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Mountain & Prairie with Ed Roberson

Ed Roberson

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Mountain & Prairie with Ed Roberson

Mountain & Prairie with Ed Roberson

Ed Roberson

4
Followers
22
Plays
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About Us

Conversations with innovators of the American West. Guests include writers, ranchers, athletes, artists, adventurers, conservationists, entrepreneurs—anyone who’s doing inspired work that contributes to the region’s evolving and complex cultural fabric. Through informal yet substantive interviews, conservationist Ed Roberson introduces you to these fascinating characters, giving you a better understanding of their careers, influences, and outlooks, as well as a deeper appreciation for life in the American West.

Latest Episodes

Malcolm Brooks - Epic Tales from the American West

Malcolm Brooks is a Montana-based author best known for his epic novel "Painted Horses," a sweeping, large-scale tale of life in the American West in the 1950s. Published in 2015, Painted Horses has quickly become a classic among those who love Western literary fiction. Even more impressive, "Painted Horses" was Malcolm's first published novel-- a truly remarkable feat when you consider the story's breadth and depth and its characters. - Malcolm's obsession with writing began at age fourteen when a teacher gave him a copy of Larry McMurtry's "Lonesome Dove" during an incredibly formative period of his life. From that point on, Malcolm was laser-focused on becoming an author-- so much so that he completed his first full-length novel when he was only 18 years old. Malcolm continued to consistently write throughout his twenties, experiencing moderate journalism success, but never publishing a novel. When he was in his early thirties, Malcolm finally decided to go all-in on writing his dream novel-- "to go big or go home" as he says-- and he began the five-year process of writing "Painted Horses." It's safe to say that his efforts paid off-- "Painted Horses" has been compared to the works of Cormac McCarthy, Wallace Stegner, and more. - Malcolm and I were introduced by another gifted author and past podcast guest, Chris Dombrowski, and we had a wonderful conversation. If you're interested in the creative process or the ins-and-outs of craftsmanship, you will love this episode. We started out by talking about our mutual love of Lonesome Dove, and Malcolm shares how that book changed the trajectory of his life. We discuss Malcolm's upbringing, formal education, commitment to carpentry, and artistic and literary influences. We obviously discuss "Painted Horses," and he offers a sneak preview of his upcoming novel, "Cloudmaker." Malcolm tells a great story about finding an ancient buffalo skull and offers tons of great book recommendations. And finally, he has some wise parting words that I think you'll find useful and timely. - Thanks to Malcolm for taking the time to chat. Be sure to check out the episode notes for links to everything we discuss. Hope you enjoy! --- "Painted Horses" by Malcolm Brooks "Cloudmaker" by Malcolm Brooks Full episode notes: https://mountainandprairie.com/malcolm-brooks/ --- TOPICS DISCUSSED: 3:30 - Influence of Lonesome Dove 9:30 – When did Malcolm discover he wanted to be a writer? 10:30 – Malcolm’s foray into carpentry and its overlaps with his writing 11:30 – Malcolm’s first manuscript 14:00 – When did Malcolm first get published? 15:45 – How Malcolm first became interested in Montana 17:45 – Malcolm’s formal education experience 20:30 – Painted Horses 22:30 – Malcolm’s self-critique and artistic influences 25:30 – Malcolm’s writing process 27:30 – Is writing fun for Malcolm? 28:15 – Legends of the Fall 30:30 – The importance of reading to Malcolm 32:00 – The importance of supplementary income for creatives and authors 37:00 – Malcolm’s advice for finishing a project and notes on new projects he is working on 40:30 - Yellowstone and its impact on American Western-focused television 41:30 – What authors does Malcolm admire? 48:00 – Slight teaser for Malcolm’s upcoming book, Cloudmaker 51:45 – What other art has shaped Malcolm’s world view? 53:30 – Malcolm’s most powerful experience in the outdoors 1:00:00 – Words of wisdom --- ABOUT MOUNTAIN & PRAIRIE: Mountain & Prairie - All Episodes Mountain & Prairie Shop Mountain & Prairie on Instagram Upcoming Events About Ed Roberson Support Mountain & Prairie Leave a Review on Apple Podcasts

64 min4 d ago
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Malcolm Brooks - Epic Tales from the American West

Mike Foote - Perfection Is In the Process

Mike Foote is a Montana-based professional ultrarunner and ski mountaineer who is best known for his inspiring performances in 100-mile ultramarathons and multiday endurance expeditions through wild landscapes. In 2018, he set the world record for the most vertical feet climbed and skied in 24 hours-- a mind-blowing 61,200 feet. And in addition to his impressive athletic career, Mike is also a committed conservationist, serving on the board of directors of the Five Valleys Land Trust, an innovative conservation organization that serves the five valleys surrounding Missoula. - Mike grew up in Ohio and had never visited the American West until a life-changing college road trip took him to Moab, Utah. He instantly fell in love with the wide-open landscapes of the American West-- so much so that he left college in Ohio and moved to Steamboat Springs, Colorado. During that first year in Steamboat, Mike became obsessed with the mountains-- skiing, running, and enjoying all aspects of life in a Rocky Mountain ski town. Although the learning curve was steep, Mike loved every minute of his new life in the mountains, and he gradually became more and more obsessed with endurance sports. Fast forward to today, and Mike’s list of endurance accomplishments is astonishing-- he’s earned podium finishes at some of the world’s most notable races, including the Hardrock, UTMB, Big Horn 100, and more. - Despite all of his world-class athletic accomplishments, Mike is an amazingly down-to-earth and humble guy. We had a wonderful conversation and managed to cover a lot in a little over an hour--topics that will be impactful to runners and nonrunners alike. We started by discussing his early years in Ohio and that fateful, life-changing trip out West. We talked about his progression in endurance sports, and his transformation from complete beginner to North Face sponsored athleteto race director of The Rut Mountain Runs. We spend a lot of time talking about mental health, and Mike graciously shares some of the techniques, books, and resources that have helped him manage the inevitable ups and downs in life and sport. We also talk about his hands-on work with the Five Valleys Land Trust, and why he has chosen to be so deeply involved in conservation. And Mike is a voracious reader, so he offers up quite a few excellent recommendations throughout the conversation. - This is an excellent episode, and I can’t thank Mike enough for being so open and thoughtful throughout the entire conversation. I hope you enjoy! --- Mike Foote on Instagram The North Face The Rut Mountain Runs Five Valleys Land Trust Full Episode Notes: https://mountainandprairie.com/mike-foote/ --- TOPICS DISCUSSED: 4:00 - Where Mike grew up 5:45 - What drew Mike out West 11:50 - What was Mike’s first year out West like 14:25 - When Mike first started running 15:45 When did Mike realize he had a talent for distance running 19:10 - How did Mike end up in Missoula? 21:20 - Mentality shift from ”just going running” (paraphrased) to professional, goal-oriented training? 27:35 - What drives Mike on his runs? 32:00 - Community of ultra-endurance events 35:47 - Mike getting into the race directing business 39:57 - How does Mike deal with the mental struggles when running. 46:20 - Mike’s book recommendations for setting his mind right 49:00 - The importance of having deep conversations about mental health 50:30 - Mike’s commitment to land conservation 59:00 - General book recommendations 1:02:42 - Film recommendations 1:06:00 - Parting words of wisdom --- ABOUT MOUNTAIN & PRAIRIE: Mountain & Prairie - All Episodes Mountain & Prairie Shop Mountain & Prairie on Instagram Upcoming Events About Ed Roberson Support Mountain & Prairie Leave a Review on Apple Podcasts

69 min2 w ago
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Mike Foote - Perfection Is In the Process

NEW WEST DISPATCH: Matt Skoglund - Ranching in the Age of COVID

If you’ve listened to the podcast for a while, then you’re probably familiar with each episode’s general format: I have a long-form conversation with an interesting person who is doing important work in the American West. We usually spend about half of the time discussing their work and the other half discussing their personal backstory—a format that I thoroughly enjoy and seems to have struck a chord with a surprisingly large audience of listeners. The episodes are designed to be evergreen—whether you listen to them now or ten years from now, guests offer up timeless lessons you can apply to your own life. - But given our current moment in history and the public health, economic, social, and environmental challenges that have been accelerated by COVID, I’ve decided to periodically experiment with a new episode format, one that I’m calling NEW WEST DISPATCHES. In each New West Dispatch, I’ll speak with an expert about a very specific, current issue that is creating challenges for a specific sector of the American West. We’ll dig deep into the nitty gritty of the topic, going into more detail than usual, with the goal of gaining a better understanding of time-sensitive issues facing the West. We’ll hear firsthand stories from people on the front lines of their sectors, and discuss solutions to the problems at hand. The vast majority of Mountain & Prairie episodes will continue to follow the tried-and-true interview format, but every so often, as opportunities present themselves, I’ll look forward to getting a little more technical with Dispatches. - My guest for the first New West Dispatch is Matt Skoglund. Matt is an attorney-turned-bison rancher who joined me on the podcast last year for a fun and wide-ranging conversation about his path to founding his business North Bridger Bison. Matt came back to discuss some of the specific COVID-related challenges facing his bison business, specifically the astounding shortage of meat processing facilities throughout the American West. As you may remember, when COVID hit in March, there were endless news stories about meat shortages and breakdowns in supply chains linking producers and consumers. Although it’s not on the front page of the paper anymore, large-scale challenges persist, and Matt is in the middle of it all on a daily basis. So he was kind enough to return to the podcast to share his extensive knowledge on the subject, and to offer some potential solutions toward bolstering the food production system here in the West. - Matt covers a lot of ground in less than an hour, so be sure to check out the episode notes for a list of all the topics we discuss and links to resources. Hope you enjoy! --- North Bridger Bison Matt Skoglund's First Mountain & Prairie Episode Full Episode Notes: https://mountainandprairie.com/matt-skoglund-2/ --- TOPICS DISCUSSED: 4:00 - Overview of North Bridger Bison 8:30 - COVID’s effects on meatpacking 11:45 - Big outbreaks in packing plants 15:30 - Challenges to regenerative ag because of COVID 17:30 - Cause of the processing backlog 21:00 - Fragility of the US food system 23:30 - What prevents entrepreneurs from opening more processing plants? 26:00 - Appreciation for good meat 29:30 - Grazing as healing for the ecosystem 33:00 - Will more meat processing businesses open? 35:15 - Will meat processing go back to “normal” after post-COVID? 39:00 - Gov. Steve Bullock’s COVID relief 40:30 - Labor shortages 42:00 - The art of butchery 44:00 - Be intentional with impact 49:00 - Externalities of cheap meat 53:00 - Books to read about meat 54:30 - Productive actions to take --- ABOUT MOUNTAIN & PRAIRIE: Mountain & Prairie Podcast Mountain & Prairie SHOP Mountain & Prairie on Instagram Upcoming Events About Ed Roberson Support Mountain & Prairie

60 minNOV 2
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NEW WEST DISPATCH: Matt Skoglund - Ranching in the Age of COVID

Juanita Vero, Part 2 - A Deep Desire to Serve

If you’re a long-time listener, then surely you remember Juanita Vero. Juanita is a fourth-generation Montana rancher, conservationist, community leader, and all-around inspiring woman. She’s also a devoted public servant, serving as a Missoula County Commissioner, where she gets her hands dirty with the critical and often not-so-glamorous work of county government. Juanita’s name will be on the ballot in Missoula County this November, where she is hoping to win a six-year term to continue her service as a Commissioner. - Juanita joined me on the podcast back in 2018, then again on stage at last year’s live podcast in Bozeman, so her personal story is probably familiar. I wanted to have her back on the show as we approach the election because her story serves as an inspiring example of how citizens can push outside of their comfort zones to lead the communities they love. As you’ll hear, Juanita had never considered assuming a public office—but when the opportunity presented i...

64 minOCT 17
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Juanita Vero, Part 2 - A Deep Desire to Serve

Jessica Wahl Turner - Outdoor Recreation & Rural Economies

Jessica Wahl Turner is the Executive Director of the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR), America's leading coalition of outdoor recreation trade associations and organizations. Currently, the ORR is comprised of 31 national association members that serve more than 100,000 outdoor-related businesses, which is an amazing feat considering that the organization is less than three years old. Jessica and her team bring together all sectors of the outdoor economy to harness the industry's collective power and advance issues related to conservation, outdoor access, public lands infrastructure, and much more. Whether she's in the halls of Congress or the wide-open spaces of the American West, Jessica is a devoted, effective advocate for the outdoor industry. - This conversation is part of the Montana Governor's Office of Outdoor Recreation's "Business of Outdoor Recreation Summit"—a gathering of some of the most notable names in the outdoor recreation sector. Because of COVID, this year's ...

66 minOCT 13
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Jessica Wahl Turner - Outdoor Recreation & Rural Economies

Steve Casimiro - Voice of Adventure

Steve Casimiro is the founder and editor of Adventure Journal, an online and quarterly print magazine devoted to outdoor adventure in all its forms. AJ began as Steve's personal blog back in 2008—a project he created on the side while writing for National Geographic Adventure. Steve's unique perspective and devotion to adventure writing struck a chord with the outdoor community, and AJ's audience grew and grew. When National Geographic Adventure closed its doors in 2009, Steve decided to pursue AJ with his full professional focus, building a loyal following who is deeply devoted to AJ online and in print. - Steve grew up on the east coast, and from an early age, he was obsessed with writing, photography, and storytelling. After earning a degree in journalism, he spent his early twenties writing for traditional newspapers, including USA Today. But when presented with the opportunity to meld his passion for the outdoors with his journalism career, he left the newspaper business to jo...

78 minOCT 6
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Steve Casimiro - Voice of Adventure

Chris Castilian – Community, Conservation, and Colorado

Chris Castilian is the Executive Director of Great Outdoors Colorado (also known as GOCO), an organization that has committed more than $1.2 billion toward preserving and enhancing Colorado’s parks, trails, wildlife, rivers, and open spaces. Founded in 1992, GOCO is truly a one-of-a-kind conservation funder—the organization invests a portion of Colorado Lottery proceeds into a wide variety of critical projects, with a current emphasis on issues including equitable access and community vitality. GOCO’s impact around Colorado is staggering—its funding has conserved more than 1.2 million acres, added over 47,000 acres to the state park system, protected over 1,000 miles of rivers, and much more. - Chris is a native Coloradan, and all aspects of his professional success and personal passions speak to his deep love of his home state and its wide-open spaces. Chris was formally trained as an attorney, but early is his career, he chose to focus on service rather than billing hours at a fancy law firm. He served as the Deputy Chief of Staff to Governor Bill Owens and as Director of the Colorado State Board of Land Commissioners. He also had a successful stint in the private sector, honing his business skills which have served him well at GOCO. And, as you’ll hear, his focus manifests itself in his personal life through his commitment to the outdoors and mountain biking—he’s completed the Leadville 100 mountain bike race multiple times. - Since we’re all sticking close to home these days, Chris and I connected via Skype to talk about GOCO, his career, and his thoughts on conservation in Colorado and beyond. We started with a deep dive into the history of GOCO, discussed how the organization has evolved, and talked about its goals and plans for the coming years. We also discussed how GOCO is working to address some of the current public health and social challenges here in Colorado, including equitable access to the outdoors. Chris and I spent a lot of time discussing his personal background—why he chose to pursue a service-based career, his thoughts on leadership, lessons learned from his time in the business world, and what characteristics he looks for in employees. We also discussed his love of mountain biking, the Leadville 100, our shared interest in books and history, and he offered some wise parting words to listeners. - If you care about protecting the West’s open spaces and communities, then this episode is a must-listen. Enjoy! --- Great Outdoors Colorado Partners in the Outdoors --- This episode is brought to you by Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s Partners in the Outdoors program. The Partners in the Outdoors program brings together diverse interests from across the entire spectrum of the outdoors to advance and balance both outdoor recreation and conservation in Colorado. The program seeks to foster alignment and trust through three cornerstone initiatives: the Partners in the Outdoors Conference, the Colorado Outdoor Partnership, and the Colorado Outdoor Principles, as well as extensive resource sharing and network building. --- TOPICS DISCUSSED: 5:00 - The history of GOCO 7:30 - Similar programs in other states 8:30 - Why conservation matters during these crazy times 11:15 - GOCO’s new strategic plan 15:30 - A new holistic approach to community and conservation 18:45 - The evolution of GOCO 21:30 - Core values of GOCO 24:45 - Equitable access to the outdoors 28:30 - GOCO’s Equity Principles 34:00 - Inspiring work in Leadville, Colorado 37:45 - Growing up in Denver 38:30 - Life after law school 40:30 - Why pursue mission-based work? 45:00 - Transition into the private sector 47:30 - Changing mindset of the oil and gas industry 50:00 - Benefits of having business experience 56:00 - What Chris looks for when hiring people 58:00 - Favorite books 1:00:45 - Mountain biking, Leadville 100, Breck Epic, and other outdoor activities 1:07:00 - Favorite places in Colorado 1:08:45 - Parting words of wisdom ----- ABOUT MOUNTAIN

71 minSEP 21
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Chris Castilian – Community, Conservation, and Colorado

Anna Brones - Committed to Creativity

Anna Brones is a freelance journalist, author, artist, and producer who is prolific in all of her creative endeavors—she’s published four books, produced documentary films, is currently publishing a quarterly print journal about food, and much more. One of her most recent projects was the Women’s Wisdom Project, in which she showcased the wisdom of inspiring women by creating 100 papercut portraits. All of Anna’s work is authentic and enlightening, and her personal commitment to cultivating creativity is instructive and inspiring. - Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, Anna always had a deep appreciation for nature and community. She has studied, lived, and worked in many different countries and cities, but several years ago decided to return to her hometown in Washington state where she and her husband currently live. As you’ll hear in our conversation, Anna has read and thought deeply on the importance of place, and offers a unique perspective on what it means to be truly connected to a landscape or community. - Anna and I connected via Skype and had a wide-ranging conversation about her creative process, her current and past artistic projects, the importance of wilderness and nature, and much more. We started by discussing her Creative Fuel Challenge email newsletter—an amazing resource that has been very helpful to me during these past few crazy months. We also discussed her Women’s Wisdom Project—how she researched all 100 inspirational women and the process of creating 100 intricate pieces of art. Anna talked about her experience leading kids on a wilderness leadership retreat, as well as how camp and wilderness experiences in her own youth helped to shape her life and career. And as usual, we discussed favorite books and her most powerful outdoor experience, and she also offered some excellent words of wisdom for anyone with creative aspirations. - There are tons of resources mentioned in this episode. Be sure to check out the episode notes for links to everything, including a few bonus resources that Anna and I discussed before and after recording the actual episode. Enjoy! --- Anna Brones Women's Wisdom Project Creative Fuel --- TOPICS DISCUSSED: 3:30 - The Creative Fuel Challenge explained 6:30 - Why provide creative prompts? 7:45 - Importance of putting out regular content 9:30 - Time as an artist in residence 12:30 - Process of finding balance in life and creativity 15:30 - Pushing through creative blocks 19:00 - Fighting the reptile brain 20:45 - Using social media productively 23:45 - The Women’s Wisdom Project 27:45 - Process of researching women leaders 32:30 - The myth of having millions of ideas 36:00 - Anna’s early years in Washington state 41:00 - Importance of “place” 45:30 - How Anna came to appreciate the complexities of place 50:30 - Artists that Anna admires 53:30 - Anna’s experience leading wilderness trips 57:45 - How camp experiences benefited Anna 1:02:00 - Favorite books 1:06:30 - Most powerful outdoor experience 1:09:00 - Parting words of wisdom

72 minSEP 19
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Anna Brones - Committed to Creativity

Carlos Fernandez - The Power of Partnerships

Carlos Fernandez is the State Director for the Nature Conservancy in Colorado, where he and his team build alliances that advance conservation outcomes both in Colorado and around the world. Building on his formal training as an attorney, Carlos has had a long and successful career in conservation that extends far beyond the American West. He has worked extensively in his home country of Argentina, both as the Nature Conservancy's Southern Andes Conservation Strategies Manager and as the Patagonia Program Manager. Since taking the helm in Colorado in 2015, Carlos and TNC have enjoyed many notable achievements—everything from protecting large swaths of native grasslands to helping to create Colorado's newest state park. - Carlos grew up in Mendoza, Argentina, an agricultural region known for producing some of the world's best beef and exceptional Malbec wine. After a childhood spent hunting and fishing along the base of the Andes Mountains, Carlos trained as an attorney and went on to practice law for large international law firms in Buenos Aires and Washington DC. Several years into his career, Carlos realized that the legal profession was not providing deep fulfillment that he needed from a job—so he made the career switch into conservation and has never looked back. - Carlos and I had a fascinating conversation that I know you'll enjoy. We started by discussing the Nature Conservancy, and specifically what the organization does both globally and here in Colorado. We then chat about several of TNC's recent successes, including the creation of Yampa River Fund and TNC's critical role in acquiring and protecting the 19,200-acre Fisher's Peak property, which will soon be Colorado's newest state park. Carlos talks about the importance of partnerships in conservation, with other land trusts, governmental organizations, and local communities. We then discuss the future of conservation in the West and the challenges and opportunities facing the region in the next 30 years. Carlos and I both have five-year-old daughters, so we talk a bit about fatherhood and the outdoors' role in raising children. And as usual, we discuss favorite books, films, his favorite places in Colorado, and he offers some actionable words of wisdom. - This is an excellent episode, full of optimism, inspiration, and educational resources. Be sure to check out the episode notes for links to everything we discuss. Enjoy! --- The Nature Conservancy Full Episode Notes: https://mountainandprairie.com/carlos-fernandez/ CPW's Partners in the Outdoors --- This episode is brought to you by Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s Partners in the Outdoors program. The Partners in the Outdoors program brings together diverse interests from across the entire spectrum of the outdoors to advance and balance both outdoor recreation and conservation in Colorado. The program seeks to foster alignment and trust through three cornerstone initiatives: the Partners in the Outdoors Conference, the Colorado Outdoor Partnership, and the Colorado Outdoor Principles, as well as extensive resource sharing and network building. --- TOPICS DISCUSSED: 5:00 - The Nature Conservancy explained 9:30 - TNC’s mission in Colorado 10:30 - Yampa River Fund explained 16:30 - Importance of community in conservation 19:30 - Fishers Peak State Park 26:00 - TNC and equitable access to the outdoors 28:30 - The importance of partnerships 30:45 - Civic duty of partnerships 32:00 - Colorado Outdoor Partnerships 35:00 - Early years in Mendoza, Argentina 38:00 - Transitioning from corporate law into conservation 41:30 - Moving to Colorado 42:30 - Carlos’s unique professional background 46:00 - Conservation in the time of COVID 48:45 - Heroes and mentors 52:00 - Advice for people transitioning from the private sector into non-profits 55:30 - Envisioning the future of conservation 59:30 - Favorite books 1:04:00 - Favorite films 1:05:45 - Carlos’s favorite outdoor activities 1:07:00 - Rediscovering the outdoors th

74 minAUG 24
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Carlos Fernandez - The Power of Partnerships

David Gessner, Part 3 - A Confluence of Conservation Ideals

David Gessner is back for his third appearance on the podcast, and this time we are discussing his brand new book "Leave It As It Is: A Journey Through Theodore Roosevelt's American Wilderness." Most long-time listeners will remember David's past two episodes-- we discussed everything from Edward Abbey and Wallace Stegner to his daily writing rituals and his hand-built coastal writing shack. If you haven't listened to those first two episodes, I encourage you to do so—they are chock-full of wisdom, good humor, and inspiration to fight to conserve the places you love. But first, take a listen to this episode, as it offers some timely insights into this current moment in history. - In this episode, we spend the full hour discussing his new book and digging into the good, the bad, and the ugly of Theodore Roosevelt's legacy. As many of your know, I've read way-too-many TR books, and "Leave It As It Is" offers the most balanced, clear-eyed examination of the man that I've read to date....

66 minAUG 10
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David Gessner, Part 3 - A Confluence of Conservation Ideals

Latest Episodes

Malcolm Brooks - Epic Tales from the American West

Malcolm Brooks is a Montana-based author best known for his epic novel "Painted Horses," a sweeping, large-scale tale of life in the American West in the 1950s. Published in 2015, Painted Horses has quickly become a classic among those who love Western literary fiction. Even more impressive, "Painted Horses" was Malcolm's first published novel-- a truly remarkable feat when you consider the story's breadth and depth and its characters. - Malcolm's obsession with writing began at age fourteen when a teacher gave him a copy of Larry McMurtry's "Lonesome Dove" during an incredibly formative period of his life. From that point on, Malcolm was laser-focused on becoming an author-- so much so that he completed his first full-length novel when he was only 18 years old. Malcolm continued to consistently write throughout his twenties, experiencing moderate journalism success, but never publishing a novel. When he was in his early thirties, Malcolm finally decided to go all-in on writing his dream novel-- "to go big or go home" as he says-- and he began the five-year process of writing "Painted Horses." It's safe to say that his efforts paid off-- "Painted Horses" has been compared to the works of Cormac McCarthy, Wallace Stegner, and more. - Malcolm and I were introduced by another gifted author and past podcast guest, Chris Dombrowski, and we had a wonderful conversation. If you're interested in the creative process or the ins-and-outs of craftsmanship, you will love this episode. We started out by talking about our mutual love of Lonesome Dove, and Malcolm shares how that book changed the trajectory of his life. We discuss Malcolm's upbringing, formal education, commitment to carpentry, and artistic and literary influences. We obviously discuss "Painted Horses," and he offers a sneak preview of his upcoming novel, "Cloudmaker." Malcolm tells a great story about finding an ancient buffalo skull and offers tons of great book recommendations. And finally, he has some wise parting words that I think you'll find useful and timely. - Thanks to Malcolm for taking the time to chat. Be sure to check out the episode notes for links to everything we discuss. Hope you enjoy! --- "Painted Horses" by Malcolm Brooks "Cloudmaker" by Malcolm Brooks Full episode notes: https://mountainandprairie.com/malcolm-brooks/ --- TOPICS DISCUSSED: 3:30 - Influence of Lonesome Dove 9:30 – When did Malcolm discover he wanted to be a writer? 10:30 – Malcolm’s foray into carpentry and its overlaps with his writing 11:30 – Malcolm’s first manuscript 14:00 – When did Malcolm first get published? 15:45 – How Malcolm first became interested in Montana 17:45 – Malcolm’s formal education experience 20:30 – Painted Horses 22:30 – Malcolm’s self-critique and artistic influences 25:30 – Malcolm’s writing process 27:30 – Is writing fun for Malcolm? 28:15 – Legends of the Fall 30:30 – The importance of reading to Malcolm 32:00 – The importance of supplementary income for creatives and authors 37:00 – Malcolm’s advice for finishing a project and notes on new projects he is working on 40:30 - Yellowstone and its impact on American Western-focused television 41:30 – What authors does Malcolm admire? 48:00 – Slight teaser for Malcolm’s upcoming book, Cloudmaker 51:45 – What other art has shaped Malcolm’s world view? 53:30 – Malcolm’s most powerful experience in the outdoors 1:00:00 – Words of wisdom --- ABOUT MOUNTAIN & PRAIRIE: Mountain & Prairie - All Episodes Mountain & Prairie Shop Mountain & Prairie on Instagram Upcoming Events About Ed Roberson Support Mountain & Prairie Leave a Review on Apple Podcasts

64 min4 d ago
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Malcolm Brooks - Epic Tales from the American West

Mike Foote - Perfection Is In the Process

Mike Foote is a Montana-based professional ultrarunner and ski mountaineer who is best known for his inspiring performances in 100-mile ultramarathons and multiday endurance expeditions through wild landscapes. In 2018, he set the world record for the most vertical feet climbed and skied in 24 hours-- a mind-blowing 61,200 feet. And in addition to his impressive athletic career, Mike is also a committed conservationist, serving on the board of directors of the Five Valleys Land Trust, an innovative conservation organization that serves the five valleys surrounding Missoula. - Mike grew up in Ohio and had never visited the American West until a life-changing college road trip took him to Moab, Utah. He instantly fell in love with the wide-open landscapes of the American West-- so much so that he left college in Ohio and moved to Steamboat Springs, Colorado. During that first year in Steamboat, Mike became obsessed with the mountains-- skiing, running, and enjoying all aspects of life in a Rocky Mountain ski town. Although the learning curve was steep, Mike loved every minute of his new life in the mountains, and he gradually became more and more obsessed with endurance sports. Fast forward to today, and Mike’s list of endurance accomplishments is astonishing-- he’s earned podium finishes at some of the world’s most notable races, including the Hardrock, UTMB, Big Horn 100, and more. - Despite all of his world-class athletic accomplishments, Mike is an amazingly down-to-earth and humble guy. We had a wonderful conversation and managed to cover a lot in a little over an hour--topics that will be impactful to runners and nonrunners alike. We started by discussing his early years in Ohio and that fateful, life-changing trip out West. We talked about his progression in endurance sports, and his transformation from complete beginner to North Face sponsored athleteto race director of The Rut Mountain Runs. We spend a lot of time talking about mental health, and Mike graciously shares some of the techniques, books, and resources that have helped him manage the inevitable ups and downs in life and sport. We also talk about his hands-on work with the Five Valleys Land Trust, and why he has chosen to be so deeply involved in conservation. And Mike is a voracious reader, so he offers up quite a few excellent recommendations throughout the conversation. - This is an excellent episode, and I can’t thank Mike enough for being so open and thoughtful throughout the entire conversation. I hope you enjoy! --- Mike Foote on Instagram The North Face The Rut Mountain Runs Five Valleys Land Trust Full Episode Notes: https://mountainandprairie.com/mike-foote/ --- TOPICS DISCUSSED: 4:00 - Where Mike grew up 5:45 - What drew Mike out West 11:50 - What was Mike’s first year out West like 14:25 - When Mike first started running 15:45 When did Mike realize he had a talent for distance running 19:10 - How did Mike end up in Missoula? 21:20 - Mentality shift from ”just going running” (paraphrased) to professional, goal-oriented training? 27:35 - What drives Mike on his runs? 32:00 - Community of ultra-endurance events 35:47 - Mike getting into the race directing business 39:57 - How does Mike deal with the mental struggles when running. 46:20 - Mike’s book recommendations for setting his mind right 49:00 - The importance of having deep conversations about mental health 50:30 - Mike’s commitment to land conservation 59:00 - General book recommendations 1:02:42 - Film recommendations 1:06:00 - Parting words of wisdom --- ABOUT MOUNTAIN & PRAIRIE: Mountain & Prairie - All Episodes Mountain & Prairie Shop Mountain & Prairie on Instagram Upcoming Events About Ed Roberson Support Mountain & Prairie Leave a Review on Apple Podcasts

69 min2 w ago
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Mike Foote - Perfection Is In the Process

NEW WEST DISPATCH: Matt Skoglund - Ranching in the Age of COVID

If you’ve listened to the podcast for a while, then you’re probably familiar with each episode’s general format: I have a long-form conversation with an interesting person who is doing important work in the American West. We usually spend about half of the time discussing their work and the other half discussing their personal backstory—a format that I thoroughly enjoy and seems to have struck a chord with a surprisingly large audience of listeners. The episodes are designed to be evergreen—whether you listen to them now or ten years from now, guests offer up timeless lessons you can apply to your own life. - But given our current moment in history and the public health, economic, social, and environmental challenges that have been accelerated by COVID, I’ve decided to periodically experiment with a new episode format, one that I’m calling NEW WEST DISPATCHES. In each New West Dispatch, I’ll speak with an expert about a very specific, current issue that is creating challenges for a specific sector of the American West. We’ll dig deep into the nitty gritty of the topic, going into more detail than usual, with the goal of gaining a better understanding of time-sensitive issues facing the West. We’ll hear firsthand stories from people on the front lines of their sectors, and discuss solutions to the problems at hand. The vast majority of Mountain & Prairie episodes will continue to follow the tried-and-true interview format, but every so often, as opportunities present themselves, I’ll look forward to getting a little more technical with Dispatches. - My guest for the first New West Dispatch is Matt Skoglund. Matt is an attorney-turned-bison rancher who joined me on the podcast last year for a fun and wide-ranging conversation about his path to founding his business North Bridger Bison. Matt came back to discuss some of the specific COVID-related challenges facing his bison business, specifically the astounding shortage of meat processing facilities throughout the American West. As you may remember, when COVID hit in March, there were endless news stories about meat shortages and breakdowns in supply chains linking producers and consumers. Although it’s not on the front page of the paper anymore, large-scale challenges persist, and Matt is in the middle of it all on a daily basis. So he was kind enough to return to the podcast to share his extensive knowledge on the subject, and to offer some potential solutions toward bolstering the food production system here in the West. - Matt covers a lot of ground in less than an hour, so be sure to check out the episode notes for a list of all the topics we discuss and links to resources. Hope you enjoy! --- North Bridger Bison Matt Skoglund's First Mountain & Prairie Episode Full Episode Notes: https://mountainandprairie.com/matt-skoglund-2/ --- TOPICS DISCUSSED: 4:00 - Overview of North Bridger Bison 8:30 - COVID’s effects on meatpacking 11:45 - Big outbreaks in packing plants 15:30 - Challenges to regenerative ag because of COVID 17:30 - Cause of the processing backlog 21:00 - Fragility of the US food system 23:30 - What prevents entrepreneurs from opening more processing plants? 26:00 - Appreciation for good meat 29:30 - Grazing as healing for the ecosystem 33:00 - Will more meat processing businesses open? 35:15 - Will meat processing go back to “normal” after post-COVID? 39:00 - Gov. Steve Bullock’s COVID relief 40:30 - Labor shortages 42:00 - The art of butchery 44:00 - Be intentional with impact 49:00 - Externalities of cheap meat 53:00 - Books to read about meat 54:30 - Productive actions to take --- ABOUT MOUNTAIN & PRAIRIE: Mountain & Prairie Podcast Mountain & Prairie SHOP Mountain & Prairie on Instagram Upcoming Events About Ed Roberson Support Mountain & Prairie

60 minNOV 2
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NEW WEST DISPATCH: Matt Skoglund - Ranching in the Age of COVID

Juanita Vero, Part 2 - A Deep Desire to Serve

If you’re a long-time listener, then surely you remember Juanita Vero. Juanita is a fourth-generation Montana rancher, conservationist, community leader, and all-around inspiring woman. She’s also a devoted public servant, serving as a Missoula County Commissioner, where she gets her hands dirty with the critical and often not-so-glamorous work of county government. Juanita’s name will be on the ballot in Missoula County this November, where she is hoping to win a six-year term to continue her service as a Commissioner. - Juanita joined me on the podcast back in 2018, then again on stage at last year’s live podcast in Bozeman, so her personal story is probably familiar. I wanted to have her back on the show as we approach the election because her story serves as an inspiring example of how citizens can push outside of their comfort zones to lead the communities they love. As you’ll hear, Juanita had never considered assuming a public office—but when the opportunity presented i...

64 minOCT 17
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Juanita Vero, Part 2 - A Deep Desire to Serve

Jessica Wahl Turner - Outdoor Recreation & Rural Economies

Jessica Wahl Turner is the Executive Director of the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR), America's leading coalition of outdoor recreation trade associations and organizations. Currently, the ORR is comprised of 31 national association members that serve more than 100,000 outdoor-related businesses, which is an amazing feat considering that the organization is less than three years old. Jessica and her team bring together all sectors of the outdoor economy to harness the industry's collective power and advance issues related to conservation, outdoor access, public lands infrastructure, and much more. Whether she's in the halls of Congress or the wide-open spaces of the American West, Jessica is a devoted, effective advocate for the outdoor industry. - This conversation is part of the Montana Governor's Office of Outdoor Recreation's "Business of Outdoor Recreation Summit"—a gathering of some of the most notable names in the outdoor recreation sector. Because of COVID, this year's ...

66 minOCT 13
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Jessica Wahl Turner - Outdoor Recreation & Rural Economies

Steve Casimiro - Voice of Adventure

Steve Casimiro is the founder and editor of Adventure Journal, an online and quarterly print magazine devoted to outdoor adventure in all its forms. AJ began as Steve's personal blog back in 2008—a project he created on the side while writing for National Geographic Adventure. Steve's unique perspective and devotion to adventure writing struck a chord with the outdoor community, and AJ's audience grew and grew. When National Geographic Adventure closed its doors in 2009, Steve decided to pursue AJ with his full professional focus, building a loyal following who is deeply devoted to AJ online and in print. - Steve grew up on the east coast, and from an early age, he was obsessed with writing, photography, and storytelling. After earning a degree in journalism, he spent his early twenties writing for traditional newspapers, including USA Today. But when presented with the opportunity to meld his passion for the outdoors with his journalism career, he left the newspaper business to jo...

78 minOCT 6
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Steve Casimiro - Voice of Adventure

Chris Castilian – Community, Conservation, and Colorado

Chris Castilian is the Executive Director of Great Outdoors Colorado (also known as GOCO), an organization that has committed more than $1.2 billion toward preserving and enhancing Colorado’s parks, trails, wildlife, rivers, and open spaces. Founded in 1992, GOCO is truly a one-of-a-kind conservation funder—the organization invests a portion of Colorado Lottery proceeds into a wide variety of critical projects, with a current emphasis on issues including equitable access and community vitality. GOCO’s impact around Colorado is staggering—its funding has conserved more than 1.2 million acres, added over 47,000 acres to the state park system, protected over 1,000 miles of rivers, and much more. - Chris is a native Coloradan, and all aspects of his professional success and personal passions speak to his deep love of his home state and its wide-open spaces. Chris was formally trained as an attorney, but early is his career, he chose to focus on service rather than billing hours at a fancy law firm. He served as the Deputy Chief of Staff to Governor Bill Owens and as Director of the Colorado State Board of Land Commissioners. He also had a successful stint in the private sector, honing his business skills which have served him well at GOCO. And, as you’ll hear, his focus manifests itself in his personal life through his commitment to the outdoors and mountain biking—he’s completed the Leadville 100 mountain bike race multiple times. - Since we’re all sticking close to home these days, Chris and I connected via Skype to talk about GOCO, his career, and his thoughts on conservation in Colorado and beyond. We started with a deep dive into the history of GOCO, discussed how the organization has evolved, and talked about its goals and plans for the coming years. We also discussed how GOCO is working to address some of the current public health and social challenges here in Colorado, including equitable access to the outdoors. Chris and I spent a lot of time discussing his personal background—why he chose to pursue a service-based career, his thoughts on leadership, lessons learned from his time in the business world, and what characteristics he looks for in employees. We also discussed his love of mountain biking, the Leadville 100, our shared interest in books and history, and he offered some wise parting words to listeners. - If you care about protecting the West’s open spaces and communities, then this episode is a must-listen. Enjoy! --- Great Outdoors Colorado Partners in the Outdoors --- This episode is brought to you by Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s Partners in the Outdoors program. The Partners in the Outdoors program brings together diverse interests from across the entire spectrum of the outdoors to advance and balance both outdoor recreation and conservation in Colorado. The program seeks to foster alignment and trust through three cornerstone initiatives: the Partners in the Outdoors Conference, the Colorado Outdoor Partnership, and the Colorado Outdoor Principles, as well as extensive resource sharing and network building. --- TOPICS DISCUSSED: 5:00 - The history of GOCO 7:30 - Similar programs in other states 8:30 - Why conservation matters during these crazy times 11:15 - GOCO’s new strategic plan 15:30 - A new holistic approach to community and conservation 18:45 - The evolution of GOCO 21:30 - Core values of GOCO 24:45 - Equitable access to the outdoors 28:30 - GOCO’s Equity Principles 34:00 - Inspiring work in Leadville, Colorado 37:45 - Growing up in Denver 38:30 - Life after law school 40:30 - Why pursue mission-based work? 45:00 - Transition into the private sector 47:30 - Changing mindset of the oil and gas industry 50:00 - Benefits of having business experience 56:00 - What Chris looks for when hiring people 58:00 - Favorite books 1:00:45 - Mountain biking, Leadville 100, Breck Epic, and other outdoor activities 1:07:00 - Favorite places in Colorado 1:08:45 - Parting words of wisdom ----- ABOUT MOUNTAIN

71 minSEP 21
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Chris Castilian – Community, Conservation, and Colorado

Anna Brones - Committed to Creativity

Anna Brones is a freelance journalist, author, artist, and producer who is prolific in all of her creative endeavors—she’s published four books, produced documentary films, is currently publishing a quarterly print journal about food, and much more. One of her most recent projects was the Women’s Wisdom Project, in which she showcased the wisdom of inspiring women by creating 100 papercut portraits. All of Anna’s work is authentic and enlightening, and her personal commitment to cultivating creativity is instructive and inspiring. - Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, Anna always had a deep appreciation for nature and community. She has studied, lived, and worked in many different countries and cities, but several years ago decided to return to her hometown in Washington state where she and her husband currently live. As you’ll hear in our conversation, Anna has read and thought deeply on the importance of place, and offers a unique perspective on what it means to be truly connected to a landscape or community. - Anna and I connected via Skype and had a wide-ranging conversation about her creative process, her current and past artistic projects, the importance of wilderness and nature, and much more. We started by discussing her Creative Fuel Challenge email newsletter—an amazing resource that has been very helpful to me during these past few crazy months. We also discussed her Women’s Wisdom Project—how she researched all 100 inspirational women and the process of creating 100 intricate pieces of art. Anna talked about her experience leading kids on a wilderness leadership retreat, as well as how camp and wilderness experiences in her own youth helped to shape her life and career. And as usual, we discussed favorite books and her most powerful outdoor experience, and she also offered some excellent words of wisdom for anyone with creative aspirations. - There are tons of resources mentioned in this episode. Be sure to check out the episode notes for links to everything, including a few bonus resources that Anna and I discussed before and after recording the actual episode. Enjoy! --- Anna Brones Women's Wisdom Project Creative Fuel --- TOPICS DISCUSSED: 3:30 - The Creative Fuel Challenge explained 6:30 - Why provide creative prompts? 7:45 - Importance of putting out regular content 9:30 - Time as an artist in residence 12:30 - Process of finding balance in life and creativity 15:30 - Pushing through creative blocks 19:00 - Fighting the reptile brain 20:45 - Using social media productively 23:45 - The Women’s Wisdom Project 27:45 - Process of researching women leaders 32:30 - The myth of having millions of ideas 36:00 - Anna’s early years in Washington state 41:00 - Importance of “place” 45:30 - How Anna came to appreciate the complexities of place 50:30 - Artists that Anna admires 53:30 - Anna’s experience leading wilderness trips 57:45 - How camp experiences benefited Anna 1:02:00 - Favorite books 1:06:30 - Most powerful outdoor experience 1:09:00 - Parting words of wisdom

72 minSEP 19
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Anna Brones - Committed to Creativity

Carlos Fernandez - The Power of Partnerships

Carlos Fernandez is the State Director for the Nature Conservancy in Colorado, where he and his team build alliances that advance conservation outcomes both in Colorado and around the world. Building on his formal training as an attorney, Carlos has had a long and successful career in conservation that extends far beyond the American West. He has worked extensively in his home country of Argentina, both as the Nature Conservancy's Southern Andes Conservation Strategies Manager and as the Patagonia Program Manager. Since taking the helm in Colorado in 2015, Carlos and TNC have enjoyed many notable achievements—everything from protecting large swaths of native grasslands to helping to create Colorado's newest state park. - Carlos grew up in Mendoza, Argentina, an agricultural region known for producing some of the world's best beef and exceptional Malbec wine. After a childhood spent hunting and fishing along the base of the Andes Mountains, Carlos trained as an attorney and went on to practice law for large international law firms in Buenos Aires and Washington DC. Several years into his career, Carlos realized that the legal profession was not providing deep fulfillment that he needed from a job—so he made the career switch into conservation and has never looked back. - Carlos and I had a fascinating conversation that I know you'll enjoy. We started by discussing the Nature Conservancy, and specifically what the organization does both globally and here in Colorado. We then chat about several of TNC's recent successes, including the creation of Yampa River Fund and TNC's critical role in acquiring and protecting the 19,200-acre Fisher's Peak property, which will soon be Colorado's newest state park. Carlos talks about the importance of partnerships in conservation, with other land trusts, governmental organizations, and local communities. We then discuss the future of conservation in the West and the challenges and opportunities facing the region in the next 30 years. Carlos and I both have five-year-old daughters, so we talk a bit about fatherhood and the outdoors' role in raising children. And as usual, we discuss favorite books, films, his favorite places in Colorado, and he offers some actionable words of wisdom. - This is an excellent episode, full of optimism, inspiration, and educational resources. Be sure to check out the episode notes for links to everything we discuss. Enjoy! --- The Nature Conservancy Full Episode Notes: https://mountainandprairie.com/carlos-fernandez/ CPW's Partners in the Outdoors --- This episode is brought to you by Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s Partners in the Outdoors program. The Partners in the Outdoors program brings together diverse interests from across the entire spectrum of the outdoors to advance and balance both outdoor recreation and conservation in Colorado. The program seeks to foster alignment and trust through three cornerstone initiatives: the Partners in the Outdoors Conference, the Colorado Outdoor Partnership, and the Colorado Outdoor Principles, as well as extensive resource sharing and network building. --- TOPICS DISCUSSED: 5:00 - The Nature Conservancy explained 9:30 - TNC’s mission in Colorado 10:30 - Yampa River Fund explained 16:30 - Importance of community in conservation 19:30 - Fishers Peak State Park 26:00 - TNC and equitable access to the outdoors 28:30 - The importance of partnerships 30:45 - Civic duty of partnerships 32:00 - Colorado Outdoor Partnerships 35:00 - Early years in Mendoza, Argentina 38:00 - Transitioning from corporate law into conservation 41:30 - Moving to Colorado 42:30 - Carlos’s unique professional background 46:00 - Conservation in the time of COVID 48:45 - Heroes and mentors 52:00 - Advice for people transitioning from the private sector into non-profits 55:30 - Envisioning the future of conservation 59:30 - Favorite books 1:04:00 - Favorite films 1:05:45 - Carlos’s favorite outdoor activities 1:07:00 - Rediscovering the outdoors th

74 minAUG 24
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Carlos Fernandez - The Power of Partnerships

David Gessner, Part 3 - A Confluence of Conservation Ideals

David Gessner is back for his third appearance on the podcast, and this time we are discussing his brand new book "Leave It As It Is: A Journey Through Theodore Roosevelt's American Wilderness." Most long-time listeners will remember David's past two episodes-- we discussed everything from Edward Abbey and Wallace Stegner to his daily writing rituals and his hand-built coastal writing shack. If you haven't listened to those first two episodes, I encourage you to do so—they are chock-full of wisdom, good humor, and inspiration to fight to conserve the places you love. But first, take a listen to this episode, as it offers some timely insights into this current moment in history. - In this episode, we spend the full hour discussing his new book and digging into the good, the bad, and the ugly of Theodore Roosevelt's legacy. As many of your know, I've read way-too-many TR books, and "Leave It As It Is" offers the most balanced, clear-eyed examination of the man that I've read to date....

66 minAUG 10
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David Gessner, Part 3 - A Confluence of Conservation Ideals
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