Episode 6: John Davis On Rewilding In The Northeast
John Davis is executive director of The Rewilding Institute and editor of Rewilding Earth. For Rewilding, he serves as a wildways scout, editor, interviewer, and writer. He rounds out his living with conservation field work, particularly within New York’s Adirondack Park, where he lives. John serves on boards of RESTORE: The North Woods, Eddy Foundation, Champlain Area Trails, Cougar Rewilding Foundation, and Algonquin to Adirondack Conservation Collaborative.
You can read more about John’s background and work at Rewilding.org, starting with his latest article “Rewilding Distilled” which takes you through the fundamentals of Rewilding. And… that’s where we’re starting today, with John’s definition of Rewilding…
In this episode:
- What is Rewilding?
- Split Rock Wildway, Adirondack Park
- Aspect of rewilding you don’t hear about often: Deadbeat dams
- Return of atlantic salmon.
- Local rewilding.
- Road removal – hundreds of thousands of miles of roads that were used to get
timber, not used now, can be removed.
- Economic impact of rewilding – dam removal, road obliterating, studies for
crossings, reintroduction of missing species. Thousands of jobs.
- Resurgence of interest in wildlife watching, benefits to humans of being near
unfragmented intact natural communities.
- A modern Civilian Conservation Corps
- Natural infrastructure and human infrastructure upgrades work together to prepare
for the future of climate chaos.
- John’s call for the American Eel as a possible aquatic counterpart (flagship
species) to Eastern Cougar reintroduction.
- Plants: American Chestnut, blight resistant, keystone species, possible
contributor to the demise of passenger pigeon when their food source was removed.
- Continental Wildways important, especially so as broad swaths relatively intact
- Sue Morse, Keeping Track
- Wolves, pumas, eels, and chestnuts.
Read more about John’s work in his series on the Split Rock Wildway.
Director of Digital Outreach (D.O.D.O.) for The Rewilding Institute
Host and Producer of the Rewilding Earth Podcast
Jack started Rewilding work as Executive Director of Sky Island Alliance in the mid-1990’s, organizing the Sky Island Wildlands Network design, ripping up illegal roads on forest service lands, installing wolf acclimatization pens on Ted Turner’s Ladder Ranch & conducting howling surveys to help make way for the final stage of the Lobo reintroduction program in the Southwest.
Through the years, Jack has worked with Dave Foreman and the Rewilding Gang to further Rewilding initiatives and education.