The Wild Life: Chelsea Cassens On Our Public Lands

I was blessed to be born and raised by a family that has enjoyed a wide variety of outdoor recreational activities throughout our lifetime. Growing up, I did everything from hunting and fishing, to riding and hiking along a pack mule, to sitting on the bank of a stream with my Grandmother as she identified wildflowers and passing birds. I was surrounded by many influential conservationists, and they believed in protecting and advocating for the activities we loved. They were truly dedicated to conserving the public lands on which our wild and memorable adventures took place.

My name is Chelsea Cassens, and I believe in the power of our public lands. I have many titles: Mother, Daughter, Wife, Nurse, and Friend. But I’m truly thankful to have earned the title of Conservationist. I proudly serve on the executive leadership board for the Oregon Chapter of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers. I volunteer alongside individuals from across the state of Oregon and all throughout the country, advocating for a wide variety of recreational opportunities across our public lands for ourselves as well as our future generations.

Chelsea and her kids enjoying the river.

Public Lands & Wild Places

I never truly valued or appreciated my upbringings until I became a parent myself. I see the importance of the outdoors through the lives and eyes of my children, especially when I am out exploring our public lands with them. It makes me happier, more attentive, more inclusive, and more nurturing, and has an enormously positive effect on our parent-child relationship. The world today is hard to navigate, but when we are outdoors, we are focused on the present situation, and on nature all around us. 

My personal passion for public lands comes from the generations that preceded me. They exposed me to the beauty of the outdoors and built memories of love, peace, and tranquility. They taught me the importance of having a voice, and to advocate for what is important to me. I grew up and now raise my children in the middle of everything that matters to us. It’s not just about hunting and fishing and having access to those things; public land provides cross-recreational opportunities for the unique and personalized enjoyment of our wild places.

A beautiful day in a beautiful, wild place.

Kids & The Great Outdoors

Most of us realize that children are fragile and impressionable; the many twists and turns of life can have a big impact on who they become. Unfortunately, our youth today are missing more and more positive experiences and interactions with adults. Outdoor recreation, across public lands of all kinds, has brought me closer to my children, and taught me to be more present. As I watch these moments happen, I believe we need to have plenty of places for all our children to explore, learn, excel, and develop character.

Kids in the great outdoors.

As the years have passed, and as we continue to expose our children to the wild outdoors, I have watched their social and emotional development increase. I see true happiness when they’re exploring, fishing, gathering and learning from nature. I do recognize the challenges of getting young children outside and onto their public lands. And yet, I’m constantly surprised by their ability to adapt, persevere, and have fun on every adventure.

A fun day fishing with the family.
Fishing with the family.

Preservation & Perseverance

Every generation must adjust to difficult and trying circumstances, especially those we face today. I keep leaning on my outdoor experiences, and on the cherished memories made on our public lands, to get me through these rough times. These snapshots in time help feed my soul. They put me in a positive mindset so I can persevere through the difficult times we currently endure.

Family fun on the river.
Making memories and feeding the soul.

Our previous generations believed that we would cherish, nurture, and advocate for the conservation of public lands as they did.

Treasure our public lands, appreciate our public lands, and protect them… now more than ever.


September 26th, 2020 is National Public Lands Day. Benchmade is proud to champion the conservation of our wild places. One of the ways we do this is by partnering with organizations like Backcountry Hunters and Anglers.

When you purchase the 15200ORG Altitude, you are contributing to BHA, and the preservation of our cherished public lands, waters, and wildlife.

15200ORG Altitude knife with sheath

SHOP 15200ORG ALTITUDE NOW


Click here to learn more about BHA and their mission.

To learn more about the organizations we have partnered with, click here: Benchmade Cares.

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