Gabrielle “Gabby” Dickerson doesn’t fit traditional stereotypes. She is an African-American rock climber and outdoor adventurer who lives in decidedly non-outdoorsy Baltimore, MD. She is a social media influencer with more than 18,000 Instagram followers and an athlete ambassador for brands like Marmot and Dueter, while also speaking out about racism, lack of diversity, and sexism in outdoor spaces. She teaches climbing at a Baltimore climbing gym and she is a Cybersecurity and IT Compliance engineer pursuing a master’s degree in the field.
Admiralty Island is also renowned for its old-growth forest, salmon runs and healthy brown bear population: its Tlingit name, Kootznoowoo, translates as Fortress of the Bears, and refers to the 1,600 brown bears populating the million-acre island. The Angoon YCC has been the first job most of the youth have ever had, not surprising in a rural area with few employment opportunities, and students have shared that they used their paychecks to help support their families.
All this hustle and bustle in the Tahoe region stems from a nearly $13 million grant awarded to the National Forest Foundation. The funding, from the California Climate Investment Forest Health program, is the largest NFF has ever received, according to the organization’s President and CEO Mary Mitsos. An additional $5.2 million in matching funds from a variety of private and public sources brings the total project value to roughly $18 million, she said.
Whether it’s pouring rain, dumping snow, or a bluebird day, something about a rustic shelter surrounded by nature entices wanderlust to the nth degree. National Forests across the country have numerous cabins, lookout towers, and huts to explore, but some National Forests boast intricate hut-to-hut systems connected by hiking, biking and cross-country ski trails. While the topography, time zones and seasonal attractions differ between these National Forests, their hut-to-hut systems share the same wild sense of exploration.
Puerto Ricans have a strong and intimate connection to the El Yunque National Forest not only for its vibrant forest ecosystems, diverse native species and abundant recreation opportunities, but also because of its geography.