The Eyes on Conservation Podcast is an interview series featuring conservations with top experts in the fields of conservation, wildlife and environmental justice.
ETH 221: There's No Such Thing as Wilderness: An Alternate History of the National Park Service
Historian Mark David Spence is the author of “Dispossessing the Wilderness”, which explores the often obscured history of the forced removal of Native Americans from the landscapes that would become our first national parks. Yosemite, Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks were inhabited landscapes before white settlers arrived and were awestruck by the scenic majesty of these places. Spence’s work shows how the history of the National Park Service is intertwined with the history of the reservation system and our nation’s shameful history of Native American oppression and genocide.
In our conversation, Spence discusses his research process for the book as well as the hurdles he encountered from Park Service historians and archivists. He also talks about his love for National Parks, and how he is able to continue to enjoy spending time in these magical places even after being exposed to their brutal and oppressive history.
ETH 220: That Insurrection Thing
Remember that insurrection thing that happened on January 6th? Well we’re here to talk about it! On today’s episode we convene a roundtable discussion with Wild Lens Inc. co-founder Matt Podolsky, former Senior Producer for the show, Gregory Haddock, and current Senior Producer, Sarinah Simons for a refreshing dive into all things politics.
We discuss some of the news that’s been on our minds following the election and certification of Joe Biden for President of the United States, as well as how we’re grappling with the events that followed. We’ll process some of our fears, share glimmers of hope for the future as well as how new political decisions may impact our planet.
ETH 219: Legends, Locals and Pink Dolphins
In this episode, we chat with Suzanne Smith, Founder and Executive Director of the Amazon River Dolphin Conservation Foundation about her efforts to conserve the endangered River Dolphins in the Amazon through research, education and collaboration. We talk about how her conservation work which builds upon the wisdom and beliefs of the local communities in the Amazon may be a recipe for success, despite the odds.
ETH 218: Possums, Stoats and Weasels...Oh My!
New Zealand is known as a land of extensive wilderness and pristine ecosystems, but, as with pretty much every single other natural habitat on this planet, it isn’t without its issues. These isolated islands have got some pretty big problems being caused by some very little animals.
Before Maori settlement in the early to mid-1300s New Zealand’s two big islands and numerous surrounding smaller islands were completely human-free. Since our species arrived, the country has seen its (largely endemic) bird population plummet, with numerous near and complete extinctions of some seriously amazing species, including all nine species of moa - a giant, flightless bird that reached heights of up to 3.6 metres, weighed up to 250kg and laid 4kg eggs, and the giant Haast eagle - the largest eagle to have ever lived, with talons reaching 8cm, a wingspan of up to 3 metres and standing at a metre tall.
Throughout history, New Zealand’s native species have faced many threats - overhunting, land use changes and habitat destruction - but in the modern day, the most pressing threat to New Zealands bird, lizard and insect life are invasive predators. Not only is the wildlife suffering, but the natural habitats are too - reduced bird populations means less seed spreading and less pollination, and habitat health is declining as a result.
These predators have been introduced both accidentally and purposefully, sometimes purposefully to try and remove the accidentally introduced ones. But, the NZ government, in collaboration with Predator Free NZ ( https://predatorfreenz.org ) , have set an ambitious target of removing all invasive predators by 2050 - Predator Free 2050 - it’s got a good ring to it right?! This may sound like one of the world’s most ambitious conservation projects due to the predator populations being absolutely huge, but with a massive amount of community and stakeholder support, and some amazing scientific innovation, it might just be possible and in some areas and for some species, it’s already working. Listen as Wildlife Biologist Hannah Mulvany speaks with Jessi Morgan, CEO of Predator Free NZ, about the conservation battle the country is fighting, and how they are getting on.
Music sourced from freemusicarchives.org ( http://freemusicarchives.org/ )
Bird song provided by the New Zealand Department of Conservation (DOC)
ETH 217: Biodiversity and Climate Change: 1 Coin 2 Sides
Rosalind Helfand was enamored with the wild hills of Simi Valley as a child. Their continuous destruction by human expansion ignited a quest for justice that has embedded Roz on the frontlines fighting for environmental and social issues her entire life. Recognition that human rights and the plights facing our natural ecosystems are intertwined has strengthened her resolve.
Roz works as a consultant helping develop progressive policies for non-profit and governmental entities. A recent focus has been on the upcoming 2021 Convention on Biological Diversity where her efforts and those of many others have helped establish the state of California as an official observer of the convention.
Roz spoke with Wild Lens member Jason Milligan about her history with progressive policy, the challenges facing the Convention on Biological Diversity, and how issues facing biodiversity are intricately linked with climate change.
UN Convention on Biological Diversity:
Guardian Links Climate Change and Biodiversity:
Panel Announcing CA as an Observer:
GEC Supports CA’s Participation in CBD:
CA Biodiversity Collaborative:
Governor Newsom’s Executive Order to Combat Climate Change and Protect Biodiversity:
IIED Links Biodiversity and Social Issues:
NPQ Links Biodiversity and Social Issues:
ETH 216: Orcas, Salmon and...Trees?
In the picturesque Pacific Northwest lies an incredible landscape where the sea and mountain meet. This environment means life on land and sea are deeply intertwined with one another. In this episode, we will explore exactly how trees being planted near rivers throughout the region are helping save salmon, orcas, and an entire ecosystem.
I’m Victoria (Tori) Obermeyer, an environmental photojournalist based in Washington State. Over the last three years, I have been studying the highly endangered, Southern Resident Killer Whale which call the Salish Sea home. From conducting critical long-term data for NOAA to co-producing a feature-length documentary called Coextinction Film (hyperlink: https://www.coextinctionfilm.com ( https://www.coextinctionfilm.com/ ) ), I’ve come to understand the complexities behind their rapidly disappearing population.
In this episode, I had the honor of speaking with Diana Chaplain, Marketing Director from One Tree Planted (hyperlink: https://onetreeplanted.org ( https://onetreeplanted.org/ ) ) and Dr. Kathleen Guillozet, Senior Director of Bonneville Environmental Foundation Watersheds (hyperlink: http://www.b-e-f.org/ ). These two organizations are working together to find the most productive and helpful location to plant trees in order to restore salmon habitat all over the West Coast.
Together, we break down the threats toward these incredible species and their ecosystem, what’s being done to help save them, and what you can do to get involved.
To check out an informative, interactive map: https://defenders-cci.org/map/Promise_the_Pod/index.html or https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/viewer?mid=15lH5DGQEiRf_q_ySe7rhkf2N0E9XcClF&ll=44.45935547631631%2C-124.3810253&z=6 ( https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/viewer?ll=44.45935547631631%2C-124.3810253&mid=15lH5DGQEiRf_q_ySe7rhkf2N0E9XcClF&z=6 )
To support One Tree Planted: https://onetreeplanted.org/collections/united-states/products/orca-project
To support Coextinction Film: https://www.coextinctionfilm.com/shop
It's Okay by Firefl!es
Life Doesn't Escape Us by Sapajou