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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









Friday, August 11, 2017

Terrible Swift Sword: Philip Sheridan Bio

Terrible Swift Sword is a biography of Phillip Sheridan and paints a complex and times contradictory picture of a man who spent his entire adult life in the U.S. Army. Sheridan started his career as a lieutenant fresh out of West Point chasing Indians near Washington State's Fort Vancouver. It ended as lieutenant general ordering the army to protect Yellowstone National Park. 

During the Civil War, Sheridan along with General Sherman, pioneered total war tactics which led to the destruction of confederate farms and homes and ultimately brought the confederacy to its knees. Sheridan later unleashed total war against the plains Indians, ordering the wholesale slaughter of the buffalo herds. Sheridan believed denying the Indians their means of support would force them into submission and onto reservations. In both the Civil and the Indian wars, total war was likely the key that led to ultimate victory. Some historians believe Sheridan's total war tactics inspired later generations of European generals and led to massive destruction during World Wars I and II.

Sheridan was commanding general of the army in 1886 when the civilian Superintendent of Yellowstone National Park, called upon the army for help managing the park. Yellowstone had been a personal obsession for Sheridan. In 1870, the general ordered an army escort of the first expedition into the area. The following year, he provided an army escort for the Hayden expedition, the first scientific exploration of the park.  Yellowstone would become the world's first national park in 1872 in large part due to these expeditions.

By 1886 however, the park was under siege from hotel developers and railroad barons who pressured congress to reduce restrictions upon development and allow exploitation of the park.  Congress complied with industry wishes and zeroed out the Yellowstone's budget basically leaving the park at the mercy of the developers.  But a little used clause in federal law allowed the park superintendent to call upon the army if ever in need of help protecting the park, which he did.

Sheridan ordered a company of cavalry troops to Yellowstone to patrol the park stamp out trespass and fight wildfires.  And in a most ironic turn, Sheridan ordered the army to protect park wildlife like the bison from poaching. The army would remain at Yellowstone and other parks until 1916 when Congress finally created the National Park Service. Today we enjoy Yellowstone due in large part to the actions of Philip Sheridan.

In the end, Sheridan's stamp on many aspects of American life including how the United State's fights war, its relationship with Native Americans, and it's conservation legacy are well assured.

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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

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

National Park Eclipse Trek



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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