Special Events

Diversity, Millennials, Outdoors For All, Special Events / 06.08.2019

The best parts of a long weekend I spent indulged in the privilege of good friends. When I invited my colleagues José Gonzalez and Carolyn Finney to join me as panelists in a discussion on diversity equity and inclusion at the Summit Series Summer Jam in Eden, Utah I knew we were in for a good time. Twice already in the summer of 2019 we had met to share our expertise before an audience on the importance of creating space in the natural world that is open and...

River Restoration, Special Events / 10.07.2019

At the moment he ascended to the podium, James Rasmussen wasn’t exactly certain what he was going to say. A capacity crowd was gathered in the ballroom of the Westin Cleveland Downtown Hotel for the annual River Rally conference. Among the honorees nominated by his peers to receive a 2019 River Hero Award, he walked up to the microphone with an air of apprehension. James Rasmussen at the River Heroes Award Ceremony “I was more than apprehensive,” Rasmussen told me in an interview. “As of that morning I was going...

Books, Commentary, Diversity, Essays, Madison, Outdoors For All, River Restoration, Special Events, Wisconsin / 08.11.2018

  At the end of October I had the great honor and privilege to host a distinguished guest to the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Author and explorer Eddy L. Harris made a rare appearance on campus to share his experiences paddling the Mississippi River from its source in Lake Itasca, Minnesota to its terminus in the Gulf of Mexico at the City of New Orleans. Depicted in his film “River to the Heart” Eddy paints an intimate portrait of what awaits those willing to venture out into the unknown...

Climbing, Color The Crag, Diversity, Special Events / 23.10.2018

At first I was afraid I’d have to say no. When the organizers of the Color The Crag Climbing Festival reached out to me to be the keynote speaker at their second annual event, I was already heavily booked. I was scheduled to make presentations at the Adventure Film Festival in Boulder and the Society for Wilderness Stewardship Workshop in Gunnison in early October. Hurricane Florence had forced the rescheduling of a photo story sharing project in South Carolina to the week before. And I had promised my...

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...

Capitol Christmas Tree, Charitable Giving, Joy To America, Special Events, U.S. Forest Service / 02.10.2017

Every year the U.S. Forest Service is charged with delivering an 80-foot evergreen tree to the American people to serve as the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree. Chosen from a national forest somewhere in country the tree, commonly called the People's Tree is a symbol of our great national heritage of environmental conservation and preservation. For the past three years it has been my piviledge and honor to accompany the People's tree from the site of its harvest across the country to where it is delivered to the grounds of...