The Biggest Threat to the Outdoors is Not What You Think

Expedition Denali 2

Cli­mate change isn’t the only threat fac­ing your favorite out­door places. Nation­al Parks, wilder­ness areas, pro­tect­ed rivers, BLM bike trails, and your prized ski area are all at greater risk than you might real­ize. And the threat sounds noth­ing short of, well, bor­ing: Legislation.

If, by some crazy hap­pen­stance, a major­i­ty of Amer­i­cans sud­den­ly stopped feel­ing like the out­doors are impor­tant, what’s to keep con­gress from sell­ing Yel­low­stone to the high­est bid­der? Fright­en­ing­ly, this sce­nario is actu­al­ly unfold­ing. By 2019, “minor­i­ty” kids will out­num­ber “major­i­ty” kids, and in this coun­try many peo­ple of col­or just don’t feel wel­come in the great outdoors.

Your bud­dies are always tex­ting, won­der­ing when you might be up for a float or a ski or a hike. But what if social pres­sure was work­ing the oth­er way? What if when you men­tioned ski­ing, your friends all laughed and said, “Stop fronting. We don’t do that.”

Sad­ly, that’s the expe­ri­ence that many peo­ple of col­or have. But this sum­mer a unique team of climbers is head­ed to the roof of North Amer­i­ca to prove the haters wrong.

Expedition Denali 1

In June, nine African-Amer­i­can climber-video­g­ra­phers will set out on Expe­di­tion Denali, a jour­ney to sum­mit the coun­try’s tallest moun­tain in an attempt to build a bridge between urban cul­ture and the outdoors.

You can help the doc­u­men­tar­i­ans share their love of the out­doors with a new gen­er­a­tion by sup­port­ing the expe­di­tion through their Kick­starter page. Donat­ing is easy. Kick them a few bucks and you’ll even earn your­self an “assis­tant asso­ciate pro­duc­er” credit.

Expedition Denali 3