164: Len Necefer-Len talks connecting to the land, Colorado-based outdoor apparel company Natives Outdoors and more

June 04, 2019

On this episode Len Necefer of Natives Outdoors and I have a great conversation about public lands, the constant challenge of protecting them, the great work he and Natives Outdoors are doing and more, enjoy.

Show Notes

First Exposure to the Outdoors

My Mom’s side of the family is from the Navajo nation. So my Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles had what we call the summer and a winter camp. But basically they were places that they would move the sheep between during different seasons. So the summer during the summer camp was up in the mountains where it was I would say about 9,000 feet, a lot cooler and with a lot more grass. Then they moved down into the valleys in the winter time in the fall. We would often go between those two places. So that was in Northeastern Arizona and the Chisca Mountains.

I also grew up a good chunk of my life in Lawrence, Kansas. There’s not much public land there, but I remember going out to Clinton Lake. Which is a big man made reservoir and there’s a few trails and stuff around there.

Things we talked about

Natives Outdoors

Certified B Corporation

Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

Welcome to Gwichyaa Zhee

Other Outdoor Activities

Climbing

Skiing

Advice, tips

I’m working in academia right now, but I often see the value in which education can provide and providing the skills ets and necessary tools for folks that want to engage in outdoor stuff. But what I’ve seen in my experience of education is that that has not been the case in that its not been presented as an option. The sort of pathways in which folks can engage in the outdoor space is not  created on the academic side. And that’s something I want to engage in. But you know, the prevailing notion within academia that I’ve been blowing up is, oh, it’s just people playing outside. And of course that’s an element of it, but then there’s the component of the public health connection to land, larger environmental stewardship. The people that spend time outdoors is where environmental stewards come from.

So I think looking at what training you can get in repurposing tools that you might get in higher education to serve that, to serve those roles of playing outside. Trying to think of how can these tools be used differently than what I’m being taught to use them for. I think too as the outdoor industry continues to grow and get more sophisticated and larger. There’s a greater need for those people with those tools and skills than there was 20 years ago.

Favorite Books

Dispossessing the wilderness

Alpinist magazine

Favorite Piece of Gear under $100

Bears Ears Healing Shirt

Connect with Len

Linkedin

Instagram

 

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