Digital Reviews

Reviewed by Patrick Kelly

Wilderness Digest

August 2022 | Volume 28, Number 2

The Landscape Podcast

Hosted by Aaron Weiss and Kate Groetzinger. Available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and Stitcher.

The Landscape Podcast

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 more solid options available, this issue of IJW looks at “The Landscape”, a podcast hosted by Aaron Weiss and Kate Groetzinger and produced by the Center for Western Priorities.

The Denver-based Center for Western Priorities (CWP) is a “nonpartisan conservation and advocacy organization that serves as a source of accurate information, promotes responsible policies and practices, and ensures accountability at all levels to protect land, water, and communities in the American West.” With its often policy-heavy focus, “The Landscape” podcast is a dream come true for public lands nerds, or anyone interested in federal lands management in the American West.  

Hosted by veteran journalist Aaron Weiss, and former Utah public radio reporter Kate Groetzinger, The Landscape is a tightly produced, well-researched podcast mixing news, interviews, and in-depth reporting on contemporary developments in Western public lands conservation. Weiss and Groetzinger bring top-notch interviewing skills to the table, hosting a wide variety of guests. From scientists, advocates, and activists to legal scholars, authors, and even the occasional politician, The Landscape offers an impressive array of conservation perspectives and expertise.     

Among the many strengths of The Landscape podcast, the opening newscast featured at the beginning of every episode is particularly noteworthy. This brief but richly informative segment is perfect for those who want to stay abreast of the latest developments in public lands conservation. Despite the growing awareness of and interest in Western public lands, there are disappointingly few examples of high-quality reporting focused on such an important topic. The Landscape does a fine job of filling in this gap and, being advocates as well as reporters, the hosts offer additional and insightful analysis of the latest news, fitting it into broader efforts to protect the lands and waters of the American West.

Following the news segment are interviews with the experts and advocates working on Western public lands conservation.  Often centered around ongoing CWP campaigns, these interviews provide listeners with needed background information on work being done to protect these landscapes. After the Biden administration announced its “30×30” initiative, The Landscape launched their “Road to 30” campaign, featuring “Postcards”; stories of “everyday Americans and the places they want to conserve for future generations.” These postcards include stories on places like the Gila Wilderness, featured on a recent episode, where ongoing threats to this “first and wildest” region are detailed, along with efforts to protect the greater Gila for future generations.

Covering topics too numerous to list, The Landscape provides not only an important news source for all things public lands, it also offers listeners the chance to learn more about ongoing efforts to protect these landscapes.  If these issues concern you, then The Landscape is well worth a listen.

image of camera with mountain landscape

Reviewed by Patrick Kelly, IJW media and book review editor; email: patrick.ram.kelly@gmail.com

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