In this special bonus edition of the Armchair Explorer we are showcasing an episode from one of my favourite travel podcasts: Out There. The episode is called Conservation 2.0, and it's about a subject very close to every outdoor lover's heart: National Parks.
The outdoors is a place for everyone. It’s where we all come from, it’s in our DNA, our blood, it is where we all belong. That’s why we have to think carefully about how we conserve and protect it, which is what this episode is all about. Many of Out There’s shows are first person stories, told directly by the individual … this one’s a little different in that it’s an interview with a really incredible nature writer called David Gessner about his book 'Leave it as it is: A Journey through Theodore Roosevelt’s American Wilderness'
"Leave it as it is" was the rallying cry spoken by Roosevelt at the Grand Canyon, advocating for its preservation. Roosevelt's vision was for an expansion of the national park system and conservation in general. The idea of national parks is widely heralded as one of the greatest in history, and one of the highest expressions of democracy on the planet – to preserve places of incredible awe and beauty that we all own and share equally.
But as amazing as National Parks are, they're not perfect. Much of the land that we preserve was acquired through the expulsion of the native people that had lived there for thousands of years. That’s a huge injustice of course, but it’s also an opportunity, because one way we can rectify that, in part, is by including indigenous practices, passed down for millennia, into the care and preservation of that land. By giving them a say in the preservation of their own heritage.
Let’s find a way to marry contempory environmental science with native environmental wisdom … that’s a new vision for conservation, a vision that might help carry us into the future, into the next epoch of our relationship with nature. It’s a development of Teddy Roosevelts original vision. It’s conservation 2.0.
So, if you like this episode please search up the Out There podcast on your favourite app and hit that subscribe button – or head over to www.outtherepodcast.com, where you'll find a playlist of their favourite episodes, which is a really great place to start. The social media is @outtherepodcast across Instagram and facebook – they post cool stuff and definitely recommend following them too.