The Outdoors Should be Safe for Everyone

June 1, 2020

There’s the entire history of our country to unpack from the racist violence that’s marked the past few weeks in America. I’m not qualified to do that. But I will say that at a time when the outdoors is for many of us the only refuge, the assault or murder of a jogger, a bird-watcher, or a man walking down the street should be too gruesome for any of us to bear.

I want everyone to be able to enjoy the outdoors safely. Our trails, public lands, rivers, mountains, and oceans are the wonders that make it a joy to be alive. For too long these places have been the bastion of the privileged.

If you can cut through the noise of the world around us, nature is always there, a common denominator even more powerful than our humanity. It holds more diversity than any of us could possibly witness in a lifetime. But the work to protect nature, like so much else, is useless if we can’t first protect one another.

I hope you’ll join me and all of AMC in condemning the racism that lives today at the very forefront of our society. Let’s work now more than ever with love for one another, prioritizing every other person’s well-being as we would our own. Our planet and our one human race depend on it.

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John Judge

Chief Executive Officer, Appalachian Mountain Club