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Saturday, November 18, 2017

It's My Birthday. Let's help the National Parks!

My birthday is fast approaching and for this one I'd like to take the opportunity to raise money for the
. The Coalition's mission is to advocate for the protection of our national parks.
Coalition to Protect America's National Parks

I've created a facebook fundraiser with a goal of  raising $500 dollars.  I'll match that money to double the gift to a $1000.  Can you help me reach my goal? The fundraiser ends in two weeks, so if you can, make a donation today!  To kick in, click here.

Thanks,

Sean

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Sean Smith is an award winning conservationist and author. He is a former National Park Ranger at Yellowstone, Glacier, and the North Cascades. He is a TEDx speaker, and private pilot. He graduated from the University of Washington in 1989 with a degree in Political Science. He got his master's in Natural Resources Management from Central Washington University in 1996. He currently runs Washington State's efforts to reduce and eliminate toxic chemicals from consumer products and serves as the Mayor Pro Tem of Covington.

He has been writing stories and books since he was a child and currently writes national park thrillers from the shadow of Mount Rainier.

All his novels can be found here: Mr. Sean D Smith

Sunday, November 5, 2017

What does National Bison Day say about us?

It's national bison day, an annual celebration of the historic, cultural, biological, and economic value American bison contribute to the United States.

For tens of thousands of years, long before European migrants settled on the American continent, Bison were played a pivotal role in the central plains ecosystem.  Once numbering in the tens of millions, bison herds stretched from the Appalachians in the east to the Rocky mountains in the west and from the Gulf of Mexico to Alberta Canada.  Bison were a prey species for wolves and grizzly bears. They also served as one of the central sources of survival for the plains Indians.

Through a combination of activities such as sport and market hunting, as well as, the US Army's policy of killing bison to deprive plains Indians of their main food source, bison were nearly removed from the American continent.

In 1902 the US Army was in charge of big western parks like Yellowstone.  In an ironic twist, the Army at Yellowstone recognized the Bison's dire condition and began active measures to restore the herd. Roughly 2 dozen bison were purchase from private farms and brought to Yellowstone.  Today the park's herd has upwards of 5 thousands animals. It's an encouraging recovery story.

The Department of Interior and the National Park Service both recognize the symbolic significance bison play in our nation's history and have prominently display the animal on the department's seal and the agency's badges.  The animal is there to remind these government entities that wildlife such as bison are a key park of wild places.  If we can make room for animals like bison, we just might be able to protect the other things like clean air and water, natural quiet, and night skies.  All these things are important to creating a country and world that can sustain life.

I had a number of opportunities to work with wild bison most notably in Yellowstone.  As a ranger I had to keep visitors and bison separated in order to protect both.  While working with Bluewater Network, I helped draft rules that protect bison from snowmobile harassment. 

It's a priority of my wife and me to introduce my kids to some of the world's most wild places. Having them say cool while being surround by a snorting bison  is one of our highlight experiences.

Protecting and passing along a sustainable Bison herd says more than just humans can protect a species. Rather it says that we can correct past mistakes and pass onto future generations a better planet.

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Sean Smith is an award winning conservationist and author. He is a former National Park Ranger at Yellowstone, Glacier, and the North Cascades. He is a TEDx speaker, and private pilot. He graduated from the University of Washington in 1989 with a degree in Political Science. He got his master's in Natural Resources Management from Central Washington University in 1996. He currently runs Washington State's efforts to reduce and eliminate toxic chemicals from consumer products and serves as the Mayor Pro Tem of Covington.

He has been writing stories and books since he was a child and currently writes national park thrillers from the shadow of Mount Rainier.

All his novels can be found here: Mr. Sean D Smith





Thursday, October 19, 2017

More than 350 Current and Former Rangers Express Support for National Monuments

Bears Ears National Monument ~ US Forest Service
I am proud to add my name to more than 350 national park service professionals who sent a letter to Department of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke supporting America's national monuments.  These current and former park rangers also expressed their disappointment over the Secretaries call to review recent monument designations.

Under the Antiquities Act, the president has the authority to designate national monuments out of lands and resources owned by the federal government.  Many of America's national parks like the Grand Canyon were first set aside for protection by the presidents under the Antiquities Act.

One of the Trump administration's first action was to order a review of 22 national monuments established since 1996, despite apparently no public demand for a review, nor any evidence to support it.

The park professionals are asking the Department of Interior to support our national monuments and reconsider the review.

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Sean Smith is an award winning conservationist and author. He is a former National Park Ranger at Yellowstone, Glacier, and the North Cascades. He is a TEDx speaker, and private pilot. He graduated from the University of Washington in 1989 with a degree in Political Science. He got his master's in Natural Resources Management from Central Washington University in 1996. He currently runs Washington State's efforts to reduce and eliminate toxic chemicals from consumer products and serves as the Mayor Pro Tem of Covington.

He has been writing stories and books since he was a child and currently writes national park thrillers from the shadow of Mount Rainier.

All his novels can be found here: Mr. Sean D Smith


Friday, September 1, 2017

Former Rangers Oppose Oil and Gas Development Near National Parks

Oil and Gas Development on federal lands NIOSH
I'm proud to lend my name to more than 350 former national park personnel who sent a letter to Department of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke opposing oil and gas development near national parks. Led by the Coalition to Protect National Parks, the letter raises concern and voices opposition to the growing number oil and gas proposals sited around national parks such as Glacier, the Grand Canyon, and Zion.

The letter points out that process for approving these new oil and gas permits is often rushed and with little or no consultation with the National Park Service.  Oil and Gas development can negatively impact air and water quality, degrade wildlife habitat, and destroy scenic vistas.  The national parks represent less than 5% of of the United States land mass leaving plenty of more suitable places to explore for fossil fuels.

As such signatories include superintendents, wildlife biologists, law enforcement rangers, resource managers, and front line rangers are asking the Department of Interior to avoid issuing oil and gas leases near national parks.

To add your voice to those of these rangers, please send a note to the DOI. Emails can be sent by clicking here.

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Sean Smith is an award winning conservationist and author. He is a former National Park Ranger at Yellowstone, Glacier, and the North Cascades. He is a TEDx speaker, and private pilot. He graduated from the University of Washington in 1989 with a degree in Political Science. He got his master's in Natural Resources Management from Central Washington University in 1996. He currently runs Washington State's efforts to reduce and eliminate toxic chemicals from consumer products and serves as the Mayor Pro Tem of Covington.

He has been writing stories and books since he was a child and currently writes national park thrillers from the shadow of Mount Rainier.

All his novels can be found here: Mr. Sean D Smith


Sunday, August 13, 2017

Game of Thrones Park Posters

Game of Thrones is one of television's hottest shows.  It's a fantasy about power politics, warfare, and palace intrigue over capturing the Iron Throne. The show's action takes place on the continents of Westeros and Essos and is inhabited with dragons, zombies, witches, wizards, kings, queens, giants, armies, navies, great houses, and countless lesser houses. The landscape upon which Game of Thrones takes place is also just as varied as its characters with huge desserts, tall mountains, wide seas, deep forests, and urban and rural settings.  
 
Like my Star Wars Park Posters found here, here is a mash up of two highly popular aspects of pop culture, Game of Thrones and National Parks.
 
What do you think?  What other GOT posters would you like to see?
 

 


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Sean Smith is an award winning conservationist and author. He is a former National Park Ranger at Yellowstone, a TEDx speaker, and private pilot. He graduated from the University of Washington in 1989 with a degree in Political Science. He got his master's in Natural Resources Management from Central Washington University in 1996. He currently runs Washington State's efforts to reduce and eliminate toxic chemicals from consumer products and serves as the Mayor Pro Tem of Covington.

He has been writing stories and books since he was a child and currently writes national park thrillers from the shadow of Mount Rainier.

All his novels can be found here: Mr. Sean D Smith