Guest post by Nick Legare, Sales Manager, Native Eyewear
Growing up in Maine, I assumed land owned by the public meant state and national parks. In my youth my family and I spent summers exploring Acadia National Park, enjoying its majestic landscape and many outdoor activities. After all, this was our state, and we had our very own National Park! In high school and college, my friends and I began exploring more of the state, hiking the numerous mountain peaks, canoeing the rivers and lakes, and searching for the perfect wave along Maine’s rocky coastline. To access some of these places we had to ignore the “No Trespassing” signs or stick to the state parks which were often crowded or at full capacity, or offered only limited access.
It was not until my junior year at the University of Utah that I discovered the concept of national public lands. I remember visiting Arches, Canyonlands, and Bryce Canyon National Parks for the first time and wondering, “What defines the boundaries, who owns the surrounding land, why is it not a park or part of the park?” I learned National Parks, along with much of the surrounding BLM and Forest Service land, is managed by the federal government and is accessible to the public for various purposes. After learning this, my friends and I sought out this relatively untapped land for camping, mountain biking, canyoneering, and endless exploration. Public lands are everyone’s personal park governed almost solely by the rules of nature. What an incredible concept!
This year, everything has changed as this land we have taken for granted suddenly has the very real potential of disappearing forever! We need to act and act quickly. The outdoor community shares an appreciation and love for public lands, and in my current position at Native Eyewear, I’m grateful that my team understands the need to be part of the solution, and to be a loud voice in the battle to keep OUR public lands public!
For the month of June, Native Eyewear is donating $5 for every sunglass or goggle sold online to the Outdoor Alliance and their Protect Our Public Lands campaign. All of us at Native believe in protecting our public lands: the places that make us feel we have escaped the daily grind and the places that make us feel alive. We are thankful for the public lands we know like the back of our hands, and for the places we have yet to explore.
As part of the outdoor community, we think of ourselves not just as an eyewear brand, but as a company determined to play a part in protecting our backyard for the good of all. Forest, mountains, rivers, or plains, these public places are central to what it means to be an American, even to be a human on this planet. Regardless of whether you are hiking, biking, climbing, paddling, skiing, fishing or hunting, our public lands provide the canvas on which we create our individual stories. We believe that it is our duty to lend a hand in defending these lands and protecting them for future generations.
My team at Native is proud to play a small part in protecting these places through the products we create. We believe that public lands are for everyone and we hope that you will join us in showing policymakers that these lands should remain protected.