We received some heated letters in response to our spring issue’s combination of apolitical commentary and evidence-based environmental reporting. I’m grateful to the magazine’s editor in chief, Jennifer Wehunt, for printing a few of them over the summer. While I never enjoy seeing words like “insidious” and “absurdity” used as descriptors for our environmental advocacy work, I did appreciate seeing (not for the first time!) that AMC members are ready and willing to use them, sign their names to them, and offer them up for the full membership to evaluate. That’s an action I can respect.
Some of the letters we’ve received since then, printed on the following pages, call up the same level of passion from differently minded writers. Whatever you make of their words, I hope we’re agreed that AMC pride rings throughout the dialogue here, in September, just as it did in June. So much of our power as a membership organization comes from the candor with which we speak to one another.
Our power comes also from how honestly we wear the mantle of our mission, which has been rooted in thoughtful conservation and outdoor recreation since the club’s founding nearly 150 years ago. It’s a mission that bars me, as it should you, from eschewing the best available scientific evidence in favor of a more convenient understanding of our world. It’s a mission that commands me to impress upon people, perhaps especially young people, that there are real solutions to the crises facing our planet. And it’s a mission that we cannot fulfill together without confronting, head-on, those who are working to pull back on our nation’s environmental progress or to threaten our public lands.
With school back in session around our region, this latest issue of AMC Outdoors contains some great topics, including climate education, conservation funding, and how to measure a mountain, among others. Whatever your take on all of these stories, I’ll welcome your letters, your open minds, and your ongoing commitment to treating your fellow members with respect.
See you on the trail,
President & CEO