Over the past several months, Donald Trump has sent strong messages that his future administration will not share values with the outdoor community. Among other things, he has supported those who staged armed occupations of wildlife refuges, denied climate science, and called for more dirty energy and industrial-level resource extraction on public lands.

We cannot possibly know what the future holds for those of us who enjoy recreating in the outdoors, but we are quite certain that the places we love are going to need every ounce of our help in the coming years.

Although a vast majority of the content on Modern Hiker has been and will continue to be helpful articles that inspire you to explore new places and learn about the world around you, we also pledge to continue our tradition of outdoor journalism as the site moves forward. We will remain vigilant and will do our best to keep you informed and engaged about new threats to the outdoors and — hopefully — celebrate our victories as well.

You may be caught in a feeling of helplessness right now, reflexively refreshing your social media feeds for new sources of outrage and commiseration. We urge you not to lose hope and not to let inertia and inaction take over.

There are hundreds of outdoor advocacy and volunteer groups that needed your help before the election and need it even more so now, no matter how you love to enjoy the outdoors or where you love to do it. Donate. Volunteer. Organize a work day. Sign up for mailing lists. Get in touch with your representatives to let them know you value the outdoors (and remember, calling is more effective than emailing). Get involved beyond just enjoying the land and start to become a steward.

Most importantly, get outside as soon as you can. Turn off your phones and take deep breaths. And when you see someone else on the trail, say hello to them. Let people know that even though the national conversation has become outright venomous, the outdoor community is an inclusive one — and our public lands are places that belong to everyone regardless of background, ideology, income, gender, identity, language, skin melanin levels, or beliefs. Every person deserves the chance to responsibly enjoy our protected natural spaces and nobody should feel excluded from that experience.

Ask how they’re doing and listen to their stories. Talk to a hunter. Ask a mountain biker how her ride was or a climber about the problems they tackled. Cheer on a trail runner. Offer a snack to a thru-hiker. Help a family of beginners with advice. Give a friendly wave to an off-roader.

It is through conversations like these that we can welcome newcomers and bridge the divides within our own community. The challenges ahead will be difficult, but by working together we can ensure that our public lands are protected during the next four years and for generations to come.

See you on the trail soon,

Casey Schreiner

Founder and Editor-in-Chief

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Modern Hiker, Author of "Day Hiking Los Angeles," Walking Meditator, Native Plant Enthusiast.

4 Comments

wbtravis5152

wbtravis5152 Jul 8, 2017 19:07

This is a bipartisan issue. Go back and read Bryson's A Walk in the Woods. As for the destruction of our forests, the modern hiker is doing a pretty good job. Leaving trash, cutting switchbacks and taking groups of 90 into Wilderness areas. Yeah, volunteer but not for useless political nonsense, volunteer to patrol and rebuild...something tangible that will make a difference

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markarner Mar 17, 2017 10:03

Hi Casey. I appreciate your concerns about our new President, and what effect his administration will have on our Environment. I have just reviewed your website for the first time, and appreciate your effort immensely. I am interested in the continuing court battle over public access to the Hollywood Sign on Mount Lee, because I am currently engaged in reopening a "permanently closed," but active trail in San Diego County to Mount San Miguel aka: San Miguel Mountain. The City and USFWS have closed the trail, and are issuing $280 citations for anyone who "Trespasses" on the trail. How did Hikers to the Hollywood Hills Sign persuade a Court to keep the trail open to the Public after Homeowners and apparently a Fire District posted Closure Signs? And do you know what Court considered it and when? Thanks, in advance for any information.

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Casey Schreiner Feb 24, 2017 18:02In reply to: Rodney Jones in OC

Hey Rodney - thanks for writing in!

The point of this piece is to encourage people to NOT give into fear, and instead try to bridge the artificial gaps in the outdoor community (between hikers, hunters, cyclists, off-road enthusiasts, etc) and to donate to and volunteer with outdoor groups you like. Not even a single mention of elected officials in here - although I have encouraged that in other posts and many who work in government have gone on record as saying that mail and phone calls are far more effective than emails.

This was written right after the election. We no longer have to wait to see how people have interpreted the message of DT - it's in action already, and it's very much "not good" for public lands or the outdoors.

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Rodney Jones in OC Feb 24, 2017 18:02

I generally support your efforts, but I disagree with you on this message. I apologize for the cliche, to paraphrase Yoda, I sense fear in you. Fear leads to anger... you know the rest. I did not vote for DT, and I don't defend his policy, but I also did not interpret DT's message to mean the things you state. It's ok that we disagree. However I do support your message for people to contact their public officials and express themselves in general - I would add that doing so politely by email is better, than clogging up the phone lines, or in person protests that have potential for morphing into adrenaline violence.

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