Migrating to Huffington Post!

Hello dear friend!


It has been great to connect with you on this venue for lo these many years around our mutual interests - our national parks and other publicly owned lands totaling almost 600 million acres. These lands are probably more jeopardized now than any other time in the 20 years I've known them, with current congressional 'leaders' vying to strip our federal treasury of lands already protected, and presidential candidates targeting the federal workforce that helps protect them.


The newly-discovered Kepler-425b (r) is roughly 60 percent larger than Earth, and is "the closest thing we have to another place that somebody else might call home."


So it is my great pleasure to share that I am privileged to have a blog on the Huffington Post platform, exponentially increasing the number of people I can reach. As a result I'm migrating from this forum, and invite you to follow me there by clicking on today's post, In One Month: A New Earth; Shots from Pluto & A Missing Sun.


In this article, I share:


"I'm convinced that the solution to many of our problems resides in our National Park System which represents the touchstone of reality in an age of "spin." From an eternal standpoint the parks show us what was here billions of years before us, how our planet has evolved, and they remind us that we dance on this stage only briefly.


"Ecologically, they contain large expanses of greenery that buffer us against climate change. Socially, they show us how ridiculous we are proposing such things as internment of Muslims when Manzanar and Minidoka National Historic Sites where Americans of Japanese ancestry were interned in WWII illustrate why internment is an indelible blot on our national record, and never should be repeated. 


"Even more recently, they show us how scurrilous race prejudice is when it can raise its ugly head even in a place as magnificent as Yosemite National Park, where four  African American PhDs were treated so shabbily that the entire Park Service family must surely feel embarrassed at the conduct of their peers.


I saw this gorgeous expanse of Glacier National Park in Montana near the turn of the 21st Century. The 3000-acre fire in the park could change that. NPS photo.

The callenge for the Park Service and public land management agencies and the non-governmental organizations that support them is the apparent inability to see non-white Americans as a viable part of the conservation sector. Just yesterday, talking with a new friend from the National Park Service, I mentioned that, for example, the NPS frequently misses opportunities to show diversity within their ranks and send the message they're inclusive.


Our beloved friend and planetarium director Derek Demeter captured this image of our Milky Way Galaxy at Dry Tortugas National Park, FL. "Island in the Cosmos" will be featured in the International Dark Sky 2016 Calendar!

 I pointed to two recent examples, one on CNN with Morgan Spurlock, and one on Sunday Morning on CBS featuring synchronous fireflies in Great Smoky Mountains. Both of these segments got a ton of viewers and succeeded in reinforcing the idea that NPS employees are only older white people as there was not an ethnically diverse or young person in sight.

 "Well we have so few of them," she said " I don't see how we could get a person of color in every program..."


"You're making my point," I said. "See how you immediately went to the idea that it's a problem? First of all I didn't say you must do it at all times , though that's of course desirable. Secondly, the Superintendent at Great Smoky Mountains is black so all it would take is a bit of awareness about public relations to include him. Thirdly the other piece I mentioned was filmed in DC where there are many Black and Hispanic park rangers who could be shown along with Jon Jarvis, who represents one demographic..."

The time is so dire that it's urgent for green 'leaders' to stop looking at "minorities" as a problem they just can't crack and begin to see us as a key part of the answer,  as we represent large numbers of constituents and dollars and influence and political clout.

 Each one of these young people is a graduate of a Historically Black College and University with Masters degrees, looking to the Park Service and public lands for career opportunities.


Instead of complaining about the dark, it's better to light a candle. So I'm transmuting the deep disappointment in 'leadership' that remains frozen in inertia while the national conversation is becoming more belligerent and non-white people are being brutalized and killed by officials, into a vision of emerging leadership.


Many of the young people picture above are part of Greening Youth Foundation's Historically Black Colleges & Universities Initiative already have their Masters degrees, some are pursuing PhDs, and all are agog and ready to take on opportunities in the national parks that they never knew existed before. Kudos to our www.delnsb.com speakers Angelou and James Ezeilo, founders of Greening Youth.


PLEASE follow me at Huffington Post to stay connected with the effort; contact us at www.delnsb.com or call us at 404-432-2839 and put us to work! 

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