Category archives for Conservation

Home on the Ranch: Saddling Up With Hawaii’s Cowboys

I’m glad I didn’t ask the paniolos, or Hawaiian cowboys, to wear flower leis and cowboy hats. That’s a huge pet peeve of theirs. I was in Hawaii for the Waimea Ocean Film Festival, where I was showing Unbranded, a documentary I produced about four guys, included me, who rode 16 wild mustangs across the…

The Best Adventure Films of 2015

This year, we saw adventure films rise above the expected action and adrenaline to tell rich stories of the triumph of the human spirit. With abundant winter storm warnings across the country, what better time to cozy up on the couch with some of the year’s best—after your powder turns and hot tub soaks, of course.…

Watch: See What Inspired National Park Champion Doug Tompkins

Last week outdoor community icon and conservationist Doug Tompkins died in a kayaking accident in Chile (read “Insiders Recount Efforts to Save North Face Founder“). But his legacy and leadership will live on. Watch this tribute to see what inspired his work, then read memories from his friends, including adventurer Jeff Johnson, surfer Dan Malloy, and our…

A Year in the Wilderness: Thanksgiving in the Boundary Waters – Week 9, Post #4

Our 65th day in the Boundary Waters gave us an excuse to celebrate on two accounts. We mused over breakfast that we will be in the Wilderness for 300 more days. More importantly, we were celebrating Thanksgiving in the Wilderness. We have been looking forward to Thanksgiving for several weeks and the stuff sack full…

Our Historic Chance to Protect the Grand Canyon

I’ll never forget the first time I laid eyes on the Grand Canyon. It was late fall of 1974 and I was driving back east to New York after two months of rock climbing and living in Yosemite Valley, California. I had been behind the wheel of my old VW Bug for most of the…

A Year in the Wilderness: Howling Wolves Remind Us We Are Only Visitors – Week 7, Post #3

The lake’s glassy surface beckoned us, so after setting up our camp we slid the canoe back in the water for a quick paddle as the sun set. We pulled our canoe up on shore and were about to continue our camp chores when a pack of wolves broke the silence with a chorus of…

A Year in the Wilderness: Feeling the Pull of the Basswood River – Week 6, Post #2

The Basswood River in Minnesota’s Boundary Water Canoe Area spills over many ledges and squeezes through rock walls where it empties out of Basswood Lake. There is a mile-long portage that bypasses the first mile and a half of river, where most of these rapids lie. Gazing up the river this morning from our campsite…

A Year in the Wilderness: Week 4, Post #1

Yesterday morning I poked my head out of the tent and found a thin, white blanket of snow. It was the first snowfall of the season in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in Northern Minnesota– another milestone in the slow and steady transition between fall and winter. My wife, Amy Freeman, and I have…

Monumental Decisions: What is Wilderness?

The long story of wilderness, national monuments, and how America’s public lands are going to change during the last year of the Obama Administration. In his famed 1862 essay “Walking,” Henry David Thoreau wrote: “In Wildness is the preservation of the World.” That sentiment has resonated through the American consciousness ever since. The legacy of…

Runners See a Different Side of the Roof of Africa

Simon Mtuy knows every inch of the popular hiking routes that snake up the sides of Africa’s highest mountain. A Chagga tribesman who grew up in a small village nestled in the shadows of Mount Kilimanjaro, Mtuy’s first job nearly 35 years ago was to porter equipment for international climbers aspiring to tag the peak’s…