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Alaska, Commentary, Destinations, New Century Vision, Public Land / 20.07.2016

[caption id="attachment_2063930" align="aligncenter" width="641"] Photo by Carly Harmon[/caption] Ahead in the distance I saw seagulls. The birds swooped and dived over the remains of a butchered whale as we walked along a narrow gravel trail lined with ancient gasoline barrels that rimmed the landing trip. On Barter Island with time to kill before our flight back to Fairbanks, photographer Carly Harmon and I went in search of a rumor near the Inupiat village of Kaktovic at the edge of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. “There was a polar bear sighting...

#BlackLivesMatter, Diversity, Environmental Justice, Madison, New Century Vision / 11.07.2016

My wife Shamane and I enjoy an early morning ritual. Three days a week at 5:45 AM we venture out on to Madison’s Lake Monona to swim. To be more accurate, she swims while I pace stroke a few miles on a standup paddle board. In the hopes of keeping her safe in the choppy waters of this urban lake I provide just a bit of security as we both embrace the grateful privilege of beginning our day together with much needed exercise. I watch out for the...

Alaska, National Parks, New Century Vision, Short Story, Sierra Club, We are the Arctic / 04.07.2016

There on the Arctic tundra I searched my tent frantically for a lighter. Years of wilderness training had taught me the importance of fire, but never before had the need been greater than it was at that moment. Even as the glacial ice melted around me in the heat of an Alaskan summer I shivered in desperate need to turn spark to flame and provide the relief these dire circumstances demanded. Just the day before I had mused without irony how seldom, if ever, I had lit a fire...

Diversity, Magazines, New Century Vision, Outdoor Retailer, SNEWS / 01.07.2016

[caption id="attachment_2063885" align="aligncenter" width="536"] National Park Ranger Shelton Johnson welcomes visitors to Yosemite[/caption] Under my feeth the inflatable stand-up paddling board felt unsteady. The rushing water of the Colorado River took some getting used to as I marveled at the sheer walls of towering sandstone all around me. I feathered the blade of my paddle in sculling strokes to hold my position as the five boats in our party took up their positions behind me and we made ready to get underway. It was the third morning of a 16-day...

Commentary, New Century Vision, We are the Arctic / 21.06.2016

When you think of the Arctic it’s hard to imagine what that really means. The first images that come to mind likely include vast tracts of ice and snow expanding far out into an infinite horizon full of emptiness. Seemingly hostile to all forms life this northernmost sector of our country conjures up thoughts of a desolate wasteland meant to be avoided, even feared. But contrary to popular belief the region along the Alaskan coast of the Arctic Ocean is a diverse and thriving ecosystem. Rich with a wide variety...

Commentary, Diversity, New Century Vision, The Centennial Initiative / 09.06.2016

Like most of us, I have a lot to learn about diversity and inclusion. The very nature of this important work is fraught with more than a few opportunities mistep and tragically contribute to the very circumstances we are striving to overcome. As I am literally packing my bags for the next leg of my current mission I must pause  to express my sincere regret and to apologize for a profound error in judgement. I recently announced the launch of reporting project to explore the merits of efforts to make...