Garett Reppenhagen

After 160 combat missions, Garett Reppenhagen returned home from the Iraq War with profound PTSD.

Haunted by his experiences as a Brigade sniper, he found solitude and healing in the Colorado Rockies. He now devotes his life to protecting this shared inheritance for all Americans.

“Our public lands are the symbol of our democracy. Without them, this all breaks down.” Tweet & share.

Heidi Redd

Heidi Redd has run a cattle ranch on the border of Canyonlands National Park for nearly half a century.

In that time, she has been everything from owner and operator to cook and cattle boss. She says that the remarkable life she has enjoyed is entirely dependent on public lands. She also acknowledges, as few ranchers do, that the land she uses belongs equally to all Americans. She has seen how easy it is to damage these most special places and encourages everyone to become far more conscious stewards of the land.

“I have never owned this land. It has always owned me.” Tweet & share.

Regina Lopez-Whiteskunk

Regina Lopez-Whiteskunk and her family have lived in the American southwest since time immemorial.

To honor her place and that of her ancestors, she helped lead five Native American tribes in an historic campaign to protect the lands surrounding the Bears Ears Buttes in Utah. As a member of a tribe that has lived successfully in this arid climate for millennia, she expresses the hope that traditional knowledge can help guide the management of our public lands in the 21st Century.

“Privatizing the lands shows a form of greed.” Tweet & share.

Hal Herring

Growing up in rural Alabama, Hal Herring knew every inch of land accessible to the public.

The only problem was, there wasn’t much of it. When he discovered the national forests of Montana as a teenager, he decided to move there to live on the grand scale only possible in the American West. Our public lands are the foundation of his patriotism—an inheritance he considers more important to our shared future than the Bill of Rights or the U.S. Constitution.

“I consider the American public lands as important to a future that we want to live in as the Bill of Rights or the U.S. Constitution.” Tweet & share.

Alan Spears

On childhood trips to Gettysburg, historian Alan Spears walked the fields of Pickett’s charge and first visualized the violence and unexpected heroism of the war to end slavery.

Alan learned how our historic sites can reveal a more inclusive version of the complex story of America. He tells of Martin Luther King’s campaign to end segregation in Birmingham and asks us, at a time of rising intolerance, to heed the lessons of the tragic bombing at the 16th Street Baptist Church.

“The land is teaching us, is telling us that we’re better than this. All we have to do is take the lesson to heart.” Tweet & share.

Alexis Bonogofsky

Alexis Bonogofsky is a fourth-generation Montanan, goat rancher and hunter who lives and works near the Yellowstone River.

On the anniversary of her father’s death, she describes the way the land safeguards our memories and helps us envision the kind of people we wish to become.

“Public lands are a great equalizer. If we lose them, we lose an essential piece of who we are as a people.” Tweet & share.