Bio: Cindy C. (Chojnacky)
Fiction author, explorer, freelance writer, wilderness ambassador
Cindy’s background includes forestry reporting, university relations and public affairs and management work for the USDA Forest Service throughout the U.S. and in Washington DC. Jobs included issues management, policy analysis, urban outreach and District Ranger in fire-prone southern California. Cindy has created and led many teams and temporary organizations, designed workshops and community meetings, managed national public involvement projects and had many speaking engagements including television, county and community meetings, interagency and Congressional briefings, workshops and professional meetings, and as a local, regional, and national spokesperson. Cindy has a BA in journalism, MA in environmental politics, and coursework towards a PhD in organization theory.
After her federal career, Cindy did forestry consulting work with scientist spouse David—in Southeast Asia, the Middle East and in Falls Church, Virginia. The Chojnackys then returned West to explore and write about wilderness. They have founded The Wilderness Need Association, a non-profit founded to advocate for wilderness visitors based on experience in about 50 wilderness areas in the U.S.
Cindy resides in Hailey, Idaho, and spends some winter months with family in Arizona. She has published freelance outdoors articles in Backpacker magazine and local newspapers as well as commentaries, journal articles and a chapter in a book on government leadership problems. Besides backpacking, Cindy’s other interests include bicycle commuting, triathlons and contemplative spirituality.
Sonora desert and mountains framing Tucson and Phoenix inspired Cindy’s first fiction novel, Return to the Wild. Return channels love for wild places, cynicism about human institutions and engineered solutions, and view that kids can do great things using their gifts and maybe a little otherworldly assistance.
(Click on image to copy for use; to return, click outside of image)
Captions from upper left: (1) author, (2) Mount Wrightson, (3) Syringa Mtn School, (4) White Clouds, (5) Sierra Ancha, (6) Zion, (7-8) Return to the Wilds covers.