#44 Lakhan Clark
Lakhan Clark is an outdoorsman and writer from Auckland, New Zealand. He's passionate about connecting to the natural world through the pursuit of wild food in the NZ backcountry. He's committed to helping preserve this human and wildlife connection by sharing his adventures and experience with others.We connected a while back on social media through shared interests in the outdoors and the tough questions surrounding ethical wildlife management. Lakhan has some interesting perspectives as a kiwi hunter. New Zealand is often thought of as a sportsman’s paradise with abundant wild game and relatively few restrictions. As you will hear, all of that comes at a price.We spent most of the episode talking about the various introduced species in New Zealand, how they got there, and how they are being managed. From Red Deer and Wallaby to Wild Turkeys and Peacocks, it’s a bizarre place. We also touched on firearms restrictions, culling programs, feral cats and all sorts of interesting wildlife stories. Thanks to Lahkan for coming on the show, and I hope you will check out his content online. I’d start by reading his articles on Meateater and by following him on Instagram @fillthefreezer2.0.
#43 Robert Kent
Robert Kent is the Texas State Director for The Trust for Public Land, where he leads a team of colleagues and volunteers working to make the health, climate, equity, and community benefits of parks and nature accessible to all. Born and raised in Dallas, Robert is passionate about building green, resilient cities in the Lone Star State.Since joining the TPL in 2014, Robert has led their work to develop a network of parks and trails across southern Dallas, help pass a $310 million bond package for parks and trails, develop an open space plan for City of Fort Worth, and acquire hundreds of acres of land for new parks throughout Texas, to name a few things. In 2009, Robert completed a 2,100-mile thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail, followed by a coast-to-coast hike across Scotland in 2011.You will hear about Robert’s formative time at Baylor University in my home town of Waco, TX, his international studies in Scotland, his Appalachian Trail thru-hike, and all about the TPL’s work in Texas communities, from dusting off historic city plans for urban greenways and parks to the 2 billion dollar idea for a Texas Land and Water Conservation Fund.Head to TPL.org to find out more and to see some of the projects we discussed.
#42 Dr. Jason LaBelle
Dr. Jason LaBelle is a professor of anthropology at Colorado State University. He is the director of a research lab called the Center for Mountain and Plains Archaeology, and serves as the curator of the Archaeological Repository at CSU. He specializes in the study of hunter-gatherers, specifically pre and post-contact Native American cultures of the Intermountain West. He and his students research the early peopling of the North American continent, including such topics high altitude and mountain archaeology, communal hunting, and lithic technology.We talked about some of the incredible archaeological sites found throughout Colorado that help tell the stories of the first people in the Americas. These sites include ancient hunting grounds in high mountain passes and seasonal camps in the plains, the oldest evidence dating back to over 12,000 years ago. Dr. LaBelle’s research, and his ability to communicate it to a broader audience, opens a window to our shared past, connecting us to an ancient story of survival. It’s fascinating to speculate on the lives these people lived, and hard to imagine how they withstood it all.
#41 Seth Wilson
Seth Wilson is the Executive Director of the Blackfoot Challenge, a leading collaborative conservation group based in western Montana. As an applied conservation biologist, Seth has worked on resolving issues between people and wildlife in the United States, Canada, and Europe for more than 20 years. He began working for the Blackfoot Challenge in 2001 as the organization’s first Wildlife Coordinator, conducting scientific research and developing strategies to reduce conflicts with grizzly bears and wolves as they returned to this part of their historic range. Recently, he spent three years in Slovenia as an advisor to the Slovenian Forest Service and partners from Italy, Austria, Croatia, Slovakia, and Romania to support brown bear and Eurasian lynx conservation and management.We talked about the history and structure of the Blackfoot Challenge, the unique and majestic landscape it’s situated in, the challenges of working with such a diverse group of landowners, and their carnivore coexistence work that has become a model for other parts of the world.Check out Blackfootchallenge.org for more information and for stunning visuals of this landscape. You can start with a short 13-minute film called Landscape of Hope under the history page.
#40 Jaden Bales
Jaden Bales is a sportsman and western hunting tag expert from Wyoming. He’s written for outdoor media websites like Rokslide and Modern Huntsman, and has appeared regularly on podcasts such as Eastman’s Elevated and the Rich Outdoors. When he’s not hunting or talking about hunting, he’s advocating for wildlife as the communications director for Wyoming Wildlife Federation, an organization that provides leadership in conservation for Wyoming’s wildlife, hunters, and anglers through policy, education, advocacy, and habitat projects. We did a deep dive into western hunting, from some of Jaden’s personal stories, to how he helps people find good opportunities through his new venture, Hunt West. A few days after this recording, I hired Jaden for a consultation. He put a lot of effort into producing a custom package for me to help me achieve some of my hunting goals and understand where and how I need to be applying for tags. Well worth it for anyone from new hunters trying to understand the system to experienced sportsmen looking for some new opportunities or places to hunt. One aspect of this podcast is that it gives me an avenue to connect with people that I admire and can learn something from. I found Jaden’s early hunting stories to be very relatable to my own experiences so far, and he’s been able to advance as an outdoorsman to the point where he’s having consistent success and some amazing adventures, so it was nice to pick his brain a bit, and I hope you enjoy the conversation. Even if you aren’t into hunting, this is about growth and love for the outdoors. You can learn more at Huntwest.net, follow Jaden on Instagram at @HuntsWest, and see what the awesome team at Wyoming Wildlife Federation is doing by visiting Wyomingwildlife.org.