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    About American Frontiers: A Public Lands Journey
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Mary Tullius (far left)of Utah State Parks leads Team North (l to r): Mike Murphy, Charlie Thorpe, Charlotte Talley, Cheryl Fusco, Rob Carlo.

Mary Tullius (far left)of Utah State Parks leads Team North (l to r): Mike Murphy, Charlie Thorpe, Charlotte Talley, Cheryl Fusco, Rob Carlo.
Courtesy Stephen G. Maurer

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The trekkers are dwarfed by the enormous open spaces of the BLM lands in the Chihuahuan desert

The trekkers are dwarfed by the enormous open spaces of the BLM lands in the Chihuahuan desert
Courtesy Catherine Kiffe

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Dave Mensing, one of the trek managers, entertaining the crowd at Glacier National Park

Dave Mensing, one of the trek managers, entertaining the crowd at Glacier National Park
Courtesy Ravi Gupta

America's public lands are a treasured part of our national heritage, representing its grandeur, bountiful promise, and vast natural resources. All citizens share in the rights and the responsibilities of seeing that our public lands are cared for and managed in a way that meets the current and future needs of the American people.

To highlight the beauty, the accessibility, and the benefits of our public lands, the Public Lands Interpretive Association (PLIA), an Albuquerque, New Mexico-based non-profit organization that provides interpretive and educational resources to the public, mapped out a Canada-to-Mexico trek exclusively on public lands, called American Frontiers: A Public Lands Journey.

The Journey, or Trek,involved two groups of travelers: one starting north from the Mexican border and the second headed south from the Canadian. Their route lay entirely on public lands, a feat that has never been accomplished before. The trek began on July 31, 2002 and ended two months later when the two teams met in Wasatch-Cache National Forest near Salt Lake City, Utah on September 27.

Inspired by American Frontiers: A Public Lands Journey, National Geographic Society has designed its Geography Action! 2002 curriculum around the theme of public lands. Aimed at teaching school-aged children the beauty and the benefits of America's public lands, Geography Action! 2002 followed the trekkers along the two-month journey, highlighting the diversity and grandeur of our nation's public lands.

To demonstrate the different ways people get about on our public lands--and to stay within the 60-day limit of the journey--trek participants utilized numerous modes of transportation for this historic border-to-border journey across America. The hiked and backpacked, rode horses, mountain bikes, ATVs and dual sport motorcycles; rafted, canoed, drove pickup trucks, motorboats and 4WD vehicles, and even spent a few leisurely days on a houseboat.

Along the route the two teams attended special events, round table discussions, visited schools and communities to learn about public land issues. And, of course, they saw some of the most spectacular scenery of the American West. Their journal entries eloquently describe the feelings public lands awoke in them and also the daily routine of the long trek. You'll enjoy reading them.

Three years in the making, American Frontiers: A Public Lands Journey has enlisted numerous partners and sponsors including the National Geographic Society, the Department of the Interior, the USDA Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, USGS, National Environmental Education and Training Foundation, Fire Wise Communities, American Honda, Kodak, the Coleman Company, and many others. For a full list of our sponsors, please look under "Our Sponsors" on the home page.

To learn more about American Frontiers, please spend some time on this website, read the team members' journals, enjoy the photographs
ot follow their route on the maps. For more information about American Frontiers, please contact the Public Lands Interpretive Association, 6501 Fourth Street, NW, Albuquerque, NM 87107 or call our toll-free number 877-851-8946. You can also email to SMaurer@plia.org

Everyone inspired by the Public Lands Journey should pay a visit to our public lands. To find out more about recreation opportunities on public lands, please visit the Public Lands Information Center online. There, you can find detailed recreation information, interactive recreation maps, and a large selection of guidebooks and maps.

  Public Lands Information Center--
  Public Lands Map Center--


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