Alan Gregory is a writer, specializing in natural resource and conservation policies, players and issues with occasional sorties into the realm of politics. He’s also a naturalist, but is not a biologist, having flunked his first college biology course before switching his major to journalism. He was born in Massachusetts, but his family moved soon after to Oregon, then California and New Mexico before landing in Idaho. He’s been hiking forests, bogs and wetlands in his home state as well as New England, the Adirondacks and
Pennsylvania, where he has hung his shingle since 1989, the year he departed active duty in the Air Force (only to log 16 more years as a reservist, retiring in 2004 as a lieutenant colonel).
Alan’s been writing a conservation column for a daily newspaper in eastern
Pennsylvania for more than a decade. He’s done volunteer work for a bunch of conservation organizations, including Hawk Mountain Sanctuary in Pennsylvania, the Nature Conservancy and the North Branch Land Trust near his current home of Conyngham, Pa. He was also a member, for a number of years, of the Outdoor Writers Association of America and the Pennsylvania Outdoor Writers Association, and is a life member of the Air Force Public Affairs Alumni Association.
Alan’s spouse was a double lung transplant recipient and was the chief academic officer at Penn State University’s Hazleton, Pa., campus. She died Sept. 27, 2010, just weeks shy of their 31st wedding anniversary and the seventh anniversary of her life-giving transplant.
My place is anywhere I set my pack down. It’s millions of acres wide. And guess what? It’s also yours, if you’re a citizen of America. The place is our American public lands, our great national commons.
Trouble is there’s a lot folks who want to steal our land; some live here in Pennsylvania. Former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum was one of the ringleaders. Thanks to the clear-headed voters of Pennsylvania for finally tossing him out. George W. Bush is also one of the anti-conservationists and so is Dick Cheney.
My goals are different. I want to put some songbirds back in the woods and keep more wild brook trout in the water. I favor fewer whitetails and more critters with big teeth and claws. I promote the rewilding of North America.
As a conservationist, I’m strictly opposed to the good old boys, the off-road cowboys and cowgirls, the bucket biologists with their hatchery mongrels and the politicians whose vocabularies are limited to what their rich cronies want to hear.My dad (he died in August 1980 while I was a second lieutenant in Georgia) launched the parks and recreation curriculum at Idaho State University. That’s also where I got my journalism degree. I practiced the craft of newspapering in Idaho for a few years before moving onto the Air Force, where I also did a lot of newspapering.
I’m not at all quiet about the men and women who’re stealing and trashing our natural heritage. Nor should you.