Public Land

National Monuments, National Parks, New Century Vision, Politics, Public Land / 08.05.2018

Within minutes of my flight touching down at McCarran International Airport I felt that unique buzz of kinetic energy. Like a force of nature the city of Las Vegas, Nevada seems to vibrate with the thrum of living creatures writhing in a primeval forest of tall buildings. Throughout an ecosystem whose atmosphere teams with the smell of cigarettes, the sound of slot machines and the fuzzy glow of neon lights, the temperature was relatively cool, even pleasant on this day in early spring. A gentle breeze wafted across the...

Adventure Activism, Diversity, Environmental Protection, Essays, Latino Outdoors, National Monuments, National Parks, Natives Outdoors, Outdoor Recreation, Public Land, Special Events / 06.11.2017

On the last night of the SHIFT Festival in Jackson, Wyoming the organizers hosted an after-party at the Organic Lotus Restaurant. By 1:AM a steady beat of house music still roused a group of at least 30 Millennials to dance away the night well into the morning. Damp with sweat I sidled over to the bar for a drink of water. Even after a double hip replacement it doesn’t take much to get this aging Gen-Xer out on the dance floor. Inspired by the energy and enthusiasm of...

Environmental Protection, National Monuments, Politics, Public Land / 11.06.2017

Hiking shoes in my luggage are a gentle reminder. Get some exercise when traveling, preferably outside. Truthfully, after 4 glasses of red wine the night before and a sumptuous meal of duck confit egg rolls, assorted cheeses and a pork/chicken paella it was all I could do to get out of bed. It should be said that despite my robust physical appearance, I’m a devout glutton. As much as I enjoy spending time in the outdoors I often do so grudgingly, as I struggle with a simple yet...

Commentary, Diversity, Environmental Protection, Environmental Studies, Nelson Institute, Public Land / 08.05.2017

When it comes to discussing complex social issues it’s hard to know where to start. This summer I'm scheduled to teach a course on diversity and inclusion in outdoor recreation called Outdoors For All at the University of Wisconsin Nelson Institute of Environmental Studies. As a linear thinker my first inclination was to begin the class with an  in-depth exploration of the cultural circumstances that got us where we are today, a nation tragically divided alone racial and socio-economic lines. For a variety of different reasons there are...

Environmental Journalism, Environmental Protection, Essays, Private Land, Public Land, Wisconsin / 16.03.2017

When the temperature drops down below 20º often the last thing you want to do is leave the house. But if late winter brings a sudden dump of snowfall along with a crystal clear blue sky and full sunshine maybe outside is exactly where you ought to be. With a new pair of Oboz hiking boots to test out I grabbed my snowshoes to walk a steep section of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail that leads to Gibraltar Rock State Nature Area. The short hike overlooks the farm fields and...

Book Tour, Commentary, Diversity, Environmental Protection, Public Land, The Adventure Gap / 06.02.2017

[dropcap]M[/dropcap]y host Dr. Kelli McMahan seemed to vibrate with enthusiasm. As she drove me from my hotel in Waco, Texas through the campus of Baylor University we watched an endless parade of young people in pursuit of knowledge and higher education. “There is nothing more exciting than life on a college campus,” she said. With obvious delight she smiled and shuttered with the tingling sensation of the very thought. Taking in the scene I couldn’t agree more as we rolled past white marble and red brick buildings teaming with impressionable...