>Dear Montana

>I’m here in Austin, Texas and thinking about you. Glendive really made an impression on me. The local paper wrote Shane up with such gusto.

Man travels to 48 states in 250 days for interviews
by Charlie Denison
Ranger-Review Staff Writer

Forty-eight states, 250 days, 1,000 interviews.

That is the goal for Shane Snipes and his road trip that focuses on what
sustainability means and how it impacts communities all around the
country.

Snipes began his journey on April 2 in Seattle, Wash., taking leave from
his job as a training specialist for the City University.

Since, Snipes has been to Oregon, California, Arizona, Colorado, Utah,
Nevada, New Mexico, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota and is currently
in South Dakota.

Snipes made his way into Glendive last week where he found two of his
1,000 interviews, Farm-to-Table Vista Jess Gerencser and Dawson County
Extension Agent Bruce Smith.

Person to person, community to community, Snipes asks one key question:
What does sustainability mean to you?

“Sustainability, I guess, is making communities you live in pretty much
self-sufficient,” Smith said in his interview posted on http://www.youtube.com.
“A lot of these rural areas, especially us in the northern Great Plains,
don’t produce anything we consume. Basically we’re like a third-world
country. It’s an extractive society. No manufacturing here.”

Snipes and Smith talked about the possibility of advancement in the
Glendive community with the constant upgrades in technology.

“That’s especially feasible here,” Smith said. “We have rural telephone
cooperatives that basically have better Internet access.”

In a recent interview with the Ranger-Review, Snipes said he has already
discovered what sustainability means to America, but he won’t reveal his
answer until he has been to all 48 states.

Snipes said sustainability is a very wide subject related to
environmental, economical, ethical and social issues.

“It’s not about profit anymore,” he said in a video on his Web site,
http://www.onegreener.com. “It’s about economic, ethical and environmental all
together and all in one.”

In his interview with Gerencser, Snipes also focused on how it takes
people willing to make a difference for a community to become more
sustainable, as Gerencser has done with the Farm-to-Table store located
inside the EPEC.

“In communities like this, where people are connected to their neighbors,
people need help revitalizing co-ops, local foods, that sort of thing,”
Snipes said. “People don’t necessarily have the means to create these
types of organizations, but when folks like you come in and establish the
stuff then they can grow into something bigger and much more powerful. I
mean powerful in the sense of educating people about sustainability and
about food systems and all these things that before they may have turned
their nose up to and said ‘Oh, that’s a hippie idea.’”

Gerencser agreed and added that the project itself has been inspiring.
“Good Earth Market in Billings started even smaller than this,” she said.
“I’m sort of envisioning this little store being that big.”

At 39, Snipes has already had his share of experiences acting in Los
Angeles and New York City, working for Microsoft, teaching at the College
of Charleston in South Carolina, working overseas and more, but this
project has taken him out of his shell and put him right in the middle of
communities, lives, lifestyles, cultures and adventures that differ day to
day.

“Every two days I experience a new way of life,” he said. “I feel like
that guy in Quantum Leap.”

That being the case, Snipes says the project is about more than
sustainability.

More than anything, Snipes said he’s learned how much everyone is
connected, something he wants to share with the world through radio,
video, text and other mediums.

“It’ll be a book, it’ll be a documentary,” he said. “I’m working on
getting on a cable network to pick it up, even.”

Using the Qik video service on his mobile phone, Snipes can post videos
directly on Youtube after editing them, making his project viewable to the
world as it’s in progress.

With this project, Snipes wants to “reinvent what we do with the news.”
“This is a ‘new’ media company,” he said. “Not a new media company.”
Snipes starts radio stations at each state he visits, some he follows up
with as he travels so he can remain connected.

To follow Snipes as he continues his epic eco road trip, go to
http://www.sustainable1000.com.

People can also subscribe to his Youtube account at
http://www.youtube.com/sustainable1000.

To follow his radio shows, Snipes can be tracked at
http://www.twitter.com/vannshane.

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