Thursday, December 10, 2015

Alaska Cross Cultural Exploration 2015

The 2015 Alaska Cross Cultural Exploration Crew.

Last August I was blessed to be invited to be one of the mentors for 12 inner city youth and 6 military veterans on  a once and a lifetime opportunity to explore the Kenai Peninsula of Alaska. This trip organized by Soul River Inc., a non-profit based out of Portland, Oregon works tirelessly to get inner city or troubled youth and military veterans out into the therapeutic open spaces of Mother Nature. With the concept of Iron Sharpening Iron, we work with the hardened solider who has come home from conflict and take their leadership skills to mentor the hardened youth who are growing through trial and tribulation in their own lives and bring them together to mentor each other as they are immersed into the great outdoors. Bringing them together help form a bond and understanding of who they are, what they have become and how they can use the enlightenment of the outdoors to find peace and an outlet to their troubles.

With the help of sponsors that included Loop USA, Simms, Rainey Flies, Orvis, Daiichi, US fish and Wildlife and many others, we were able to make this happen.

In 2016, Soul River will once again embark on another great expedition to Alaska and for a lucky few the Arctic Circle. For those of you who would like to donate you can read more here

Today we would like to bring to you a glimpse into what this deployment meant to the participants of this journey into themselves and the outdoors. This group, including myself am forever changed and bonded from this experience into the Alaskan Wilderness. 

Thank you and please support Soul River Inc. 

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Big Victory for the Little Guys

Illustration By: Steve Ravenscraft
Unless you’ve witnessed them form into a giant, intimidating bait-ball, tiny forage fish are easy to miss. But scores of these species – herring, lanternfish, sand lance, saury, silverside, and smelt – have spawned a popular tagline: little fish; big deal.

Forage fish occupy the crucial midpoint of the ocean food web and are preyed upon by many species of seabirds, marine mammals and commercially and recreationally important fish such as salmon, tuna, groundfish and other predators.

This week, these fish and the people who depend on them scored a big win. Here’s what happened:
The Pacific Fishery Management Council, meeting in Vancouver, Washington, agreed to forestall commercial fishing on seven broad groups of forage fish that aren’t yet targeted. The decision means that fishing on these prey species won’t be allowed unless and until the council determines, through a scientific assessment, that any proposed forage fishery won’t harm existing fisheries for predator fish such as salmon or the overall marine ecosystem.

This landmark development recognizes the ecological importance of forage fish to seabirds, marine mammals, and the bigger fish many of us love to catch and eat (or release!).  And the decision by the Council comes after unprecedented public comment from thousands of fishing advocates like you across the West Coast and the nation.

For more on the decision and its implications, check out Paul Shively’s blog on Pew’s website.

What’s next: we’ll need to make sure this great decision turns into action. Stay tuned for more updates via Pew’s Pacific newsletter - sign up on Pew’s Pacific fish conservation page at

Sunday, January 18, 2015