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Leaving the Conservation Lands Foundation

Yesterday was my last day at the Conservation Lands Foundation.

NCSF
Our board and staff on my second day on the job.

In my nearly six years on staff, we quickly built an effective national organization, developed and supported a vibrant network of grassroots advocates across the West, helped set a strong policy vision for system, and elevated the profile of the National Conservation Lands, among many other hard-fought achievements. And while it required a lot of hard work, it’s impossible not to smile deeply when I think back over how far we’ve come; it’s truly been a remarkable ride. I’ve had the privilege of working with some amazing colleagues and partners—most all of whom I now consider friends—on this century’s greatest public lands conservation opportunity…all while having some good fun along the way, too.

Moving on is always bittersweet, but an exciting opportunity also lies ahead that will let me harness and better focus my passion for the Conservation Lands here in Arizona. I’ll have more to announce in the near future.

In the meanwhile, I’m on sabbatical through mid-April, so if you have some free time and want to get together, go for a hike, or take a daytrip, send me a note and get on my calendar.

Happy birthday to the Antiquities Act!

Today is the anniversary of Antiquities Act of 1906. Not many people know much about this law, even though it probably ranks as the most important conservation tool in our nation’s history. Not only did it, for the first time, protect historical and prehistoric structures and artifacts, but it gave the President the authority to designate national monuments, helping to effectively preserve so much of our natural and cultural heritage. Many of these places have since been incorporated into larger national monuments or national parks, and many of them form the basis for the National Conservation Lands.

Continue reading Happy birthday to the Antiquities Act!

Goodbye Lovebug and Shadow

Lovebug & Shadow in moving boxLast month, my two cats, Lovebug and Shadow, were unexpectedly pulled out of my life. I didn’t get a chance to say goodbye. The circumstances surrounding it made it hurt even worse. While I haven’t been able to live with them for awhile now, they were still very important to me and important parts of the only family I’ve had a hand in choosing.

Today is Lovebug’s birthday, and so I am remembering him and Shadow with this post. Continue reading Goodbye Lovebug and Shadow

My #BattlefieldsandBeginnings road trip

15 days. 2,486 miles. 31 new national parks.

In March 2013, I had one of my most productive national park road trips. I called it my #BattlefieldsandBeginnings trip, and it primarily focused on as-yet-unvisited national parks in Virginia, North Carolina, and Maryland. I also snuck in a quick jaunt over the Pennsylvania border to hit Gettysburg and the adjacent Eisenhower National Historic Site.

Continue reading My #BattlefieldsandBeginnings road trip

A partial recap of my #GreatWaters road trip

A twitter recap of my #GreatWaters national park roadtrip* in August 2012. Sadly, I haven’t gotten around to posting the photos yet, or writing a passable summary yet, so this will have to do for now. Enjoy!

*and a shitload of roadside attractions/oddities.

Continue reading A partial recap of my #GreatWaters road trip

Following the life of Abraham Lincoln

In August 2013, I made it to the last two major national park sites dedicated to President Abraham Lincoln. After watching the movie Lincoln in 2013, I thought back on all of the Lincoln-related historical sites I’ve visited. I think it’s a rather comprehensive list, especially as he’s been enshrined in the National Parks.

I’m not certain if it’s a complete list, but it’s not far from one either. Please feel free to use it to complete your own mini-quest of visiting all of the Abraham Lincoln historical sites.

Oh, and add Lincoln, Illinois to the list as well—the site of the strangest Lincoln story I’ve heard and home to the largest Lincoln statute on a covered wagon.

I’ve also been to a few of the seven locations where the famous Lincoln-Douglas debates took place, mostly recently the Jonesboro site, which is memorialized with statues in a lovely city park.