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Welcome!

As a social entrepreneur, I am dedicated to finding innovative solutions for greening business. As a passionate supporter of National Parks and public lands, I work toward protecting these special places from the impacts of climate change and pollution.

Beth%20in%20Yellowstone.jpg

Join me on this site as I report from Yellowstone on the threats climate change poses toward our beloved national parks, and how Yellowstone and other parks are making a difference in sustainability.

"If we continue to increase our emissions of heat-trapping gases, a disrupted climate will cause the greatest damage to our national parks ever."
Stephen Saunders

"A climate disrupted by human activities poses such sweeping threats to the
scenery, natural and cultural resources, and wildlife of the West’s national parks that it
dwarfs all previous risks to these American treasures."
From NRDC Losing Ground Report

"Business is the only mechanism on the planet today powerful enough to produce the changes necessary to reverse global environmental and social degradation."
Paul Hawken
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01/12/11: "The End of the Wild," Emma Marris, Nature

01/06/11: Climate change threatens Sierra, delta, group says," Kelly Zito, San Francisco Chronicle

01/05/11"Environmentalists pick Snake Basin, Yellowstone among most threatened habitats by climate change," Rocky Barker, Idaho Statesman

12/31/10"Yellowstone Grizzlies and the Betrayal of the Public Trust," Louisa Wilcox, NRDC Switchboard

12/26/10: "How a Tiny Beetle Could Decimate Yellowstone," Elizabeth Shogren, NPR

12/21/10: "Once upon a time, whitebark pine . . ." Matt Skoglund, NRDC Switchboard

12/21/10: "Climate Change's threat to the wolverine," Rebecca Waters, High Country News

12/08/10: "Silence of the Pikas, Part II," Wendee Holtcamp, Adventures in Climate Change and Bioscience

12/08/10: "Climate Change Response Strategy Released by NPS Alaska," Alaska Business Monthly

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  • Last Chance: Preserving Life on Earth (Speaker's Corner)
    Last Chance: Preserving Life on Earth (Speaker's Corner)
    by Larry J. Schweiger
  • Heatstroke: Nature in an Age of Global Warming
    Heatstroke: Nature in an Age of Global Warming
    by Anthony D. Barnosky
  • Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet
    Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet
    by Bill McKibben
  • Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change
    Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change
    by Elizabeth Kolbert
  • Storms of My Grandchildren: The Truth About the Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity
    Storms of My Grandchildren: The Truth About the Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity
    by James Hansen
  • Climate Change: Simple Things You Can Do to Make a Difference (Chelsea Green Guides)
    Climate Change: Simple Things You Can Do to Make a Difference (Chelsea Green Guides)
    by Jon Clift, Amanda Cuthbert
  • Our Choice: A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis
    Our Choice: A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis
    by Al Gore
  • The Rough Guide to Climate Change, 2nd Edition
    The Rough Guide to Climate Change, 2nd Edition
    by Robert Henson

"Every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life are based on the labors of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving." Albert Einstein

Exploring in my favorite place on earth: Tuloumne Meadows in Yosemite (Photo by James Kaiser)As a young girl, I was taught that we must strive to make a difference in the world. As a result, I simply cannot remember a time in my life when I was not involved in public service—from picking up litter for a Girl Scout project, to volunteering in schools as an adult.

Throughout my career, I have incorporated my philanthropic values into my choice of professional roles as well, working for organizations where I could exercise my dedication to “social entrepreneurship.” For almost twenty years I have worked in environmental leadership roles and in two of the country’s largest national parks: Yosemite and Yellowstone. I’ve managed operations in both small and large businesses and have extensive experience in environmental and operations management, strategic planning, financial analysis, budgeting, and human resources. My diverse experience has been driven by my values—I am interested not only in doing good work, but also in doing good.

I joined Xanterra Parks & Resorts at Yellowstone after almost nine years serving as vice president and chief financial officer for the non-profit Yosemite Association in Yosemite National Park, where I oversaw an operation with a budget of $3 million, a staff of up to fifty, and a membership of 11,000. I worked closely with the organization's primary partner, the National Park Service, to develop programs (outdoor education, retail products, volunteerism, publications) aimed at stewardship and environmental education.

My career in environmental leadership began at Dopaco Inc., a large manufacturing company, where I directed and designed the facility's entire compliance program, and developed a successful recycling and waste minimization program. During my tenure at the plant, the company eliminated all Federal RCRA wastes from the facility, decreased air emissions by over 50 tons, and implemented an ambitious recycling program that saved over $70,000 a year in waste disposal costs. I also served on the Board of Directors for an industry/regulatory agency partnership aimed at reducing waste, the TOPPS Pollution Prevention Program.

Meeting with a park ranger in JapanMy quest for meaningful work also led me to a role at Working Assets, a progressive phone company that donates its proceeds to charity, and with the Harbinger Project, an organization dedicated to promoting sustainable practices though its magazine and small business operations.

My professional roles reflect my values, but my commitment to sustainability extends beyond my paid work. As part of my dedication to public service, I utilize my professional skills and experience to assist non-profit and community organizations through my volunteer endeavors. In 2007, I traveled to Japan as part of a month-long Rotary International Professional Exchange to present on business and sustainability. I also serve as a member of the Association of Partners for Public Lands Training Corps; in my role with the corps I help develop strategic plans for environmental education with non-profits and government agencies throughout the country. Additionally, I serve on the board of the Yellowstone-Teton Clean Energy Coalition, and on the leadership team of the Yellowstone Business Partnership.

A professional writer, my articles have been published in Yellowstone Discovery, Yosemite, The Harbinger, online for the Sierra Club, and in Biocycle. I have also appeared on the National Geographic Travel channel, and my novel, The Idea of Forever, was released in 2002. Currently I author two websites www.bethpratt.com (focused on natural history and wilderness) and www.greeningyellowstone.org (dedicated to raising awareness about climate change and sustainability), and write a column for Examiner.com

On the top of Half Dome in Yosemite My love of public lands has also led me to explore the wilderness throughout the United States, hike the John Muir Trail, and wander extensively through the backcountry of Yosemite. I am also a distance swimmer, and in 2005 swam the mile-long Tenaya Lake in Yosemite. In 2006, I completed another personal goal by running the Cape Cod Marathon with my father, and in September of 2007 I survived the grueling Tioga Pass Run--12.4 miles uphill and 3,000 feet of elevation gain to the entrance of Yosemite National Park.

As for my education, I graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Massachusetts at Boston with bachelor's degrees in management and biological anthropology, and a minor in marketing. I also obtained a master's in business administration with honors from Regis University in Denver. Last year, I earned the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED Accredited Professional credential (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design).

In my role as Director of Environmental Affairs for Xanterra Parks & Resorts at Yellowstone, I enjoy working on sustainable business programs for a progressive company in America's first national park. Ours is a consumer driven society, and I believe our best hope for enacting change is in the marketplace. Xanterra has an impressive environmental record and is a leader in the hospitality industry in sustainability.