Keen Road Trip: Here’s How To Keep It Wild

Written by Terry Gardner

Want to keep it wild? Then you might love the idea of the Keen roadtrip. Get all the details on it from our travel editor Terry Gardner right here.

aNewDomainKeen, the adventure shoemaker, held fundraisers at Outdoor Retailer 2015 in Salt Lake City to support its Live Monumental campaign. The campaign is an effort to get US President Barack Obama to protect three million acres of public lands by making them National Monuments, public lands set aside for their historical, natural or cultural value.

1Keen Monumental booth images-GardnerThree of our most celebrated National Monuments are the Statue of Liberty, Muir Woods north of San Francisco and the World War II Valor in the Pacific in Pearl Harbor, HI.

There’s also California’s Tule Lake Unit, where many Japanese Americans were held captive during World War II.

And at Keen’s annual Outdoor Retailer Keenfest night, the Live Monumental RV was there to collect electronic signatures on a petition to help protect five wild spaces.

The petition asks President Obama to keep these areas wild for future generations. The goal is to collect 100,000 signatures by the time the RV reaches Washington, D.C. on its Keen road trip.

Keen Live Monumental Road Trip

That’s the RV, below.

1-Keen LM van with signature banner rt-Gardner

Keen plans to roll out the banner in Washington, D.C. so the President can see how many people want to keep America Wild.


The RV began its cross-country trip on July 29, and it will be traveling across the US to raise awareness and collect signatures on its Monument Petition until September 23 when it rolls into Washington, D.C.

The 100,000 signature goal will hopefully convince the President to designate Gold Butte, Nevada, Boulder-White Clouds, IdahoOwyhee Canyonlands, Oregon, Mojave Trails, California and Birthplace of Rivers, West Virginia as national monuments.

1Keen-Terry and Teddy R share a beer

Teddy and I shared a beer at Keenfest. Okay, admittedly, I drank on his behalf.

Teddy Loves the Land

At Keenfest, I got cozy with Teddy Roosevelt, who was nicknamed our conservation President because he doubled the number of National Parks and protected almost 230,000,000 acres of public land during his two terms from 1901 to 1909.

1-Keen-Terry with naked Teddy

My eyes are closed in the shot above because I wasn’t ready to see Teddy naked, even though I’m wearing his face on my left breast (obscured by my arm in the above shot)

Teddy boob selfie

This selfie, above, gives you an idea of just how content Teddy is on my boob.

President Theodore Roosevelt created the US Forest Service and founded 51 Federal Bird Reservations, four National Game Preserves, 150 National Forests and five National Parks.

When he signed the 1906 American Antiquities Act, he gave the Executive Branch the power to establish national monuments without an act of Congress. And during his presidency, he created a number of National Monuments, including a large portion of the Grand Canyon in 1908. Getting designated a National Monument usually puts an area on the path toward becoming a National Park.

The Grand Canyon became a National Park in 1919.

The good news for the Live Monumental campaign is that one area has already achieved protected status. Last Friday, August 7, Boulder-White Clouds in Idaho gained protected status when President Obama signed a bill sponsored by Representative Mike Simpson (R-ID) into law.

With a stroke of his pen, the President protected more than 275,000 acres of wilderness in Idaho’s Boulder-White Cloud Mountains.

1-Keen LM RV w people signing-Gardner

Want to meet up with the Keen Live Monumental RV?

It’s easy. Just sign the Live Monumental petition online or meet up with the Keen RV to sign it in person — on an iPad — and enjoy a Keen party.

Here’s where to find it:

August 12:  Owyhee Canyonlands, Oregon — about 100 miles southeast of Burns.

August 13: Bend, Ore. with its partner, Oregon Natural Desert Association from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Crow’s Feet Commons, 875 NW Brooks St., Bend.

August 25: Mojave Trails in Southern California, about 80 miles east of Los Angeles. Keen’s partner, CalWild will also be there. The goal is to preserve 942,000 acres along Route 66.

September 19: Birthplace of Rivers in West Virginia, meet up with Keen’s RV and its partner, West Virginia Wilderness Coalition.

September 23: Washington, D.C.

Keep an eye on Keen’s Facebook and Twitter feeds along with #LiveMonumental for updates on where and when meet-ups with the Keen RV will happen.

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All images: Terry Gardner, except for Mojave Desert shot from Keen’s website. All rights reserved.