National Parks

#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...

#BlackLivesMatter, Black Lives Matter, Commentary, Diversity, National Monuments, National Parks, Outdoors For All, Public Land, Yosemite / 04.10.2021

Long before the National Parks were established in 1916, Black Americans men and women worked tirelessly to preserve the public lands that many of us today deem sacred. Though directly engaged as combatants in the Plains Wars that displaced Native Americans for the sake of westward expansion, people of African descent, many of whom toiled under the oppressive yoke of slavery, also cherished the sweeping landscapes and natural settings where we now visit for recreation and solace. That enduring legacy of environmental stewardship continues in the present through...

#BlackLivesMatter, Black Lives Matter, Diversity, Ice Age Trail, Magazines, National Parks, Sierra Club, Winter, Wisconsin / 07.03.2021

In and of itself, the journey across Wisconsin’s Ice Age National Scenic Hiking Trail is a monumental undertaking. But the 1,200-mile walk from Potawatomi State Park, on the shores of Lake Michigan, to the St. Croix River at the Minnesota border is made all the more daunting by the deep snow and frigid temperatures of a Wisconsin winter. Despite the hazards posed by prolonged exposure, thru-hiker Emily Ford, who set out from the eastern terminus in January, remains determined to complete the almost-three-month-long trek. If she completes her journey,...

#BlackLivesMatter, Black In National Parks Week, Black Lives Matter, Book Review, Books, Diversity, Interview, National Parks, PBS, Podcast, The Adventure Gap, Yosemite / 05.03.2021

Even though we might be seeing the back end of the global Covid-19 Pandemic many of us are still stuck at home wading through endless meetings over Zoom and other teleconferencing platforms. With the hopes of creating a little community spirit and to encourage folks out there to step away from their screens and maybe crack open a book instead, I started a little group called the Joy Trip Reading Project. Each month we’re taking a deep dive into stories of primarily Black authors whose work centers around...

#BlackLivesMatter, Black Lives Matter, Book Review, Books, Diversity, National Parks, Nelson Institute, The Joy Trip Reading Project, Yosemite / 22.02.2021

Like much of the viewing public it was through the documentary film, The National Parks: America’s Best Idea, that I was first introduced to Yosemite National Park Ranger Shelton Johnson. As a principal character in the film he shares much of his own love and passion for the outdoors as well as the history of these wild places. It is these compelling narratives that help to ground modern people in the present to the land that they love. This connection to the past through the power of storytelling...