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Black and minority Americans are woefully underrepresented in the conservation and outdoor recreation worlds. Some of our most important environmentalists were people of color and this week we wanted to highlight the conservation contributions of Col. Charles Young.
Born into slavery in Kentucky, Young became the third black American to graduate from West Point and in 1903 served as a Captain in the Cavalry in California. That’s where he received orders to take his troops to Sequoia National Park for the summer where he spent his time turning this newly-commissioned park with the world’s tallest trees into the national treasure it is today.
Additionally, he was the first black National Parks Superintendent, where environmental preservation was at the forefront of his life’s work. In this position, Young ensured the preservation of the great wilderness, and commanded a group of park rangers that became known as the “Buffalo Soldiers.” They kept the park free from poachers and ranchers whose grazing sheep destroyed the parks’ natural habitats. In 2013, Young was recognized as a true American hero, when President Barack Obama used the Antiquities Act to designate Young’s house as the 401st unit of the National Park System, the Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument.
Take a look at this mini-documentary from the National Park Service about Col. Young’s life and important contributions to conservation and our National Park system:
On Saturday, President Trump announced he would nominate Appeals Court Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, and predictably her approach to environmental cases is likely to be quite conservative.
Why This Matters: Environmental cases are likely to be heading to the Supreme Court as many statutes need to be interpreted to deal with today’s environmental challenges.
This week a new study from Oxfam revealed that the world’s richest one percent cause more than double the CO2 emissions of the poorest 50%. Experts believe that if the people who make up the richest 10%* continue to consume at this rate for the next 10 years, climate change could surpass the critical 1.5 […]
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