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Monday, July 29, 2002
Two Teams Trek From Border to Border On Public Lands

ALBUQUERQUE, NM, JULY 29, 2002-Two teams of adventurers will embark on a first-of-its-kind border-to-border trip across the nationís majestic parks and open lands on July 31 as part of a campaign to introduce Americans to their ìlarger backyard,î the vast public lands throughout the country.

The trek teams, which include a New York City firefighter, two teachers, and a retired Marine, will trek from the Canadian and Mexican borders through six western states some 3,000 miles to meet in Salt Lake City on September 27.

Starting this nearly 1,600 mile journey from the Canadian border, the northern team will backpack, horseback, canoe, and more down to Salt Lake City, Utah from July 31 - Sept. 27. The southern team will begin their nearly 1,600 mile trek from the Mexican border, and will travel by foot, by Honda ATV, by houseboat, and more to the teamsí meeting site in Salt Lake City for the Sept. 27th concluding ceremony.

Their entire route will be on public lands-national parks and forests, wildlife refuges and more-and they will tell their story along the way by satellite videophones and daily journals over the Internet (

Conceived and planned by the Albuquerque, NM-based Public Lands Interpretive Association, American Frontiers: A Public Lands Journey is being sponsored by a combination of public and private partners, including the Departments of Interior and Agriculture, National Geographic Society, American Honda, the Coleman Company, and others, in order to educate Americans about the importance and majesty of the nationís vast public lands and waters.

ìThe purpose of the Public Lands Journey is to highlight the grandeur, uses and value of public lands, and the opportunities and responsibilities these lands present to American citizens,î said Lisa Madsen, executive director of Public Lands Interpretive Association and chief architect of the program.

In addition to a series of regional events along the trek route, both the public and the media will be able to follow the trek through updated maps and the trekkersí personal daily journals via its website The website will also contain a virtual fly-over of the trek route provided by Terra Fly, and daily on-the-ground satellite updates sponsored by Earth Analytic.

An important component of the trek will be to reach out to local communities and schools in order to educate all Americans, particularly the nationís youth, about our public lands legacy. National Geographic has sent four of their teachers as part of the trek teams and support teams. These teachers will have the opportunity to teach children what the teams are doing and learning along the trek via a ìvirtual classroomî on the Internet in real time. A wealth of information about public lands and ways the public can enjoy and help conserve public lands is available at

ìThese lands provide important benefits to all of us, from wildlife habitat and outdoor recreation to minerals, food and fiber, as well as mental and spiritual renewal. Most importantly, they are available for all of us to enjoy, if we care for them properly as good stewards,î Madsen added.

American Frontiers is a public awareness campaign designed to educate Americans about the history, value, relevancy and role of public lands through educational products and activities. American Frontiers will focus national attention on public lands through two programs: American Frontiers: A Public Lands Journey and Geography Action! 2002: Americaís Backyard, an educational program of the National Geographic Society.

MEDIA NOTE: The trek is open to media; a limited number of credentials are available. To interview Lisa Madsen, Executive Director of the Public Lands Interpretive Association, or any of the trek team members, or to join the trek for an hour or for a day, contact Debbie Payton at (404) 245-8500. Credential request forms are available online at and can be emailed to


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