First, check out the feature I worked on yesterday in today’s O.R. Daily. I worked on the “Question of the Day.”

I woke up early this morning to make sure I got a spot to see the keynote presentation by former CEO of REI and current Secretary of the Interior, Sally Jewell. I’m so glad I was there. She discussed how we can address three main issues facing conservation: climate change, constrained resources, and the generational disconnect of millennials to nature. Frequently referring to Richard Louv’s Last Child in the Woods, she laid out a four tiered program to connect young people to nature:

  1. Play – outside/unstructured environments encourage creativity, among other things
  2. Learn – welcome children to public lands as “nature’s best classroom”
  3. Service – increase volunteers to make more people part of the solution and so they get more invested
  4. Work – engage young people in working on public lands to increase its value to them

In comparison to the CCC’s (Civilian Conservation Corps) quick timeline back in the 1930s, when there were over 1,000 camps going and over 250,000 men employed within four months of introducing the bill, nothing is obviously going to move that quickly through the government these days. But her idea of a “CCC 2.0” involves the need for the private sector to support the many youth conservation corps across the country and get more young people invested in their public lands. She also noted that one thing the government shutdown did last fall was prove how much Americans really do value their public lands.

It was a great speech, and what I also loved was how down to earth Secretary Jewell seemed. She has a good sense of humor, good connection with the audience, and was so happy to be back among her fellow outdoor industry folks.

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I was working for Backpacker today so I had two assignments. I shadowed an editor for two hours this morning to check out new shoes, then had two hours to get my blog post in. Repeat in the afternoon, except my post was about how to gear up to sleep warmly during winter camping. It was a pretty hectic day, not helped by the wifi being swamped and slow.

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I finished in time to wander the floor for almost an hour before closing, grabbing some freebies and prizes. I stopped by Vasque’s booth to say hello and guess who I saw in their display? Chipmunk!

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We left for dinner to find that the inversion has settled fully in. What looks like fog close to the ground is actually smog. I can feel myself getting sick already.

Written by Siren

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