Trail running touches many aspects of our lives. There’s our health, our community, and our natural world. Today, my thoughts focus firmly on the natural world as speculation has abruptly shifted to reality with the Trump administration announcing its attempt to slash the size of Bears Ears National Monument, which sits just a couple hours of running from my home. Now, I could sit here in my office and wallow in defeat, but I refuse to do that. Just as when a race gets tough, it’s time to keep pushing forward.
Personally, I’m psyched to have shared the story of my early autumn run to and through Bears Ears NM via the Sierra Club. I’m also stoked to have raised some funds for some of the many organizations leading the fight to protect Bears Ears NM. (Can you give a little?) In the future, I hope to further share the story of my trip both here on iRunFar and elsewhere in hopes of inspiring support of protecting the monument’s amazing cultural and natural resources. However, at the moment, I’d like to draw attention to a couple folks from the trail running world who’ve inspired me to take the action that I have.
Thank you, Luke Nelson, for being an educator and champion for the natural world, both through written storytelling and through in-person talks. I was proud when Luke let us publish the story of his spring visit to Bears Ears and look forward to what he shares via social media (Twitter/Instagram/Facebook). Just this week, I’ve been able to follow along with the Bears Ears protests in Salt Lake City via Luke.
While she’s relatively new to the spotlight, Clare Gallagher holds nothing back in fiercely fighting for the world around her. She’s always sharing important environmental and conservation issues on social media (Twitter/Instagram/Facebook) and, almost as often, how folks like you and I can engage positively on those topics. She also speaks to her own shortcomings, such as recently noting her intent to train closer to home next year. Through it all, Clare speaks her mind. That bravery is also leadership.
Although it’s been some years since she worked there, I’ll always associate Krissy Moehl with her time working at the Conservation Alliance, an outdoor-industry-backed non-profit that supports land conservation on local and broad scales. Today, she continues to advance this ethic through her adventures as a Patagonia athlete, such as the Mile for Mile expedition in Argentina, where she was joined by Jeff Browning and, unsurprisingly, Luke.
Luke, Clare, and Krissy are but a trio of conservation advocates in our midst who leap out in my mind. There are many more out there. I’d love to know which trail runners inspire you on this front, whether locally or globally.
I’ll leave you with some images from the public lands that inspire me around my southern Utah home.