Newsletter Archive

Pres. Lyndon Johnson Signs the Wilderness Act, September 3, 1964

August 31, 2014

Dear CalUWild friends—

Wednesday, September 3, is the official 50th Anniversary of Pres. Johnson’s signing of Wilderness Act (above). There’s a lot going on around the country to mark the occasion.

Two of the largest events in the country are the National 50th Conference, being held in Albuquerque, New Mexico, October 15-19, and Visions of the Wild: Connecting Nature, Culture & Community, next week, Sept. 3-6 in Vallejo, California.

The website for the National Conference says (a bit vaguely) “Early registration extended until at least September,” so there is still time to take advantage of early-bird rates. Note that students, seniors (55 and older), and seasonal agency employees receive a 50% discount on registration. Also, check the lists of associated field trips and trainings on the conference website (extra cost).

I’ve been working with the Forest Service, Vallejo Community Arts Foundation, and many other groups on planning Visions of the Wild. The earthquake that shook the North Bay area last Sunday morning hit Vallejo pretty hard, and that has added a new layer of complexity to our planning this week. That means this Update will be brief. The Festival will be taking place, however, and none of the events has been cancelled. Item 2, below, lists some of the Festival highlights. We hope you’ll be able to attend one or more of the days.

To further celebrate the 50th Anniversary, you can support CalUWild by buying one of these specially-commissioned woodcut posters by Tom Killion. We still have a few left. The posters are printed on heavy paper, measure 18”x24”, and are priced at $10 each, plus a flat $5 shipping for up to 4, the maximum that can be rolled up in a mailing tube. Thanks to everyone who has already placed an order!

As always, we’re grateful to everyone for your efforts to protect what’s left of our Western wildlands and landscapes. Do something special on Wednesday the 3rd, to mark the occasion.

And: September 27 is National Public Lands Day, another occasion worth celebrating!

Best wishes,

1.   Canyonlands National Monument Campaign
          (ACTION ITEM)

2.   Visions of the Wild: Connecting Nature, Culture & Community
          Downtown Vallejo
          September 3-6, 2014

3.   National Parks Traveler‘s “Parkipedia”

4.   Links to Articles and Other Items of Interest


1.   Canyonlands National Monument Campaign
          (ACTION ITEM)

The 50th Anniversary of Canyonlands National Park is rapidly approaching next month, too, but there’s still a little time to contribute a picture of yourself holding a yellow sign urging Pres. Obama to protect the Greater Canyonlands region with a national monument designation. As we’ve been writing the last few months, it’s simple: Download a sign and print it on yellow paper or on white paper. Sign it with your name (if you like), city, and state. Take a picture of yourself holding the sign and email it to

Thanks !!

Here are a few other items of interest (with links) connected to the campaign.

Jim Dabakis, a state senator in Utah and a member of the Utah Commission for the Stewardship of Public Lands, wrote an op-ed piece in the Salt Lake Tribune last week: By compromise or executive order, Greater Canyonlands needs protection

Four short videos made by young people supporting protection for Greater Canyonlands

BYU Students Call for Greater Canyonlands National Monument

Salt Lake City high school students call for Greater Canyonlands National Monument

A Plea for the Greater Canyonlands

Colorado College students call for Greater Canyonlands National Monument

2.   Visions of the Wild: Connecting Nature, Culture & Community
          In Downtown Vallejo
          September 3-6, 2014

Planning started a year ago for a regional 50th Anniversary celebration. Region 5 of the U.S. Forest Service, with headquarters in Vallejo, spearheaded the planning, but a large number of other federal and local government agencies, arts and environmental organizations, local businesses, and individuals joined in. Vallejo is reportedly the most ethnically diverse city in the U.S., and the goal from the beginning was to reflect that diversity in attracting attendees as well as in the choice of speakers, artists, films, music, and youth and family activities. Saturday, September 6 has a full schedule of field trips, too/

Many events are free, though some, such as the keynote speeches, films, and panels, all of which will take place in the Empress Theatre, require passes for admission. Other talks by various authors and will take place at The Hub, and various organizations (CalUWild included) will have displays and information tables set up there.

We’ve tried to keep things as affordable as possible, and there are various options for families, students, single day passes, and more. For a full program and registration information, please go to the Festival website.

Program Highlights

Wednesday, Sept. 3: Wilderness Act Signing Date

Ceremonial Walk for Wilderness, Downtown

Thursday, Sept. 4: History & Politics

Films: Forever Wild and Rebels with a Cause (see article below)

Speakers: Tom Tidwell, Chief, U.S. Forest Service

Mark Harvey, author of Wilderness Forever: Howard Zahniser and the Path to the Wilderness Act and The Wilderness Writings of Howard Zahniser, tells the story of Howard Zahniser, the person most responsible for getting the Wilderness Act through Congress.

Jon Mooallem’s recent book Wild Ones: A Sometimes Dismaying, Weirdly Reassuring Story About Looking at People Looking at Animals in America is a tour through the eccentric cultural history of people and wild animals in America.

Audrey Peterman is the author of Our True Nature and Legacy on the Land. On a 20,000-mile road trip around the country with her husband Frank, the Petermans saw less than a handful of Americans of African, Asian, Hispanic, or Native descent in the national parks and forests, and they determined to do something to change that.

Friday, Sept. 5: Culture & Values

Youth & Family Activities

Panel: Wilderness & Culture—Native American, African-American, Vietnamese, and Hispanic perspectives

Evening Gallery Walk to view special exhibitions

Films: Standing on Sacred Ground: Pilgrims & Tourists, followed by discussion with filmmaker Christopher McLeod and Chief Caleen Sisk of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe. Several short films will also be shown

Saturday, Sept. 6: Spirit & Journey

Field Trips, including 2 Napa River Cruises

Youth & Family Activities

Eco Hip Hop performance and workshop at the JFK Library (see article below)

Films: Mile, Mile & a Half and Walking the Camino: Six Ways to Santiago, followed by discussion with Stephanie Dodaro speaking about her experiences on the Camino and walking California’s El Camino Real.

Panel: Wilderness & Spirituality—Buddhist, Native American, Christian, and Hindu perspectives

Evening Jam, with singers, dancers, choir, and more

Two articles and a letter to the editor appeared in today’s Vallejo Times-Herald

‘Rebels’, other films part of Visions of the Wild festival

Eco hip hop artist part of ‘Visions’

Brenda Crawford, an African-American woman, writes about the Festival: Here comes a unique learning experience

It’s a full schedule, with multiple events often taking place at the same time, but there’s something for everyone.

We’d like to thank the California Wildlands Grassroots Fund for a generous grant to CalUWild in support of the festival.

Bookshop Benicia will be selling books by our featured authors and panelists, as well as a selection of other wilderness and natural history titles, at the Festival Headquarters, 515 Virginia Street in Downtown Vallejo.

We hope you can join us for the celebration, and tell your friends!

3.   National Parks Traveler‘s “Parkipedia”

Here’s a recent piece that appeared in National Parks Traveler that might be of interest.

Explore, and Contribute to, Parkipedia, the First Crowd-Sourced Approach to National Park Guides

Bring us your knowledge of the National Park System, travelers, and grow the Internet’s first-ever crowd-sourced approach to the ultimate national park guides.

Parkipedia has been up and running for some months now, and as a result we’re going to be phasing out our page with the Essential Park Guides. That same content is shifting over to the Parkipedia pages where, with your help, it can grow and be updated swiftly and regularly to reflect changes in lodging and dining, trail conditions, wildlife sightings, and more. This approach negates the need for printed guidebooks that, due to publishing schedules, often carry outdated pricing information and don’t reflect incidents that impact on-the-ground activities in the parks, such as storms like Hurricane Sandy that down trees, washout roads, and shutter parks.

Your knowledge can help us develop the most thorough sections on hiking in the national parks, paddling in the parks, photography in the parks, birding in the parks, and so much more. Have a favorite trail in a favorite park? Add it to the guide and highlight what makes that trail so great. Know where, and when, to look for wildlife through the seasons in the parks? Contribute that knowledge. Are there specific family activities or programs that your kids especially loved? Point them out to others looking for those programs. Which parks are particularly user-friendly for RVers? Let other park travelers know.

Some of the guides already in Parkipedia are mostly complete. Some, such as our latest on Lassen Volcanic National Park, are in various states of construction. Many others need to get off the ground.

There’s no charge to contribute to, and benefit from, Parkipedia. Simply click on the Parkipedia button on the menu bar, read the introduction to the guide, and dive in!

4.   Links to Articles and Other Items of Interest

If a link is broken or otherwise inaccessible, please send me an email, and I’ll fix it or send you a PDF copy.

New York Times articles

An op-ed piece: A Cathedral Under Siege: Two Development Projects Threaten the Grand Canyon

An article on thrillseekers at Corona Arch, near Moab, Utah

A column by Nicholas Kristof: Go Take a Hike!

An op-ed piece by Timothy Egan: New West Renaissance

An article about Native Americans working to restore wildlife to ancestral lands

An article on Giant Sequoias and climate change

An op-ed piece: Preserving Biocultural Diversity

An op-ed piece on the futility of a beach restoration project by the Army Corps of Engineers

An op-ed piece on birds and human resilience

An op-ed piece in High Country News: Wilderness at 50: A place to be free, a place to hide

Racing through nature, an op-ed piece about a recent speed record on the Pacific Crest Trail and the relationship to wilderness, including comments by CalUWild friend, filmmaker John de Graaf

A Los Angeles Times article: BLM, local law enforcement tensions near breaking point in the West

An op-ed piece—Protect San Gabriel Mountains, rivers—supporting Rep. Judy Chu’s legislation to create a San Gabriel Mountains National Recreation area, which we wrote about in June

And a last laugh: The Colorado Republican Party used pictures of Utah to promote itself …

Note: We’ll resume our links to the Park Service Wilderness and Forest Service Restoration video series next month.

As always, if you ever have questions, suggestions, critiques, or wish to change your e-mail address or unsubscribe, all you have to do is send an email. For information on making a contribution to CalUWild, click here. “Like” CalUWild on Facebook.