Common Land explores the creation stories behind protected areas. In each season of the show, we take a deep dive into the history, science and politics behind the establishment of one particular patch of protected common land. National parks, monuments, conservation areas, national scenic trails - any area that has been granted protected status by government is fair game for exploration on this new documentary style podcast series.
Season one is focused on a National Conservation Area in Idaho that is home to a unique population of birds of prey.
BONUS Episode: A Positive Experience
In this bonus episode of the show, shared with you via the podcast HumaNature, we’ll hear about a father who takes his young daughter out on her first backpacking trip in one of our most treasured protected areas - Bryce Canyon National Park.
BONUS Episode: A Tribute to John Freemuth
John Freemuth was a public policy professor and the Cecil Andrus Endowed Chair of Environment and Public Lands at Boise State University whose voice was featured in season one of Common Land. He passed away on May 2nd, 2020 - this is our tribute to a professor who shaped the way that we view public lands in the West.
BONUS Episode: COVID-19 and the Appalachian Trail
Season Two of Common Land was supposed to be focused on the Appalachian Trail, and production was scheduled to start in March of 2020. Unfortunately, the spread of COVID-19 has forced us, along with many others hoping to thru-hike the entire 2,200-mile-long trail, to postpone their trips. In this bonus episode of the show, we explore the motivations behind those seeking to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail, and examine how the spread of COVID-19 has affected these hikers, as well as the trail itself.
Birds of Prey Episode 10: The Climate Crisis and Our Uncertain Future
The future of the Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey NCA is highly uncertain as the area and its unique raptor population face a multitude of threats stemming from our current climate crisis. Despite this, basic research and monitoring of the health of raptor populations and their habitats has been defunded in recent decades, making it impossible to know what the future holds for this globally unique population of birds of prey.
Birds of Prey Episode 9: The Cheatgrass Fire Cycle
Cheatgrass, an invasive annual grass species, has spread throughout the Intermountain West, including the entire area that makes up the Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey NCA. As this invasive species has become dominant throughout this large region, it has transformed shrubland ecosystems and dramatically increased the risk of wildfire, causing innumerable problems for both humans and wildlife.
Birds of Prey Episode 8: Unceded Land
The arrival of substantial numbers of European American settlers in Southwest Idaho in the mid-1800s led to conflict over land ownership with the Shoshone and Paiute tribes. Although attempts were made to settle these conflicts via treaty-making, the treaties that cover the Snake River Canyon region were never ratified by the US Senate. This, according to current leaders of the Shoshone and Paiute tribes, means that these tribal nations still have a legal ownership claim over all of the land of Southwest Idaho.