1 epic road trip, 2 minutes of your time, and KEEN’s quest to protect 3 million acres

Author: Steven Shaw
Date: 07.29.15

PORTLAND -  KEEN is famous for their incredibly comfy shoes and sandals. We here at TrailMob can confidently say such such things as we have owned and thrashed many a pair since their 2003 founding. Over the past decade KEEN has gone from small start-up to footwear giant with a reputation for quality and durability. Now the company is taking on an even bigger task than protecting your toes… protecting our nation’s unspoiled treasures with the launch of its aptly named Live Monumental campaign. With a pretty sweet bright yellow RV, KEEN is roadtripping across the United States to “celebrate the places we play and to advocate for new national monument designations” - a truly monumental task.

The Live Monumental petition quite literally asks President Obama to protect more than 3 million acres in five separate areas: Gold Butte, Nevada; Mojave Trails, California; Birthplace of Rivers, West Virginia; Owyhee Canyonlands, Oregon; and one place near and dear to TrailMob’s heart, Idaho’s beloved Boulder-White Clouds. All in addition to the three new national monuments the President recently desisgnated.  From now until September 23rd, the KEEN #LiveMonumental RV will visit each of the proposed monuments and complete its journey in Washington D.C. itself.  

Gold Butte. If Gold Butte in Nevada receives a monument designation, roughly 350,000 acres between the Grand Canyon Parashant National Monument and Lake Mead National Recreation Area would receive protection. This harsh landscape was home to Native Americans for over 3,000 years and their history is written on the rocks as well as left behind in artifacts and shelters. In addition to protecting a treasured history, ancient Joshua Trees, and  Bighorn Sheep - the outdoor opportunities are endless. So what’s standing in the way?  Remember the Clive Bundy standoff (armed men protesting the BLM’s efforts to collect grazing fees)?  That occurred in Gold Butte area. Nevada Senator Dean Heller (R) has been quoted saying the president should “think twice” before designating the area a monument. More information available at: http://www.friendsofgoldbutte.org

Mojave Trails. The proposed Mojave Trails National Monument would protect roughly 941,000 acres and link Joshua Tree National Park and the Mojave National Preserve. The area has been virtually untouched by civilization for thousands of years. Monument status would protect Native American heritage sites, an undeveloped stretch of the famous Route 66, pristine desert tortoise and bighorn sheep habitat, California’s largest cactus garden, Marble Mountain Fossil Beds (home to 550-million year old trilobite fossils - believed to be some of the first animals on the planet with eyes and skeletons). To date, the Wildands Conservancy has donated $45 million to the Department of Interior to purchase and protect the Mojave Trails area. California Senator Diane Feinstein (D) has been actively campaigning for the monument designation, however mining and energy interests have laid stake against. More information available at: http://www.wildlandsconservancy.org/conservation_mojave.html

Birthplace of Rivers. In West Virginia’s southern Monongahela National Forest lies the Birthplace of Rivers. It elegant name reflects the fact that the headwaters of six rivers flow freely down the slopes of the Yew Mountains. While the area already has some protection given it is in a National Forest, monument status would ensure development does not disrupt the pristine stretch of untouched eastern forest. More information available at: http://www.birthplaceofrivers.org/

Owyhee Canyonlands. The Owyhee Canyonlands is where the Boise office of TrailMob goes to get away. The vast landscape embodies the famous text from the Wilderness Act: “where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain.”  The Milky Way still streaks white across the night sky, mountain lions prowl for bighorn sheep, clean rivers burst with trout surrounded by sheer canyon walls and wildflower-saturated meadows explode with brilliant colors of the rainbow. The Owyhee Canyonlands still offer solitude from the industrialized world and an escape into nature.  For more information visit: http://wildowyhee.org.

Boulder-White Clouds. Idaho’s Boulder-White Clouds have been at the center of the conservation debate for decades. The area is home to one of the largest intact ecosystems in the Lower 48, where wolves still howl, old growth thrives, clean mountain streams full of trout cascade through valleys flanked by over a hundred 10,000 ft. peaks. Right now, a give-and-take bill is making its way through Congress that would create a wilderness area, but leave other areas unprotected. For more information visit:  http://boulderwhiteclouds.org/  #GetLOUDfortheClouds

Now it’s time for everyone to #LiveMonumental and get the word out!  Let us know what you think below and share with your friends!