Caught in the center of an American political maelstrom, our forests, native animals, and protected lands are akin to that of a child in a violent divorce.  Major power plays by political parties are trying to strip our lands of their animals, green sanctuaries, and for most of us, the protected playgrounds that we shepherd.

It is my hope that these sublime treasures our lands have to offer–native wolves, gushing geysers, surly bears, and even chossy red rock, will not go quietly into the night as many of our other traditions seem to be doing.

For in the this crazy whirlwind, I find solace in these animals and places. They are the only sane place left for me in this Maze of the hectic unknown.

So with that, I write a public thank you to those that have contributed to this land’s national treasures with a poem:

“The Mountains are calling 
And I must go
Fresh air, towering redwoods, and wild animals enthrall
For when my day to day routine tells me “no”
Keeping my spirits depressed and low
That’s when the mountains call
Giving me the gall
To take a break from the status quo
To watch the beautiful scenes nature has to show 
Visions of Yosemite, The Everglades, and more 
Dance in my mind as I rise from my chair,
and run desperately out the door
Out of that air conditioned building, I must go
As John Muir’s words ring out loud but low–
“The Mountains are calling 
And I must go


My heart swells with gratitude for the following people:

-John Muir who began the Sierra Club, an organization still thriving today on the goodwill of like minded people

-Former President Theodore Roosevelt for establishing the Antiquities Act

-Former President Woodrow Wilson for signing the National Park service of 1916

-FDR for setting aside the most land up until recently

-Former President Jimmy Carter for following suit

-Former President Barack Obama for setting aside the most land in the history of presidents

-The National Park Service Employees for becoming stewards of the land and political leaders in this time of uncertainty

-Celebrities who have voiced their concern for global climate change

-Professional athletes who have taken a political stance on protecting our lands

-Outdoor companies who have refused to sell their product in states that combat the morals of outdoor stewardship

Without you all, my favorite places would not be possible. I feel an immense amount of privilege to have lived both after and during a time wherein your influence has contributed to this cause. May the rest of us hope to follow in your footsteps to care for the things we value most.

One of my favorite places in Bear Valley National Wildlife Refuge–Mosquito Lake