Welcome to Great Outdoors Month!

Photo of a pastel-colored sunrise over undulating terrain, A quick visit in late May to Theodore Roosevelt National Park to celebrate the beauty of the outdoors produced this sunrise image at Painted Canyon. © Dawn Wilson
A quick visit in late May to Theodore Roosevelt National Park to celebrate the beauty of the outdoors produced this sunrise image at Painted Canyon. © Dawn Wilson

By Dawn Wilson, NANPA President

I never pass up a chance to travel, and I am behind on my goal of visiting all of the national parks by my birthday this year. (I currently have visited and photographed 43 of 63 national parks.) Part of that is due to the pandemic, partly due to the addition of five new parks, and partly just due to a busy schedule.

After postponing a visit to Theodore Roosevelt National Park at least twice in the last year, I decided to just go for it. It wound up being a two-day trip including 20 hours of driving to and from my home and visiting two of the three units of the park plus the Painted Canyon Visitor Center. (I’ll definitely need to go back and visit the Elkhorn Ranch Unit where Theodore Roosevelt established a working ranch to escape the pain caused by the deaths of his wife and mother on the same day in 1884.)

Learn more about this unique, remote and less visited national park by reading Jerry Ginsberg’s recent blog post about the park.

It is also the month of Nature Photography Day

NANPA celebrated the first Nature Photography Day on June 15, 2006. Every year since, we have used this opportunity to promote the enjoyment of nature photography and reflect on how photos are used for conservation.

To celebrate, we encourage you, our members, to participate in the bioblitz with your photography.

Visit the project website to learn more and join the fun.

Photo of a mountain goat standing on rocky terrain with a snowy slope behind it. My first photo during the June 4 to 15 window for the bioblitz was of this mountain goat on Mount Evans in Colorado. Mount Evans was closed throughout 2020 because of the pandemic so it was not only a great way to capture an image for the bioblitz but it was wonderful to be back on this 14,265-foot peak. © Dawn Wilson
My first photo during the June 4 to 15 window for the bioblitz was of this mountain goat on Mount Evans in Colorado. Mount Evans was closed throughout 2020 because of the pandemic so it was not only a great way to capture an image for the bioblitz but it was wonderful to be back on this 14,265-foot peak. © Dawn Wilson

Changing of the NANPA Board Members

Thank you to these dedicated NANPA members who have served the membership by holding positions on the NANPA Board of Directors. Their terms expire on June 30, 2021.

  • Tom Haxby
  • Chuck Luzier
  • Jon Holloway
  • Eric Bowles

And let’s send out a very warm welcome to our new members of the NANPA Board of Directors, who will start their term on July 1, 2021. Learn more about them here.

  • Coby Cooper
  • Hank Erdmann
  • J.P. Lawrence
  • Amanda Joy Mason

And I am excited and very honored to serve as your president for another year. There were so many things we wanted to accomplish in 2020 and couldn’t because of the pandemic, and many projects we started that I am looking forward to seeing through to completion in the next year. It is a great honor to have the board’s confidence to allow me this opportunity.

Photo of a group of photographers silhouetted on a ridge line as the sunrise peeks over the horizon. Attendees of NANPA’s first regional event since before the pandemic enjoy photographing sunrise in Badlands National Park, South Dakota. © Dawn Wilson
Attendees of NANPA’s first regional event since before the pandemic enjoy photographing sunrise in Badlands National Park, South Dakota. © Dawn Wilson

Return of Regional Events

Can you believe it has been more than a year since NANPA members have been together in person at a NANPA-hosted event?

It was wonderful to see the return of in-person events with the first occasion being the Badlands National Park Regional Event from May 31 to June 3, 2021.

Since I was driving back from North Dakota, I decided to stop by for the orientation and morning sunrise shoot on the first day. It felt great to see smiling faces again and have that feeling that the pandemic may finally be behind us.

Thank you to Sandy Zelasko for leading the event and to the attendees for being the first to participate.

The regional events committee has an abundance of events already scheduled for the next year with more in the planning stage. Visit nanpa.org for all of the latest regional event opportunities.

Want to get involved? Consider volunteering for a committee. There are numerous options available for a variety of interests. Learn more about volunteer opportunities here.

Keep letting our membership and marketing teams know about your projects. There may be ways to share the news, like writing a blog or being interviewed on the podcast.

Do you have ideas for events or topics you want to learn more about? Reach out to us through our contact form

“Winners never quit, and quitters never win.” ~ Vince Lombardi

Let’s stay positive. We are in this together.