National Parks

Adventure Activism, Everyone In A Park, National Forests, National Monuments, National Parks, Public Land, Sierra Club, U.S. Forest Service / 07.10.2022

Every year on my birthday I renew my annual National Park pass. This small monetary investment of $80 provides me with access to hundreds of federally managed recreation areas and historic monuments across the United States. I am truly grateful for a lifetime of joy and adventure in the exploration of our public lands and national heritage sites. To assure their continued protection for years to come I make a gift of a second park pass to someone in our community who can truly use it. This year...

#BlackLivesMatter, Adventure Activism, Alaska, American Rivers, Black Lives Matter, Climate Change, Commentary, Destinations, Diversity, Environmental Journalism, Environmental Protection, Fly Fishing, National Parks, On Assignment / 22.07.2022

This week in Alaska’s Gates of the Arctic National Park, I landed a two and half-foot Northern Pike, the biggest fish I’ve caught in my life. As a small group of anglers, all of African descent, our team on the BlackWaters Expedition was delivered by floatplane to a narrow beach on the banks of the Kobuk River. Led by Chad Brown, founder of the environmental engagement nonprofit Love Is King, this adventure into the least visited of all the national parks aimed to reimagine the face of Arctic exploration...

Black Lives Matter, Books, National Geographic, National Parks, Outdoors For All, PBS / 08.07.2022

Thank you SO much for continuing to follow along on The Joy Trip Project. After 14 seasons of production, I am very grateful for the support and encouragement of readers, viewers and listeners like you. It’s hard to believe that the summer of 2022 is more than half-way through. You’d think that after trek toEverest BaseCamp back in April I’d have enough adventuring for the year. But this weekend I’m heading back to Alaska for a new film project in the Gates of the Arctic National Park. The film...

#BlackLivesMatter, Black In National Parks Week, Black Lives Matter, Diversity, National Geographic, National Parks, Podcast, Public Land, Unhidden / 09.03.2022

A few weeks before his 80th birthday, I had the rare pleasure to speak by phone to the 15th director of the National Park Service Robert Stanton. From his home in Maryland, Mr. Stanton shared with me a personal history of his career as a leading figure in the preservation of public land as well as the enduring legacy of our heritage as a nation. Born in 1940, as Black American Stanton was subjected to the racially focused prohibitions of the Jim Crow era that denied him access...

#BlackLivesMatter, Black Lives Matter, Diversity, National Parks, Podcast, Public Land, Unhidden / 18.02.2022

Long before the National Park Service was established, the geological site commonly known as Mammoth Cave in the state of Kentucky was a popular tourist attraction. Open to the public for guided tours beginning in 1830’s this massive labyrinth of underground caverns and tunnels was first explored by enslaved people whose legacy of stewardship spans more than 5 generations. A Black man named Stephen Bishop lead much of the earliest explorations of the cave system and named many of the most prominent features. An expert on the largest...

#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...