While biking through Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument, an experience which was one of the most adventurous of my life, I realized that National Monuments don’t get enough credit. My time spent biking a loop from Grosvenor’s Arch, 160 miles through the Kaiparowits Plateau in Grand Staircase was something that would have been impossible in a National Park; miles upon miles of solitude, free overnight permits to camp anywhere I pleased, and best of all, no pavement. It was glorious, it was WILD.
Yet, this week, Trump announced that he will shrink Bear’s Ears and Grand Staircase Escalante National Monuments, heeding the advice of some of the most dangerous men in Washington: the Utah Senator Orrin Hatch, Representative Rob Bishop, and Ryan Zinke, the Secretary of the Interior: Washington Post Article. These guys are radical in their distrust of the federal government and they are taking these scientifically irreplaceable lands from the citizens of the U.S. and hundreds of sacred sights from Indigenous Americans without consent, likely for fossil fuel extraction which will pollute the air, water, and land in one of America’s finest and already strained landscapes, Southern Utah.
It is OUR job to tell them what’s up. “A Monumental Journey” is how I plan to tell the stories of these National Monuments.
A Monumental Journey
To raise awareness about National Monuments by bikepacking and creatively sharing the journey, the history, beauty, and ecological importance of each region.
There are four terrestrial National Monuments under attack from the Trump Administration; Gold Butte in Nevada, Bear’s Ears, and Grand Staircase Escalante in Utah, and Cascades-Siskiyou in Southern Oregon. (There are also two threatened marine monuments, but I won’t be able to visit those this year).
Through multi-day mountain bike tours, research, and on-the-ground interviews, this project will allow you, the reader, to live vicariously through the adventures, enjoy learning about the character of each landscape, and to see how anyone can go out and enjoy these public lands. They’re ours still, after all.
This blog and any articles or essays I write will shed light on the following topics.
Public lands and threats
Clean Energy Alternatives
- To raise awareness and knowledge of these places and to promote advocacy on their behalf.
- This threat, as it stands, is one of the greatest conservation issues of our time, worse yet; it may be the start of a trend that leads to the disintegration of our public lands and environment in the American West.
- For the kids! I want to give to my kids and future generations clean air, clean water, and places to come alive in the deep Wilderness.
- No one else is doing it!
- For fun, inspiration, and health.
- To develop and share new bikepacking routes on public lands! I love exploring by bike!
The team is being developed but will be a small group of educators, naturalists, writers and photographers who can expertly deliver stories through writing, photography, film, and presentation. We are amateur but enthusiastic mountain bikers, who love to enjoy and protect public lands.
Public Lands Conservation Partners:
This project will inform the public about the importance of the threatened National Monuments and empower them to speak on their behalf. In partnership with advocacy and conservation groups, I hope to create public land supporters and draw on existing networks of land advocates who can come together in support of these places.
The ride is in April, let me know if you want to come!
I’m actively seeking gear sponsorship as I had to borrow most of my stuff for the Grand Staircase Ride. I need media to help me reach peeps, and graphic design and editing work. Please let me know if you’d like to support this project by leaving a comment on this page.
This is what democracy looks like.