September 19, 2020 | By:

Episode 60: Don Waller and Bob Boucher on the Upper Midwest Superior Bio-Conservancy

Don Waller | Bob Boucher

Don Waller & Bob Boucher

About Don and Bob

Don Waller is a forest ecologist, conservation biologist and evolutionary biologist who taught ecology, evolution, and conservation biology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison as the J.T. Curtis Professor until 2019.

His research interests include the causes and consequences of inbreeding, the evolution of mating systems and life histories, rare plant demography and genetics, and the forces driving long-term forest community change. These include habitat fragmentation, climate change, aerial N deposition, invasive species, and deer browsing and other impacts.

Dr Waller co-authored Wild Forests: Conservation Biology and Public Policy (Island Press 1994) and The Vanishing Present: Shifts in Wisconsin’s lands, waters, and wildlife (Univ. of Chicago Press, 2008) as well as over 160 papers and book chapters.

He chairs the Science Advisory Council for the midwestern Environmental Law and Policy Center. He serves on the Rewilding Leadership Council and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Bob Boucher has a MS in Water Resource Management from the UW Madison with an emphasis in ecosystem management of watersheds. He studies landscape ecology and is an advisor to the Beaver Institute.

​He was the founder of Milwaukee Riverkeeper and is the retired Executive Director of the Cedar Lakes Conservation Foundation, Wisconsin’s oldest land trust. Bob has traveled to over 60 countries, exploring wild and tame places.

He has worked in Alaska as a fishing, kayak and naturalist guide and led wilderness trips for Camp Manito-Wish. He is a member of the Birch Leggings club and has summited Denali. Bob and his wife Mary share a love of nature, wildlife, hiking, biking, skiing, their home, organic gardening and their dogs.

Superior Bio-Preserve Map


  • Acheiving 50% protection in upper midwest by 2050
  • A giant 33,000 square mile wildlands network
  • The importance of indian tribes in policy and coalition building
  • Elevating the land ethics of how people live on the planet: stewardship vs extraction model
  • Heavy, non-compatible logging going on in upper midwest, the “paperbasket” of the United States.
Extra Credit

Visit: Superior Bio-Conservancy

Read: The North American Wildlands Network: Four Megalinkages

Further info focused on Don’s research:
Deer in the upper Midwest:
The Northwoods fight:
A great video about Beavers! Blockade: Leanne Betasamosake Simpson
Spread Rewilding Around the Globe!
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