Giving thanks in nature

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Today Scott Kahan, regional chief of national wildlife refuges in the Northeast, discusses his family traditions, what he’s thankful for and connecting with his family in nature.

It’s that time of year when we honor family traditions and give thanks for all of life’s blessings.

While they may be called traditions, some in my family have changed over time. For instance, hunting is something that my family didn’t do when I was growing up.  However, now that I have kids, hunting has become an important way to reconnect with nature and spend quality time with my family.  The other day I was looking through some old pictures of my sons when they were younger. It seems like we had all the time in the world together. During most weekends this time of year, we would spend time on Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge in the grouse woods with the dogs.  I was thinking about this as my kids are older now and they have football, schoolwork and friends that demand more of their time, making the time we spend together in the woods even more precious to me.

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Hunting at Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge in Minnesota.

During this time of year, when so many of us are giving thanks and reconnecting with others, I can reflect on what I’m thankful for. I will cherish the opportunity to get out in the woods to hunt with my sons and reconnect with those things that are truly important to me. I am also thankful for the opportunity to lead the management of our national wildlife refuges in the Northeast. These special places provide unmatched opportunities for us to connect with nature and spend time with the people and things we all care about. Finally,  I am thankful for a team of amazing people who put their passion and talent to work on these lands each and every day.

However you give thanks this season, have a safe and happy holiday. Maybe even make it a wild one at a national wildlife refuge!

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