Boise author takes his kids on tour that shows more than changing climate (Video)

Boise outdoor writer Michael Lanza’s new book about his family’s backcountry odyssey through America’s national parks is getting the kind of attention an author loves.

The Today Show has run two online interviews about his book “Before They’re Gone.” National Park Traveler and the Washington Post both have done reviews and The Atlantic has run a story from the book about Yosemite’s disappearing waterfalls.

The book follows Lanza, the Northwest Field Editor for Backpacker Magazine, his wife Penny Beach, his then-nine-year-old son Nate and then-seven-year-old daughter Alex, on a year long tour of 11 of the nation’s most endangered national parks from climate change.

The idea came after he did a backcountry ski tour with a glacier expert though Glacier National Park on assignment for Backpacker. The expert told him when he was in the park its glacier’s were expected to melt away by 2030.

Later he called Lanza back to say new evidence shows they will be gone by 2020.

“It got me thinking, a lot of these things will happen in my lifetime and many even more profound things will happen in my children’s lifetime,” Lanza said.

Alex already was a good enough hiker to climb thousands of feet a day and keep up with adults by 2009, Lanza said. Nate was an accomplished backpacker by then.

Working around the kids school schedule and Beach’s family doctor hours, they backpacked through the Grand Canyon, Glacier, the North Cascades, Mount Rainier, Rocky Mountain and Olympic National Park. They hiked to Yosemite’s waterfalls, rock climbed in Joshua Tree National Park, sea kayaked in Alaska’s Glacier Bay, canoed the Everglades and cross-country skied through Yellowstone.

In each park they saw how the varied ecosystems were dramatically changing in the course of a lifetime. In addition to the glaciers, Yosemite’s waterfalls are drying up and like in Idaho, the Sierra Nevada’s snow pack is melting earlier.

Visitors who want to see the waterfalls in their full glory will have to visit the park earlier and in a shorter window. The trip turned out to be both family experience and science lesson that was “gloomy and fascinating,” Lanza said. His story also is a great way to talk about climate change.

Richard Louv, author of “Last Child in the Woods,” has said that environmentalists have failed to convey the facts about global warming in part because you can’t make people go somewhere the don’t want. “Martin Luther King didn’t say I have a nightmare,” Louv said.

Lanza takes readers to some of America’s most cherished places on a trip that many parents would dream about. But he also shows how climate change is going to change them permanently no matter what we do now.

With his insight he gives people a chance to consider what they can do to keep these places special long past his children’s lifetimes.

Along with the way readers can learn many tips for taking their kids on backcountry trips. Lanza will be teaching a workshop on taking kids into the wilderness June 24 at the Green Expo at the Ada County Fairgrounds.

Lanza and Beach are the kind of creative class professionals that Boise still attracts and help make life here interesting and attractive to others like them.

That’s good for the economy, experts say. Lanza and Beach moved to Boise from New Hampshire in 1998 after looking all over the West for a new home.

A friend suggested they check out Boise and they were hooked, “once we realized that Boise and Idaho offered so much that is available elsewhere.” That's a contrast to many cities today that can't attract young professionals or college graduates because of the lack of the lifestyle they love.

They moved to Boise’s North End and Friday Alex, now 9 and Nate, now 11, finished their last day of school at Cynthia Mann Elementary. You can learn more about Lanza at his website:

Here's a video:

1338737945 Boise author takes his kids on tour that shows more than changing climate (Video) Idaho Statesman Copyright 2014 Idaho Statesman . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

The Great Basin is where the stories are.

Dumb liberals can't see it. When it's 'chic Rock will cover it.

That's Reading Rainbow!


You fry wants with that?

oh heck!

Great, more people from New Hampshire! Just what we need.
Live free or die. They ought to fit right in. :-)

Those are great things to do with your children regardless of the climate. He's a liberal sissy.

You "Today Rocky", are still an English idiot:

"They moved to Boise’s North End and Friday Alex, now 9 and Nate, now 11, finished their last day of school at Cynthia Mann Elementary."

I bet Nate can write better than Wrongo Rocko.

Come on in. The water is great.

"Lanza and Beach moved to Boise from New Hampshire in 1998 after looking all over the West for a new home."

Gee, despite our terrible tax structure, unlivable wages, TERRIBLE education system, redneck wolf killers, and radical repressive political regime [according to the Idaho Statesman and many of the posts here], these people decided to move here 'after looking all over the West.

Either, A) the Statesman writers are blind as bats, or B) these people and the thousands of others moving here are dumb as hel.

I choose A.

I chose a choosy mother in a Jif.


You fry wants with that?

Get your headlines here

"he takes his kids on tour that shows more than changing climate"

Okay, kids. I am going to show you MORE than changing climates! I know you are excited about witnessing the changing climate.

BUT, I am going to show you MORE!

You will see buffaloes, rocks, beaches, petroglyphs, mountains, alligators, sunsets, more buffalo, flowers beyond belief, deer, elk, snakes, incredible sunrises and sunsets, miles and miles of this country, and along the way we are going to have ice cream, giant hamburgers, and we will see the World's Biggest Ball of Thread.

I know--- It's WAY more than just climate change. Why? Because I am your cool dad; and I might make a buck off of it!

Hel yea, the Dad of the Year is taking you on a tour that shows you MORE than just climate change. So you better frikn behave in the back of this car or we're turning it around right NOW!

Brucellosis alone is worth the journey


You fry wants with that?

Letterman's Top Ten

"10 of the nation’s most endangered national parks from climate change."

An endangered national park????

Think about that for a bit.... have a sip, take a toke.

A national park that is 'endangered' in the United States.

WTH is that?

In 20 years that NATIONAL PARK is going to be gone? 30? Okay 150?
BAM! It's gone.

Somewhere in our environmental pyche, these parks are endangered? ???

And not JUST 10 of them. More than 10. These are just the the 10 'most endangered'. Sorry #11.

This blog is quite a parade!

yeah, a parade of p2 posts


looking good

It's cheaper this way.

1. Coney Island


You fry wants with that?

Don't worry, new parks will come...

NYC National Park and Theatre Preserve
Studebaker Historic Detritus Site

of course the commercial parks

Six Flags Over SW America-Chasing Others' Dreams
Area 51 Funhouse


Why Live Longer when you can Make your own drugs at Garden City National Trailer Park


You fry wants with that?

Oh, NO! Kids, the giant lawn gnome motel was torn down!


You fry wants with that?

And in other news....

the Milky Way Galaxy will be destroyed in a collision with another galaxy in about 4 billion years - unless Rocky can convince mankind to take action now to prevent it.

No, that's the restaurant at the end of the universe!


You fry wants with that?

PS It will take millions of years, so don't idle your battlestar


You fry wants with that?

Barker, you must be the life

Barker, you must be the life of any party. You seriously need a hobby already.