National Parks

Adventure Activism, Adventure Media Review, Environmental Justice, Environmental Protection, Film Review, National Parks / 08.02.2012

The beauty and grandeur for our national parks may best be witnessed through the eyes of those visiting for the first time. And in a new film by Amy Marquis a vision of Yosemite is revealed to the hearts and minds of people absent not just in their own lifetimes but for many generations. ‘The Way Home: Returning to the National Parks’ follows a brief but compelling journey of African-American seniors who came to claim their rightful place among the millions of citizens who cherish these sacred lands...

#ORSummer, Diversity, Environmental Justice, National Parks, Outdoor Retailer, Podcast, Special Events, Summer, Yosemite / 10.08.2011

For those of us who spend a great deal of time outdoors it’s hard to believe that there are many of those who don’t. Especially when it comes to our national parks there is an entire segment of the United States population, natural born citizens who seldom if ever visit. This is particularly true among people of color. African-Americans, Hispanics and other ethnic minorities spend far less time in nature than their white counterparts. And in a shifting demographic where minorities will soon become the majority there’s rising concern throughout the conservation movement that one day in the not so distant future most U.S. citizens will have no personal relationship with or affinity for the natural world. This concern is expressed most eloquently by National Park Ranger Shelton Johnson. The only permanent African-American ranger at Yosemite National Park his mission is to share with audiences, black and white, lessons of stewardship that illustrate the bond with nature that is every U.S. citizen’s birth rite. An interpretive ranger that tells the story of the Buffalo Soldiers, African-American cavalrymen who projected Yosemite at the turn of last century, Johnson puts into context the importance of wilderness not merely as a point of national pride but an intrinsic value of what it mean to be human.
Adventure Activism, Adventure Media Review, Diversity, Environmental Justice, Film preview, National Parks, PBS / 18.05.2011

Travel is an event of transformation. In 1961 a long bus ride from Washington D.C. to New Orleans changed the world forever. But the PBS American Experience documentary “The Freedom Riders” will likely do little to alter your perspective of a journey upon the open road. Instead I hope that it will open your awareness to the fear and vulnerability a conspicuous minority will face even today while traveling and exposed to the hostility of an entitled majority.

Destinations, Environmental Protection, Interview, National Parks, PBS, Podcast, Television, Yosemite / 19.04.2011

01 Lee Stetson 1 Yosemite Valley California, president day: I’m walking with my recorder along a wooded path with a long bearded man wearing period clothing circa 1890, a tweed coat, a wool vest with a red pocket square and wide brimmed hat. Ahead of us is Yosemite Falls, a massive flowage of water running white and fast, churning with melted snow from the high country upstream. The man describes a fanciful vision of what we see. "Can you imagine? Can you imagine if in the midst of its headlong descent with all this whirling fairy springtime spray and those rushing comet tails that the fall was suddenly frozen solid and then carried bodily out into the middle of the valley that we might go around it and see it from all sides in the sunshine,” he says. “Oh was a show it would make. This colossal white pillar half a mile tall adorned with airy flowing drapery as if chiseled out of white marble.” Who better with whom to tour one of America’s greatest National Parks than the man himself John Muir. As if transported back in time I had the rare opportunity to get his impressions on Yosemite today.
Adventure Media Review, Environmental Protection, National Parks, PBS, Television, Yosemite / 18.04.2011

The idea of wilderness conservation would seem to be a foregone conclusion. But at the turn of the last century private interests of corporate greed may well have developed the wild and scenic places we enjoy today well out of existence. Prized then for their vast resources of timber, fresh water and minerals these lands are valued now more for their intrinsic beauty and awe-inspiring tranquility. Had it not been for the passionate and articulate voice of a Scottish-American from Wisconsin our system of National Parks and Conservation Areas may have never been established. John Muir will long be remembered as the founder of the Sierra Club and a great advocate for the protection of the natural world. A new PBS American Masters documentary of his life tells the story of early experiences that formed his character to become the man we know today. Directed by Catherine Tatage John Muir in the New World provides the back-story that details many of the little known influences of his upbringing that inspired him to venture west and explore what remained of the North American frontier.