Chris' Story: The Right to Roam

April 10, 2018

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In Norway, you can walk nearly anywhere you want. Outdoor recreation has become a major part of the national identity in the country and is even established by law. You are free to enjoy the great outdoors and breathe in as much of the fresh air as you want, as long as you pick up your trash and show respect for nature. From Visit Norway: "The right to roam, also called the right of access (“allemannsretten”), is a traditional right from ancient times, and in 1957 it was part of the Norway Outdoor Recreation Act. It ensures that everybody gets to experience nature, even on larger privately owned areas." 

Growing up in Norway this love of the outdoors was instilled in my brothers and me. We enjoyed exploring the outdoors and learned the responsibilities of leaving no trace. Moving to Colorado was a natural fit for our family, especially with the love of the outdoors and the outdoor recreation opportunities our state provides.  While we don't go as far as allowing camping on or hiking through private property, we do have incredible public lands. 

Land conservation has created opportunities to explore nature, like those I remember from Norway. Here, you can experience land close to home or deep in the wilderness miles away from the city lights. There is nothing I love more than just going a few minutes from home and exploring Ute Valley Park or Red Rock Open Space to feel a connection with nature. 

It is up to us to make sure that more lands are protected for future generations to enjoy.  We are the stewards of this planet and we should make sure our children and their children after them have even more opportunities to explore than we had. 

Chris is the Executive Director of Catamount Institute, a non-profit whose mission is to develop ecological stewards through education and adventure. He was born in Norway, but calls Colorado home. He has a passion for nature and cats. Follow him on Instagram, @topher2882, and follow his cat, @heidiwhitecat. 

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