...

Adventure Activism, Black Lives Matter, Diversity, Environmental Protection, Ice Age Trail, Madison, National Forests, Podcast, Public Land, ReThinkOutside, Wisconsin / 13.01.2021

The Black Men Northwoods Retreat Hey everybody. Happy New Year! I know things seem to be getting off to a rocky start. How’s that for an understatement. But I sincerely believe that by working together we can get past our differences and move forward toward a brighter future. We just need to come up with creative solutions to our many extremely complicated problems. For example, in the spring of 2020 I was asked by the National Forest Foundation to create a storytelling project.  They asked me to create a series...

Capitol Christmas Tree, Choose Outdoors, Environmental Journalism, Joy To America, National Forests, Public Land, U.S. Forest Service / 06.11.2020

On November 5, 2020 members of the United States Forest Service successfully harvested the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree in the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre Gunnison National Forests of Colorado. Despite the tumult of the global COVID-19 Pandemic and a contentious presidential election these dedicated men and women in partnership with corporate sponsors, small private businesses, local government agencies and nonprofit organizations coordinated the complicated task of extracting an 55-foot tall 82- year-old Engleman Spruce Tree for safe transport by truck to Washington D.C. Taken from the GMUG, the ancestral...

Diversity, Essays, Guest Contributor, National Forests, Outdoors For All, Private Land, Public Land, ReThinkOutside / 09.10.2020

I am African-American.  Feels important that I say that up front.  Born in New York city and raised by black parents on land belonging to a wealthy, Jewish family, I was “homeschooled” emotionally and spiritually on a diet of black power, black striving and black possibility.  I often joke with people that I lived with Malcolm X and Muhammad Ali whose presence my father invoked on a regular basis.  My parents, Henry and Rose, grew up in Floyd, Virginia – poor and black with a high school education. ...