Joshua Tree National Park Superintendent David Smith is an interesting guy. Ostensibly a bureaucrat overseeing management of our local national park, he has to answer to the current administration. In fact, he was called back to Washington, D.C. once to be scolded by Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke because, well, and this would be embarrassing for any other administration, the park's social media accounts had posted something about, uh, science.
Yes, I know - it's difficult to believe national park superintendents could be recalled back to Washington at taxpayer expense so the man in charge of overseeing our public lands and managing them for future generations could get pissy because scientific facts were shared with the public, but we live in interesting times. You can read more about this reprimand in my story for The Sun Runner Magazine HERE.
I recently sat down with Smith after his part in the award ceremony for naturalist Pat Flanagan where she received the Minerva Hoyt Conservation Award. Smith spoke about why people like Minerva Hamilton Hoyt, the "Apostle of the Cactii," the Pasadena socialite who fought to establish Joshua Tree National Monument, and her contemporaries, such as Flanagan, are so important. The video above is his short take on the topic, succinct, fun, and to the point.
The full awards ceremony is below. Bear with me on the editing - I'm a video producer, writer, and host, not usually the editor as well, but I'm doing more and more of my own work to build my skills. Still, when I'm producing a project that needs to be more finished and is more involved, I have an excellent crew to turn to who can do pretty much anything I, or a client, need.
Pat Flanagan, by the way, is an incredible person, and you can learn more about the projects she works on over at Mojave Watch.