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Aaron Bannon

Aaron Bannon
Aaron is the environmental stewardship and sustainability director for NOLS.

Recent Posts

SOAR Act Introduction to the House of Representatives

By Aaron Bannon on Jul 26, 2019

Photo by Trip Davis.

For newly-minted outdoor programs, and for well-established ones like NOLS, the business of permitting and access on U.S. public lands is becoming increasingly challenging. Agencies responsible for permitting are under-resourced, mired in administrative processes, and compelled to prioritize other resource needs first.

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Topics: Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability, leadership

Take Action on the America's Great Outdoors Initiative

By Aaron Bannon on Nov 4, 2010

Launched by President Obama and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, the America’s Great Outdoor Initiative set out to gather ideas from citizens across the country over the Spring and Summer, and to use the input to inform a national agenda on enjoying and caring for our open spaces. Through a series of listening sessions sponsored by both federal agencies and non-profit organizations (including NOLS), the administration hoped to find the answers it needed to best restore impacted places, conserve significant public and private lands, and reconnect people – especially youth – with the outdoors.

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Topics: Behind the Scenes

Forest Service Statement on Wyoming Range Good News for NOLS

By Aaron Bannon on Jan 28, 2010

News Release – January 28, 2010 - National Outdoor Leadership School

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Topics: Environmental Stewardship

A Watershed Moment for the Yukon's Peel

By Aaron Bannon on Jan 15, 2010

Those select NOLS courses that have the opportunity to
travel down one of the rivers in the remote Peel Watershed in the northern
Yukon can rest assured this world-class wilderness will retain its character
for many years to come. In December 2009, the Peel Watershed Planning
Commission finalized its Recommended Land Use Plan, and those businesses and
organizations hoping for strong conservation recommendations are pleased.

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Topics: Expedition Prep

Wyoming Range Victory Party

By Aaron Bannon on Aug 24, 2009

Solar-powered bluegrass and heartfelt speeches by Wyoming Governor Dave Freudenthal, U.S. Senator John Barrasso, and Susan Thomas drew cheers from the 200 attendants who turned out on August 23, 2009 to celebrate the passage of the Wyoming Range Legacy Act. Braving 40 miles of dirt and inclement weather, folks poured in to Gary Amerine’s hunting camp in the heart of the Wyoming Range from all corners of the state, and from as far as Washington, D.C., to recognize the significant contributions made by so many to pass the bill. Signed into law by President Obama on March 30, 2009, the act protects 1.2 million acres of this mountain range from future oil and gas development.

In her keynote address at the celebration, NOLS Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability Director Jennifer Lamb took time to recognize those whose contributions were so great but were no longer with us to enjoy the day. Senator Craig Thomas, who passed away shortly before he would have introduced the bill, was represented by his wife, Susan Thomas. Duane Hyde, long-time game warden on the Wyoming Range and a co-founder of Sportsmen for the Wyoming Range, passed away just a few weeks before the celebration.

Jennifer Lamb also noted, “Outsiders to this campaign have expressed amazement with what this movement accomplished because of where it is located – in a region of intense energy development in a state with a proud legacy of serving our country’s energy needs – and because of its scope – 1.2 million acres. But I think what is more amazing is the way that so very many people came together to realize a common Wyoming vision and set a standard for Senator Craig Thomas’ point of balance.”

Several members of NOLS staff and faculty were in attendance, including Executive Director John Gans and the Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability team. Shooting the breeze in the shadow of Wyoming Peak while listening to the tunes of Steam Powered Airplane provided a fitting finish to this remarkable chapter in the story of the Wyoming Range.

Some NOLS staff and faculty showed up early and explored the Greys River valley. Good fishing, apparently, and Karly Copeland, Christi Van Eyken, and I can also verify that the tubing is good too.

For background on the Wyoming Range Legacy Act, visit our webpages:

photos courtesy Joy Bannon & Scott Christy

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Topics: Behind the Scenes

Wyoming Range Celebration - You're Invited!

By Aaron Bannon on Aug 7, 2009

Come one, come all, to the heart of the
Wyoming Range. It’s time to celebrate!

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Topics: Live the Dream

NOLS Rocks the House

By Aaron Bannon on Mar 20, 2009

The U.S. House of Representatives, that is. NOLS staff took time out of their busy lives this week to participate in the Wyoming Range Call-A-Thon, phoning alumni in key congressional districts to build support for the Omnibus Public Lands Act. Over 450 alumni in 12 key congressional districts were called and asked to contact their Congressional Representatives in support of the bill. The Public Policy department predicts that Representatives could be hearing from 10 to 20 NOLS graduates in each district.

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Topics: Behind the Scenes

NOLS Statement on the U.S. Senate's Passage of the Wyoming Range Legacy Act

By Aaron Bannon on Jan 15, 2009

by John Gans, NOLS Executive Director

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Topics: Environmental Stewardship

Help Pass the Wyoming Range Legacy Act

By Aaron Bannon on Jan 12, 2009

There is a great deal of activity in the Public Policy department today
due to the sudden rapid movement of a bill in U.S. Congress we have
been working on since 2004. Passage of the Wyoming Range Legacy Act,
which would protect the state’s namesake mountain range from future oil
and gas development, will be the culmination of a long-term goal for
NOLS. This bill could possibly be signed into law as early as this
week, and we are hoping to smooth its enactment as much as possible. To
do so, we need YOUR help!

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Topics: Environmental Stewardship

Wyoming Range on NewsHour

By Aaron Bannon on Jun 13, 2008

On Thursday, June 12, the national primetime PBS NewsHour with Jim Leher aired an extensive report called, "Drilling for Natural Gas in Wyoming Raises Debate." The show focuses on the current tension over drilling in the Wyoming Range and the efforts of Sportsmen to have their voices heard. See it here:

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Topics: Behind the Scenes

Cast your Comments on the Green River

By Aaron Bannon on Jun 27, 2007

Click here to e-mail your comments on Utah's Green River to the Forest Service through the Utah Rivers Council Action Center.

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Topics: Environmental Stewardship

Lander Steps It Up

By Aaron Bannon on May 1, 2007

Global Warming was thrust into the limelight in our little town of Lander when more than 120 concerned citizens pedaled their road bikes, mountain bikes, tandems, and kid trailers to City Park for a little bluegrass music and words of wisdom from local visionaries. Wyoming historian and conservationist Tom Bell articulated the urgency of the issue and the need for sacrifice. Two local entrepreneur/ contractors in renewable energy and sustainable building gave us new hope with their innovative businesses. After the rally we all hopped on our bikes and road a 15-mile loop along the foothills of the Wind River Range.

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Topics: Environmental Stewardship