Reviewed by Patrick Kelly
April 2022 | Volume 28, Number 1
Hosted by Jack Humphrey, Available on Apple, Spotify and Amazon
The world of podcasting has exploded in the last 15 years and today there are shows on nearly any topic imaginable. Podcasts are convenient, often free, and offer a great way to learn more about something of interest to listeners. Fortunately, this powerful and relatively new medium is being utilized more and more within the wilderness and conservation community. Continuing a review of some of the quality options available, this issue of IJW takes a dive into the “Rewilding Earth Podcast”, hosted by Jack Humphrey and produced by the Rewilding Institute.
The Rewilding Institute thinks big, and its globally focused mission to “advance continental-scale conservation in North America and beyond” is refreshingly ambitious. Positioning itself as an “essential source of information” for the integration of wildlands conservation and the science of conservation biology, the Institute serves this purpose well through its utilization of the podcast format.
Hosted by longtime wildlands advocate Jack Humphrey, the Rewilding Earth Podcast draws from a deep well of experience, research, and expertise across a multitude of conservation-related fields. The stated goal of the podcast is to “highlight the work of the people involved in saving nature’s building blocks.” Produced in a long-form interview style, the show consists of in-depth conversations with scientists, activists, artists, journalists, and authors who each offer up unique and engaging perspectives on a wide range of topics. From rewilding efforts underway in Namibia (episode 73), to a discussion about the implications of the pandemic for conservation (episode 48), the breadth of topics and geographic areas covered is impressive.
Of the many strengths of the Rewilding Earth Podcast, its frequent focus on places not often viewed as candidates for rewilding is particularly powerful. Episode 78 discusses the prospect of rewilding the state of Iowa, one of the most domesticated landscapes in the United States, while episode 60 envisions the upper Midwest containing a giant 33,000 square mile wildlands network. For listeners who appreciate and understand the need for bold, landscape scale thinking to address the twin threats of climate change and the extinction crisis, episodes like this offer tangible, well-developed visions for a wilder, more biodiverse future.
Complemented by Humphrey’s knowledgeable and engaging interview style, the Rewilding Earth Podcast offers a great resource for those working on wilderness and conservation issues. Episodes are often timely and topical, addressing contemporary developments in conservation policy, practice, and law. Multiple episodes have been devoted to current debate (or recent passage) of wilderness bills in Congress (episodes 19 & 75). With further episodes on issues like Colorado wolf reintroduction and the removal of dams on the Lower Snake River, the podcast provides expert background information and analysis of some of the most pressing environmental issues of the day.
Whether you find yourself with time to kill on a long road trip, or you’re simply cooking up a meal in your kitchen, it is worth the time to cue up an episode of the Rewilding Earth Podcast.
Reviewed by Patrick Kelly, IJW media and book review editor; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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