100 episodes

The National Wildlife Federation Outdoors Podcast explores the biggest conservation issues and most interesting conservationists and programs throughout the country, from national programs to statewide conservation efforts and current issues driving the conversation within the hunting, fishing, and conservation community.

National Wildlife Federation Outdoors National Wildlife Federation Outdoors

    • Sports
    • 4.9 • 27 Ratings

The National Wildlife Federation Outdoors Podcast explores the biggest conservation issues and most interesting conservationists and programs throughout the country, from national programs to statewide conservation efforts and current issues driving the conversation within the hunting, fishing, and conservation community.

    Crispin Powley talks Bass Fishing, Conservation and a Look to the Future.

    Crispin Powley talks Bass Fishing, Conservation and a Look to the Future.

    Aaron and Bill sit down with lifelong hunter and professional angler Crispin Powley. Crispin is a husband and father who spends hundreds of days afield each year and has hunted waterfowl in 30 states and three countries. He also runs an outdoors ministry at his local church.  

    Show notes:

    3:44 – Bill shares a little background on Crispin and how they met.

    5:00 – Crispin, Bill and Aaron share what they have been doing outside recently. Also, Aaron shares a fun update on recent lead-free landscapes field work from our sporting team.

    9:10 - Crispin shares a little background on his upbringing.

    11:46 – Crispin talks about how he got into the outdoor industry.

    16:40 - Crispin chats about his role at Stratus and what it was like to work with so many famous people.

    23:47 – Crispin tells us about his transition to working with GSM. Also, what does that stand for?

    33:20 – Crispin talks about expanding past bass fishing. What other species are they after?

    35:45 - Crispin’s shares his top fishing spots (then and now). Can you believe it?!

    47:25 – Short break for a message from our partner podcast, Artemis Sportswomen. Be sure to follow NWF Outdoors on social media for more great content!!

    50:00 - Crispin talks about his conservation realm and explains how the industry is looking at current conservation challenges.

    57:26 - Crispin talks about what happened on Kentucky Lake regarding bass fishing over the past decade.

    1:07:38 – Crispin shares some words of wisdom regarding the future of bass fishing and conservation.

    1:11:43 – Parting words. 

    • 1 hr 16 min
    20 years of Protecting Bristol Bay and the best Salmon Runs on Earth with Brian Kraft of Alaska Sportsmen’s Lodge

    20 years of Protecting Bristol Bay and the best Salmon Runs on Earth with Brian Kraft of Alaska Sportsmen’s Lodge

    Aaron and Bill sit down with the 2021 Orvis Conservationists of the Year, owner of Alaska Sportsmen’s Lodge, and renowned Bristol Bay conservationist Brian Kraft. Brian has spent nearly 20 years working to stop the Pebble Mine in Bristol Bay from ever becoming a reality. The EPA recently announced another comment period regarding prohibiting discharge of dredge or fill materials. If the latest effort is successful, the Pebble Mine would again be halted. We talk to Brian about how he got into the lodge operating and fishing guide service, the incredible fishing and wildlife resources of Bristol Bay including 30” rainbow trout, how he first learned of the proposed mine, and his work to keep the mine away from the area that produces nearly half of all the planet’s salmon. And last, we pivot to permanent protection and how we can end the threats of large-scale mining in Bristol Bay once and for all.


    EPA link to comment portal


    EPA link describing comment process


    Video of Brain and his family talking about the values in Bristol Bay


    Video announcing Brian as Orvis Conservationist of the Year


    Conservation Organization Resources on Bristol Bay and the Pebble Mine



    Brian’s lodge website


    Show notes:

    3:58 – A little background on Brian.

    5:35 – Brian, Aaron and Bill share what they have been doing outside recently.

    9:20 - Brian provides a brief overview of the scale and scope of Bristol Bay and the surrounding area… The “breadbasket of fisheries” the bounty there is mindboggling! 47% of the world’s salmon comes from here!

    16:50 - Brian talks about how he got into running fishing lodges in Bristol Bay without any prior experience.

    25:55 - Brian takes us through a day on the water with his clients in Alaska… they’re catching 22-26” rainbow trout on the fly!

    30:38 - What is the average size range of the rainbow trout up there?

    32:53 – Short break for a message from our partner podcast, Artemis Sportswomen. For more great content, be sure to follow NWF Outdoors on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!

    34:45 - Brain shares a little background on how we got to where we are at now regarding the threat of the Pebble Mine in Bristol Bay. This has been a team battle!

    56:29 – How do we get permanent protection? Where would the relief money come from that would be used for the Federal Government to purchase land that is now part of the state of Alaska? What are other options including land swaps, etc.

    59:19 - What should folks be telling the EPA right now and how can we help with the permanent solution? “This is the wrong place for this type of development. Salmon runs are irreplaceable and provide food for the world. Let’s not replace one resource with another.”

    1:04:07 – Parting words from Brian, Bill and Aaron.

    “I didn’t inherit this land and these fisheries from my ancestors. I’m borrowing it from my children. It’s my responsibility to make sure that it’s in better shape for them to use and enjoy. We need to do the right thing. There are right places to do things like this and wrong places – and this is definitely the wrong place.” –Brian Kraft. 

    • 1 hr 7 min
    Catching Fish Changes Lives with Steve Bowman

    Catching Fish Changes Lives with Steve Bowman

    If you love bass fishing, this is the episode for you. Our guest today is Steve Bowman, and when it comes to bass fishing, conservation and tournament angling, he’s definitely the guy you want to hear from. From being a member of The Bass Fishing Hall of Fame to his work as manager of Bassmaster.com tournament coverage and BASS Manager of Angler Relations, he’s in the mix. His career and work are interesting, but it’s when he tells the story of making his first rod from an old car antenna to which he attached drink can pop-tops for guides and a Zebco reel he spent the summer mowing yards to buy when this show goes to the next level. The antenna rod comes back to mind when Steve tells how an African American kid in Little Rock changed his life and how he views the outdoors.

    Show links:





    Show notes:

    4:31 – Bill, Aaron and Steve share what they’ve been up too outside recently. Cue the turkey hunting, bass fishing and shed hunting!

    9:20 - Steve shares a little background on his childhood, a heartfelt story or two and his earliest memories of fishing with a stick and a string and the adventure of converting an antenna into a fishing rod so he could fish at the pond near his house. “So here’s a kid that’s right on the verge of going into a gang or going fishing… and he’s taking the opportunity to go fishing.”

    22:37 – Steve continues his discussion on the importance of providing fishing opportunities for every angler. He goes on to discuss high school and college bass fishing programs and the importance of investing in opportunity.

    27:56 – Steve talks about how he grew up saying he wanted to hunt and fish for a living. He chats about how he got into journalism and taught himself to write after saying to his boss, “I’ll do anything you want me to do, just ever ask me to write.”

    30:57 - Steve shares an inspiring duck hunting story that changed the direction of his life.

    33:35 – Steve talks about the time they wanted to channel the White River.

    37:00 - Discussing wildlife management and past deer situations in Arkansas.

    39:13 – Short break for a message from our partner podcast, Artemis Sportswomen. For more great content, be sure to follow NWF Outdoors on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter!!

    40:05 – Bill brings it back to storytelling and salesmen. Steve talks about his late friend, Ray Scott, and his profound impact on hunting and fishing in the U.S. as well as international bass fishing.

    44:05 - The evolution of “catch and release” in our country.

    47:16 -  Aaron brings it back to the connection between conservation and opportunity.

    51:36 – Bill brings up the topic of fishing with pro anglers and a few things that weekend anglers can pick up from observing these professionals in action.

    55:55 – Lots of professional bass fishing professionals were athletes prior… Also a mention of Tom Brady, duck hunting and duck habitat.

    59:03 – Bill brings it back to Vanishing Paradise and Steve’s involvement in a conservation issues that sportsmen and sportswomen need to know about.

    1:02:12 – Steve discusses a few conservation issues in Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee.

    1:05:15 – Closing statements. 

    “Just realize that a greater entity created all this, rather than a core of engineers…” -Steve Bowman


    • 1 hr 9 min
    The Trials and Tribulations of Salmon and Those Doing the Arduous Work to Help Them Recover with Brian Brooks and Aaron Lieberman

    The Trials and Tribulations of Salmon and Those Doing the Arduous Work to Help Them Recover with Brian Brooks and Aaron Lieberman

    Aaron and Bill revisit salmon conservation in the northwest in advance of nationwide day of action asking for immediate action and the removal of the four Snake River dams. We sit down with Brian Brooks, the executive director of the Idaho Wildlife Federation, Aaron Lieberman, the executive director of the Idaho Outfitters and Guides Association. We talk salmon conservation broadly, the history of salmon issues in the Northwest and how we got to this point, the recent processes to address the issues surrounding dam removal and salmon recovery, how the Snake River system dams are different from dams in places like Tennessee, and how the sporting community can engage to save this iconic species from extinction.


    General LinksCongressman Simpson’s leading page on the CBI: https://simpson.house.gov/salmon/ 
    Inslee Murray Study site (including comment links): https://www.lsrdoptions.org 
    White House Press release (3/18/22) re: Dams/Fish/Tribes: https://www.whitehouse.gov/ceq/news-updates/2022/03/28/columbia-river-basin-fisheries-working-together-to-develop-a-path-forward/ 

    Idaho Wildlife Federation links:https://idahowildlife.org/
    Donate to IWF: https://secure.everyaction.com/7bVn-yO2r0SFdf7WGFzk6A2

    IOGA Links:IOGA’s Action Page: https://ioga.org/the-columbia-basin-initiative/ Alternatively, here’s a link directly to the Out of Idaho action form: https://actnow.io/EdVJdCS 

    Link to Donate in Support of IOGA’s advocacy for Idaho Salmon & Steelhead: https://www.paypal.com/donate/?hosted_button_id=SY9ZJ352VZMYE 
    Link to sign up for IOGA’s newsletter to stay in the loop on the work: Subscribe 

    Show notes:

    3:55 – A little background on both guests.

    5:14 – What have these gentlemen been doing outdoors recently? Gobble gobble…

    10:54 – Jumping into why we are here – SALMON!!

    11:33 – Brian Brooks shares a salmon adventure story.

    14:03 – Aaron shares a salmon story that he enjoys sharing with his clients on the river.

    15:46 – After a long intro, we get down to the big questions:


    19:28 - What these dams do. Where they are at. How they constrict fish movements. An overview of the multiple factors which are affecting these fish runs.

    25:35 - The journey back to Idaho… salmon become tanks!

    27:27 – Well, why the Snake River dams?

    30:15 – Aaron shares how the low salmon returns affect his lifestyle as a fly fishing and rafting guide.

    36:01 – Brian highlights the importance of the Chinook Salmon season for the small town of Riggins, Idaho.

    37:51 – Aaron H. brings up somethings to consider regarding outdoor recreation and the connection between the economy in Idaho and the U.S.

    41:25 - Picking apart what removing the dams would entail.

    42:47 – What is the difference between removing dams in places like Tennessee versus removing the four lower Snake River dams?

    47:34 – “This should be a no brainer…”

    49:30 – “Both the heartening thing and also the deeply frustrating thing about this particular issue is we can do at least the primary thing we need to do in order to restore salmon and steelhead; and we can do so without negatively impacting the people who are most dependent on the current system.”

    51:12 – Short break for a message from our partner podcast, Artemis Sportswomen. Please be sure to follow NWF Outdoors on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for more great content!

    53:07 – Unpacking the details regarding the Simpson plan, the solution and five things the sporting community and others can do to work together and get this done.

     56:22 – The three realities in Simpson’s plan.

     57:47 - The investments a

    • 1 hr 27 min
    The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act with lead sponsor, Senator Martin Heinrich

    The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act with lead sponsor, Senator Martin Heinrich

    Aaron and Bill sit down with Senator Martin Heinrich of New Mexico to discuss the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act (RAWA) - what it is, what it aims to accomplish, and what we need to do to get I passed. Senator Heinrich is the leading sporting advocate in Congress and has worked diligently on numerous pieces of conservation legislation. We cover his perspectives of RAWA, how it will help state agencies, the opportunities to mitigate wildfire and its impacts, and his opinion that RAWA will be “the most impactful wildlife conservation investment in U.S. history”. Senator Heinrich has also been a champion on combating CWD. We ask him for an update on the Senate companion legislation to the passed House version of the Chronic Wasting Disease Research and Management Act.


    NWF Outdoors Recovering America’s Wildlife Act action alert – email your Member of Congress here: https://support.nwf.org/page/39420/action/1?fbclid=IwAR32AQFGFCHRenhBbDzEtHB9vBVXrb9T0PURcT9pv6kDfyweoSLgBckvSBo

    RAWA bill text: https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/house-bill/2773

    More details on RAWA: https://www.nwf.org/Our-Work/Wildlife-Conservation/Policy/Recovering-Americas-Wildlife-Act

    Our recent sporting blog on RAWA: https://www.nwf.org/Outdoors/Blog/03-23-2022-Bipartisan-Wildlife-Bill-Will-Benefit-Hunters-Anglers

    House version CWD bill text: https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/house-bill/5608

    Show notes:

    2:39 – Little background on Senator Martin Heinrich. “The sporting community’s  biggest champion in Congress.”

    3:27 – What has Senator Heinrich been doing outside recently?

    5:44 - Senator Heinrich talks about Recovering America’s Wildlife Act. “…the wildlife version of the Great American Outdoors Act”

    8:23 – Why should the sporting community support this?

    11:24 – “This is the number one agreed upon focus for benefiting wildlife in this Congress, and the sporting community in particular has stepped up in a way that’s allowed us to move this forward and keep it incredibly bipartisan during a divided time in our country. Wildlife is something that brings us back together…”

    12:36 - Senator Martin Heinrich reflects on what the early advocates for wildlife went through a century ago in places like New Mexico… highlighting elk, mule deer, pronghorn and wild turkey.

    Expressing hope that our grandkids inherit the same amazing breath of wildlife that folks took for granted when they grew up.

    15:28 - How much latitude will state agencies will have when they spend the money provided by Recovering America’s Wildlife Act? Turns out, the actual program is built completely by each individual state agency.

    Please note: States all have what are called state wildlife action plans, if you are interested for your state be sure to google “(your state) wildlife action plan”

    17:06 – Senator Heinrich points out -- the current programs which support these state wildlife action plans are completely inadequate to implement them. The need outstrips the support. RAWA would allow the agencies to implement these plans.

    18:01 – “What the catch? There’s gotta be a catch? Nothing can be this perfect…” Right now, sportswomen and sportsmen have a lot of input with state agencies because their dollars fund the agencies. Will this change when the states have additional funding?

    21:04 – Shout out to our partner podcast, Artemis Sportswomen. For more great content, please be sure to follow NWF Outdoors on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

    22:48 - Senator Heinrich talks about how Recovering America’s Wildlife Act will help with natural infrastructure and wild fires.  

    26:14 – Continuing discussion the benefits that stack up when you restore habitat for one small song bird in a wetland… restoration like this benefit’s multiple species (including hunters and anglers).

    27:07 - Senator Heinrich talks twenty years down the road with Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, highlighting th

    • 34 min
    Now What? CWD is Here for the Foreseeable future – Living with and Managing that Reality with Matt Dunfee.

    Now What? CWD is Here for the Foreseeable future – Living with and Managing that Reality with Matt Dunfee.

    In the final episode of the CWD Chronicles, we bring back Matt Dunfee from the Wildlife Management Institute to put a bow on the series, help us affirm good information, throw away bad information, respond to listener questions, and look to the future of managing and living with CWD.


    CWD Chronicles FULL SHOW ARCHIVE: https://www.nwf.org/Outdoors/Our-Work/CWD-Chronicles

    Recent and Ongoing CWD Research and Management Projects: https://cwd-info.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/CWD-RESEARCH-SUMMARIES-MASTER-6-29-21.pdf

    CWD in North America: https://cwd-info.org/map-chronic-wasting-disease-in-north-america/

    Carcass Importation Regulations: https://cwd-info.org/state-and-province-carcass-import-regulations/

    CWD-Related Hunting Regulations: https://cwd-info.org/cwd-hunting-regulations-map/

    Show notes:

    5:14 – Aaron shares a little background on Matt for those who didn’t catch episode one.

    6:34 – Quick overview of previous topics covered in the CWD Chronicles Episodes 1-5.

    9:18 – Ashley shares a few other things that we hope to look at as we wrap up this series.

    *A few take-aways from previous episodes: Get tested. Support intensive management actions when necessary. Don’t congregate animals.

    11:53 – Within the past six months, we have four new states with CWD positive tests!

    13:09 – Matt reflects on the broader picture which has been reinforced over this series.

    “The first one is never the first one, we find this disease as we test more for it.”

    17:00 – Aaron chips in that in this episode we are highlighting questions from our listeners.

    19:05 – First listener question from John Matis in Loveland, CO.

    John says: I’d like to know why all the deer aren’t dead?  If chronic wasting disease is so contagious, and results in 100% fatalities, then why haven’t all the deer and elk died? Or is there genetic selection taking place, where the animals are developing immunity or resistance to the disease? Why not let natural selection take place? 

    21:57 – Can a fawn be born CWD positive? Ashley points out that younger populations have other implications beyond just total numbers.

    24:50 – Second listener question from Gary Maerz in Westbury, NY.

    Gary asks: Have state agencies considered a program that allows the issuance of additional tags if a hunter harvests a CWD positive deer, after verified by testing?

    29:08 – Third listener question from Austin Moon in Cheyenne, WY.

    Austin asks: Why is CWD more prevalent in deer than in other ungulates?

    34:07 – Fourth listener question from Sarah Mueller in Pennsylvania.
    Sarah says: We are just now on the edge of the CWD zone, should I get my deer tested? Can I eat the meat if it’s CWD positive? I’m nervous about using my good knives to butcher if I get prions that will never come off on them. Other states have lived with CWD for years but Pennsylvania is pretty new – how do I navigate this?

    38:00 – Ashley asks about the potential of prions penetrating the handles of her knives.

    39:00 – Aaron asks if we, as a sporting community, should just take on as a sporting community that everyone should get tested 100% of the time.

    43:22 – Should we be testing pronghorn if they are harvested in a CWD hot zone given the fact that the disease has been documented to jump species?

    “When nothing is sure, anything is possible.”

    45:43 - Unpacking the logistics of universal testing. Meaning that every cervid out there is tested.

    54:50 - What if every research project out there at any given point could take a tiny “punch” sample from their ears for surveillance and tracking disease distribution.

    1:00:47 - How can the nonsporting public engage in the issues regarding CWD? Taking a look at the North American model of wildlife conservation.

    1:05:50 - It seems like there’s not really an end point in sight. Matt discusses some simple things to consider regarding wildlife conservation, getting involved, hunting with CWD on the mind, et

    • 1 hr 17 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
27 Ratings

27 Ratings

SiO2black ,

Outdoor education

This show is great for outdoor education and learning how the world around us is and how it’s changing. Hosting is pretty slick too.

Kevin Vistisen ,

Great Podcast

This is a great listen. Valuable information on topics that truly matter. Greatly appreciate the time and energy put into this podcast! I’d recommend it to anyone who loves the outdoors!

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