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Outdoor Recreation Equals Conservation: Debunking The Myth

A developer's proposal to build a 'glampground' on the banks of the famous Gallatin River stokes controversy and calls messaging used by American conservation groups about recreation into question

Looking east at the Lower 48 from the vantage of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Illustration by Rick Peterson. See more of his work at: www.linkedin.com/in/rick-peterson-mpls
Looking east at the Lower 48 from the vantage of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Illustration by Rick Peterson. See more of his work at: www.linkedin.com/in/rick-peterson-mpls

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is part of Mountain Journal's ongoing series, "Enough," that explores the intersection between humans, development and still-wild Nature and the role of limits in saving it from destruction. This installment focuses, that has several sections, focuses on the claim that outdoor recreation equals better wildlife conservation.

Outdoor Recreation and Wildlife Conservation

Section 1: Can We Play Our Way To Better Protecting The Last Best Wild Ecosystem in the Lower 48?

by Todd Wilkinson

Few of us, it’s safe to say, ever set out with intentions of bringing harm to Mother Nature, particularly when our actions involve participating in forms of outdoor recreation that make us feel good, more alive, inspired and even blessed to be in places that still qualify as “wild.” 

There are no bioregions left in the American Lower 48, except for this one, that possess the kind of “wild” Greater Yellowstone does; where, on a single late summer’s evening, within the same general proximity, we can hear wild wolves howl, loons trilling and elk bugling, watch free-ranging bison wallow and bellow, have a good chance of spotting a grizzly bear mother with cubs ambling, cast for wild native trout, and soak in a sense of solitude that could cause us to forget what year it is.

It’s what we do en masse, collectively, as a species with an insatiable desire to claim more terrain as our own, figuratively and in fee title, that adds up. The toll, and the veracity of this statement, are indelibly written on human-dominated lands around the world where there is an absence or dwindling diversity of native wildlife. If you are reading these words from outside the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem in a city, suburb or an exurb that is in transition to become suburbanized, ask yourself why so many of the original native large mammal species are no longer present, and why most will never return in a foreseeable time frame. 

In the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, a key reflection must be on understanding why wildness is still here, anticipating how long it might endure considering current trends, and making the public more aware about the things that cause de-wilding

At the end of the 20th century, as Greater Yellowstone and other mountain regions in the Rockies transitioned away from logging, boom-and-bust hardrock mining, and livestock grazing that resulted in erasure of many native species, the emerging prevailing belief was that nurturing outdoor recreation economies represented better, benign alternatives to resource extraction of old.

In recent years, many mainstream conservation organizations that previously—and still do— cut their teeth trying to halt clearcutting of old-growth forests and permitting of new mines on public lands, in part to protect wildlife and its habitat, forged an alliance with the outdoor recreation industry and together they advanced three basic arguments many accept today as fact.

The assertions go something like this:

1.     Outdoor recreation equals more conservation.

2.     Greater access for human user groups to public lands by itself translates into many more positive conservation outcomes. 

3.     When recreation happens in landscapes vital to the survival of certain species it improves public support for conservation of those species inside the landscapes those species inhabit.

Logically, we might wonder: how does that work? How does putting more humans into spaces populated by sensitive species better the survival prospects for animals actually living there

Here in America’s most iconic wildlife-rich ecosystem, a good place to start with addressing the questions is defining what “conservation” means. Let’s begin with this: what is actually being protected or conserved under the banner of conservation in Greater Yellowstone if “wildlife conservation” is not given main emphasis? On private ground, for instance, we often talk about “open space protection” but what if the farm and ranch lands being protected lie in the middle of a subdivision and while there’s still a pretty view, most of the large native wildlife species are gone? 

A corollary conservation question involving public land would be: should creating more habitat for we humans to play on public land, in a region like Greater Yellowstone, be as important a priority as protecting habitat for non-humans whose options for population persistence in the decades ahead are likely to be shrinking

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A few years ago, Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Richard Ford gave a lecture at Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, Montana. He spoke of things people repeat over and over again that just aren’t true but nonetheless become part of the accepted lexicon and then are embraced as fact. Things such as all growth is good or that living the American dream is easy to achieve equally for everyone.

It can be argued that “recreation equals wildlife conservation” qualifies as one of those tropes, when in truth, both studies and scientific experts say, it is just the opposite—that intense levels of recreation, more trails and expanded public access have, repeatedly, been demonstrated to show negative impacts on native wildlife (“weedy” species that become easily habituated to humans like white-tailed deer, coyotes, raccoons and rodents excepted).

The premise of “recreation equals conservation” has been spoken so often, seldom challenged, and it seems so compelling, at least superficially, that recently developers of a controversial “glamping resort” called River Bend Glamping Getaway proposed for construction along the banks of the Gallatin River west of Bozeman borrowed the rhetoric. 

The Gallatin River, for those who might not be aware, is a revered Western trout stream that begins in Yellowstone National Park and courses northward as one of three rivers that converge near Three Forks, Montana and create the Missouri River. The Gallatin was featured dreamily as a backdrop for the movie poster of Robert Redford’s film depiction of A River Runs Through It.

In a full-page ad taken out in the Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Feb. 9, 2022, River Bend developers, obviously heeding the advice of clever PR mavens, declared in bold letters that “Recreation Encourages Conservation” as a slogan intended to win the development approval from the Gallatin County Commission. At the bottom of the ad, there was an added tagline: “Tourists visit Montana to experience our natural beauty. And to ensure it endures we introduce them to stewardship.”
A photograph of the full-page ad which ran in the Bozeman Daily Chronicle and was paid for by developers of the proposed River Bend Glamping Getaway for the banks of the famous Gallatin River west of Bozeman.
A photograph of the full-page ad which ran in the Bozeman Daily Chronicle and was paid for by developers of the proposed River Bend Glamping Getaway for the banks of the famous Gallatin River west of Bozeman.

Besides incongruities of logic in that last sentence and in several subsequent River Bend ads that have appeared over a succession of weeks, an intelligent person might find some of the contentions to be dubious. Yet many people residing in the Greater Yellowstone region and millions more who visit it may adopt the slogans as fact. So again, is the contention that recreation and development bolsters conservation true?

Last year Yellowstone National Park notched nearly five million tourist/recreation visits— since the new millennium began tens of millions of them.  Parts of the Greater Yellowstone region have been inundated with newcomers, more development and recreation-minded visitors as never before during the Covid pandemic. Do we now have more mass appreciation for the conservation of Nature? What’s the evidence?  If so, how it is being expressed? Have those numbers of people translated into a citizen groundswell rising to meet the growing threats to wildness?

In the case of River Bend, how does attracting tourists interested in having glamorous camping experiences by staying in Conestoga wagons and faux-rustic cabins inside the corridor of a vaunted American trout stream materially benefit the Gallatin River, engender more appreciation for natural beauty and advance conservation of water quality and species in the river? How will this resort, as the newspaper ad implies, create better, more enlightened human stewards of Nature?  

Critics of the ads call them a mockery of common sense and an insult to the spirit of real stewardship, as well as a symbol of how we all are thoughtlessly loving Nature to death. I often return to a perspective offered to me by Yellowstone National Park’s former science chief, David Hallac, who elaborated on his worries when I was writing a story about threats to the Yellowstone region that appeared in National Geographic. Hallac warned that the natural fabric of the ecosystem is not just facing death by 1,000 cuts from large threats, but steady deterioration or death by 10,000 scratches that seem imperceptible but as an accumulation are eroding the essence of wildness. Outdoor recreation, a growing number of scientists say, is bringing its own form of lacerating effects. While outdoor recreation is diffuse, and its impacts are less obvious than, say, a gold mine, it has serious additive consequences to wildlife when considered within the context of many different things happening at once.

In order to fully appreciate why the messaging of River Bend is attracting public outrage, it would be instructive for readers to visit its website and assess for themselves see how developers are using rhetoric to portray its project as Shangri-la. 

River Bend proclaims in its marketing: “‘Eco’ is more than a word to us. We’re humbled to steward a small part of the Gallatin River, and we’re committed to having minimal impact on the river and all of our natural surroundings.” 

Apparently, stewarding part of the Gallatin and being committed to minimal impact involves siting part of a new proposed development in the flood plain, inviting thousands of tourist guests into the riparian area which is guaranteed to displace wildlife, and running gas and wastewater pipes beneath the river. 

Yet River Bend isn’t alone. A similar kind of alleged “stewardship” messaging is flowing out of development and real estate offices, chambers of commerces, state tourism, outdoor recreation and governors’ offices spending millions of dollars to promote more recreation and recreational development—even as some trailheads and river stretches are brimming with people. 

These entities are not alone. Notably, similar rhetoric has been streaming out of the offices of some conservation and environmental groups in Greater Yellowstone, too. If the swelling numbers of humans now using public lands is any gauge, then the messaging of all of the above, in encouraging people to visit public lands, has succeeded beyond anyone’s wildest imagination, inspiring record numbers of people to recreate, move to Greater Yellowstone or build dream vacation homes often in the middle of wildlife habitat.

Congratulations. Mission accomplished.

But now what? Where do we go from here? Will the blind promotion continue? What are the limits for how much pressure Greater Yellowstone’s wildlife can take? When is enough enough and will conservation organizations take the lead in helping the public, land management agencies, and developers realize what the threshold of enough is?

Ironically, a few of the conservation groups and other entities often promoting differing iterations of “recreation is conservation”— as River Bend is now doing—have filed an appeal to stop the proposed glamping resort, arguing that this recreation development will harm the very wild essence of the Gallatin River. That real conservation is leaving the river alone. The appellants are Upper Missouri River Waterkeeper, national, state and local chapters of Trout Unlimited, Protect the Gallatin River, American Rivers and the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. Others who stand opposed are Simms Fishing, Fishing Outfitters Association of Montana and many local citizens.

Worth mentioning is that very few of Bozeman’s conservation organizations have gotten seriously involved in planning and zoning issues, pushing to prevent residential and other forms of commercial development from invading river corridors and crucial wildlife habitat on private land. How is River Bend worse than all of the sprawl being permitted on a regular basis but unchallenged by conservationists? How is the lone impact of River Bend worse than the total volume of impacts being registered by outdoor recreation—the full extent of which will be examined in future parts of this series.

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One of the plaintiffs, American Rivers and its Northern Rockies Director Scott Bosse, understands the wicked predicament. Bosse has openly questioned the legitimacy of the “recreation encourages conservation” mantra. His position has much larger implications. Bosse has earned widespread praise among a growing number of citizens around the region who believe that growing levels of industrial-strength outdoor recreation, which accelerated during the Covid pandemic, are out of control. They assert that public land agencies, like the US Forest Service, which is the largest administrator of public land acreage in Greater Yellowstone, really has no idea of what the present impacts of rising recreation are on wildlife and, more frightening, what they will be.

“We used to think of, and tout, recreation as a non-consumptive gateway to conservation, but we seriously need to revisit that,” Bosse told me. “All we need to do is look around at the impacts coming to bear on public and private land. Things have changed quickly and we need to wake up.” 

A while back, Bosse and I were chatting about rising levels of river traffic and recreational use levels on many of Greater Yellowstone’s vaunted water corridors. In the summers of 2021 and 2020, Bosse, an enthusiastic floater and fly-fisher, said there were many days on the Yellowstone River when he was never out of sight of seven boats downriver and another seven boats above him.  It was a pattern repeated days on end, from early morning to evening.
"While they are often linked, there’s a fundamental difference between recreation and conservation. Recreation is about taking. It’s a form of hedonism. Conservation is about giving. Sometimes that means giving up the opportunity to recreate in certain places or at certain times of the year to protect wildlife. Sadly, far too many recreationists take without giving anything back. That’s why our conservation deficit is worsening in Greater Yellowstone and our wildlife is increasingly under siege.”  —Scott Bosse, Northern Rockies regional director of American Rivers
The Yellowstone River, as with the Madison, the Snake, the Bighorn, the Upper Missouri and other famed trout streams in the West used to be conveyor belts of biodiversity for everything from paramecia to apex predators. Now they are different kinds of conveyor belts—for consumption, real estate plays, monetizable experiences and leisurely self-indulgence, with the message being that unless rivers are "working" to serve human needs, they hold little value. 

Bosse condemned the proposed Gallatin River glampground in a commentary which appeared in the Bozeman Daily Chronicle. But he also turned heads by broaching a taboo topic that most conservation groups in the region have largely ignored or turned away from. “Let’s explore the claim that ‘recreation encourages conservation,’” Bosse wrote in a guest essay. “As a lifelong outdoorsman who lives to fish, hunt, paddle and ski, I’ll be the first to admit that recreating in the outdoors played a huge role in turning me into a conservationist. Many of America’s most celebrated conservationists — people like Teddy Roosevelt, Aldo Leopold and Mardy Murie — got their inspiration to preserve wild country from immersing themselves in the outdoors. So yes, recreation can encourage conservation. But not always.”

Bosse then addressed newspaper readers directly: “Ask yourself this — has the explosive recreational development around Big Sky over the past few decades conserved the area’s forests, wildlife and once-pristine streams? Has industrial recreation around Moab, Utah conserved the surrounding redrock canyons and created more opportunities for solitude?”

Bosse’s answer: “Of course not. While they are often linked, there’s a fundamental difference between recreation and conservation,” he wrote. “Recreation is about taking. It’s a form of hedonism. Conservation is about giving. Sometimes that means giving up the opportunity to recreate in certain places or at certain times of the year to protect wildlife. Sadly, far too many recreationists take without giving anything back. That’s why our conservation deficit is worsening in Greater Yellowstone and our wildlife is increasingly under siege.”

(Below: a 2018 video produced by the Jackson Hole Travel & Tourism Board, part of a promotion campaign intended to grow Jackson Hole's place as a year-round travel destination. The campaign was controversial but has become even more so in the wake of the Covid pandemic which brought crushing visitation to Jackson Hole and has caused many locals to question the assertion implied by the travel and tourism board that Jackson Hole is a place where you can have it all—unbound outdoor recreation opportunities on public lands and healthy populations of wildlife existing side by side. After coming under intense scrutiny and citizen pressure, the board modified the message to now read "Jackson Hole: Responsibly Wild" but wildlife advocates say intense recreation pressure still is negatively impacting wildlife and some recreation user groups continue to push for more trails. We'll be exploring how conservation groups in Jackson Hole, the travel board and Forest Service are responding in a future story).

Lest anyone conclude that Bosse in Bozeman is a maverick, an outlier or a Benedict Arnold to recreation, he is merely echoing concerns raised by many these days, including Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia, about how conservation has morphed into an outdoor-lifestyle-adoring tribe.  In 2016, Chouinard, who spends a lot of time in Jackson Hole, was profiled by writer Nick Paumgarten in The New Yorker

Paumgarten pointed out how wearing Patagonia attire is a declaration for many of being hip and outdoorsy.  The company has, in recent years, generously supported a number of causes aimed at advancing the protection of public lands and it has supported Mountain Journal’s environmental reporting efforts with general operating grants. In fact, if you head into any office of any conservation organization in the West, you will find most employees wearing or owning many Patagonia-branded products. Wearing Patagonia is, for many, synonymous with their belief that by engaging in recreation they are promoting conservation.

Paumgarten in his piece did not shy away from addressing an obvious elephant in the room and that is the message that encourages people to go out and seize their own pieces of wild country, but often they avoid reflecting on their impacts and the fact that wild places are finite. 

In a somewhat stinging observation, Paumgarten wrote the following, referring to an attitude that proliferates in place like Bozeman, Big Sky, Jackson Hole and any mountain town in the Rockies from New Mexico to Canada.

“Patagonia’s people were the West’s recolonizers, the next wave of pioneers, the self-appointed protectors asserting a blue-state ethos in red-state territory—tree huggers pitching their tents in a logging camp,” Paumgarten wrote. “By now, this war for the West is a tired one, but it is in some ways a microcosm of the greater global battle between those who want to preserve lands and conserve resources and those who would prefer to exploit them.”

Paumgarten went on: “Eco-conscious fun-hoggery, as an ethos, a culture, a lifestyle, and an industry, spans the world, and even rules some corners of it. Chouinard is its best-known avatar and entrepreneur, its principal originator and philosopher-king, and is as responsible as anyone for guiding it from the primitive tin-can and hobnail aesthetic of the mid-twentieth century to the slackline and dome-tent attitude of today.” 
“Patagonia’s people were the West’s recolonizers, the next wave of pioneers, the self-appointed protectors asserting a blue-state ethos in red-state territory—tree huggers pitching their tents in a logging camp. By now, this war for the West is a tired one, but it is in some ways a microcosm of the greater global battle between those who want to preserve lands and conserve resources and those who would prefer to exploit them.” —Writer Nick Paumgarten in The New Yorker magazine
Paumgarten asked Chouinard if Patagonia and the messaging in its catalog had contributed to promoting the idea that public lands are places to play above and beyond anything else. When Chouinard replied, he made reference to the scenes that play out every summer on trout waters with guides, outfitters and clients in full sartorial splendor —with fly-fishing focused as much on the look as the number of fish reeled in. “When you see the guides on the Bighorn [River], they’re all out of central casting,” he told Paumgarten. “Beard, bill cap, Buff around the neck, dog in the bow. Oh, my God, it’s so predictable. That’s what magazines like Outside are promoting. Everyone doing this ‘outdoor life style’ thing. It’s the death of the outdoors.”

Scientists are concerned that the expanding outdoor recreation complex (which involves not just using public lands but the development superstructure that supports it on public and private lands) is, and will be, another major contributing factor to the undoing of Greater Yellowstone’s unparalleled wildlife.

When it comes to recreation and conservation, it is for many denizens more about the image than any ethic—attire expressed in the form of costume, the number of toys, the hero poses with fish shared on Facebook, the celebratory beer keggers after building new trails, the things that give us social stature and identity in our respective user group tribes. We carry bear spray to keep grizzlies at bay without reflecting on the fact we are invading their space recreationally and where we are building our homes right on the edge of public lands.

In conversations I’ve had with Chouinard, he recognizes Greater Yellowstone’s extraordinary composition of wildlife and its fragility—a reason for why it needs to be treated with special care that can’t wait. His family and circle of friends are passionate advocates for wildlife. And they realize that tough conversations about limits need to happen but few conservation groups want to lead them and it certainly isn’t happening with the outdoor recreation industry, chambers of commerces or elected officials. 

In fact, momentum is going in the opposite direction where success is touted in economic and physical terms—more users, rising visitation to national park, rising profits for companies, growth in the rising economic might of outdoor recreation, rising numbers of motel rooms being built to service the deluge, more trails or expanded ones, more backcountry skiing, more daily flights and enplanements at airports, more of anything that can be monetized or used, the better. Or so it goes.

But eventually, growth produces serious downsides. The American wildlands conservation movement finds itself at a crucial crossroad—a moment for soul-searching, many say— and Greater Yellowstone represents perhaps the highest-profile bellwether. Greater Yellowstone holds one of the highest per capita concentrations of conservation organizations in America, many of whom subscribe to, or declare the recreation equals conservation meme.
The American wildlands conservation movement finds itself at a crucial crossroad—a moment for soul-searching, many say— and Greater Yellowstone represents perhaps the highest-profile bellwether. Greater Yellowstone holds one of the highest per capita concentrations of conservation organizations in America, many of whom subscribe to, or declare the recreation equals conservation meme.
Today, a high profile booster of that credo is an entity called the Gallatin Forest Partnership, led by three major conservation groups—the Greater Yellowstone Coalition (part of the lawsuit opposing the glampground), The Wilderness Society and what used to be The Montana Wilderness Association. The partnership also includes the Southwest Montana Mountain Bike Association, Montana Chapter of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, Gallatin Valley Back Country Horsemen, a number of businesses that sell outdoor gear products and services and many others.

Zoom in closer upon Greater Yellowstone and the front of the bellwether points at a place, the Gallatin Mountain Range, which runs from the western interior of Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming northward into Montana, toward Bozeman, past Big Sky on the west and Paradise Valley to the east. If you want to know what’s currently happening in Big Sky, read this MoJo story, "'Unbroken Wilderness:' Big Sky And The Human Appetite For Consuming Wildness,"  and this recent report in The New York Times titled "Big Sky Is Sprawling, Luxurious and Pricey. And Maybe, the Future of Skiing."

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What is the highest and best value of remnant public wildlands in Greater Yellowstone and what sets them apart?

Regular MoJo readers encounter this fact repeated often: Greater Yellowstone is home to all of the original, free-ranging wildlife species present 500 years ago. In many corners of the West where species already have disappeared, less is at stake but it doesn’t diminish the potential for restoring biodiversity through re-wilding. Studies demonstrate that when humans reduce the size of their footprint and intensity of use, wildlife can flourish but it requires us backing off.

All public lands, all national parks, all wilderness areas in America may possess the same legal designations by land management agencies, but they are not qualitatively equal. Some are less wild considering the absence of native species; some are wilder given that they still have many of the native species; and some are exceptional, like those in Greater Yellowstone, that still contain the full complement of animals and they are able to migrate across the landscape.
Greater Yellowstone's special place in the West stands in stark contrast to other areas where outdoor recreation has not only eroded wildlife values but where wildlife protection is no longer a priority among public land management agencies, local communities and even conservation organizations.  Illustration by Rick Peterson
Greater Yellowstone's special place in the West stands in stark contrast to other areas where outdoor recreation has not only eroded wildlife values but where wildlife protection is no longer a priority among public land management agencies, local communities and even conservation organizations. Illustration by Rick Peterson
The Gallatin Mountain Range is a prime example. 2022 marks the 150th anniversary of Yellowstone National Park’s creation. Consider this: the Gallatins today are wilder, based on the diversity of species present there now, than Yellowstone was in 1872. The only reason they are that way is because they’ve been protected from intense levels of traditional resource extraction and large numbers of people using them. 

The Gallatins provide habitat for grizzlies, wolves, still-migrating elk herds, bighorn sheep, moose, bison (wandering out of Yellowstone) and, at times, rare wolverines and Canada lynx. In fact, based on the composition of species, the Gallatins would be the wildest line of mountains in nine of the 12 Western states, absent mountains in Wyoming, Montana and Idaho. If, based on their mammalian diversity, they were a national park, the Gallatins would be wilder than any national park outside of Yellowstone, Grand Teton and Glacier. Notably, they would be wilder than any federally designated wilderness area in those nine other states, too.

Acknowledging the Gallatin Range’s stature in the upper one percent of true wildlands left in the Lower 48, it represents a prominent focal point for thinking about the divide between wildlife conservation advocates and outdoor recreation. 

Debate over the meaning of conservation is important. Similar questions about the commitment of conservation organizations to wildlife protection vs. advocating more strongly for rising levels of recreation exist in communities throughout the Rockies and public-land-rich West. 

The fate of the Gallatins is not an issue for only locals in Montana to decide. The Gallatin Mountains are on federal public land and they are no less significant, given their wildlife values, than Yellowstone.  In fact, remember this, the recent killings of a radio-collared Yellowstone wolf and cougar involved animals that wandered outside the park via the Gallatin Mountains on the Custer Gallatin National Forest. Habitat in the Gallatin Range is important to every species in the northern tier of our first national park. And as we move deeper into the era of explosive development on private land and climate change impacting high elevations and leaving valleys hotter and drier, conservation biologists see the Gallatins as an important habitat lifeline.

To return to Richard Ford’s premise, tropes and memes keep getting used and embraced by the public as fact, but they aren’t. The late ecologist Michael Soule, thought leader in the movement of conservation biology, told me that much conservation thinking today seems stuck in an old paradox. Protection of wildlands, the premise goes, can’t be politically justified unless wildlands are being used by people. But wildlands are “being used,” he said; they’re richly inhabited wellsprings for biodiversity at a time when we are dealing with an extinction crisis. They are priceless systems that humans cannot engineer or replicate if the pieces have been stripped down or liquidated.

Is building trails, casting lines, floating rivers, telemark skiing in the backcountry and pushing for more human access into public wildlands wildlife conservation? The assertion is that the more people flooding into public lands and spending money along the way, the merrier the dividends for conservation. It’s an argument the River Bend glampground promoters are invoking to perfection.

Next installment, Section 2: The rise of the outdoor recreation industry as a juggernaut

Todd Wilkinson
About Todd Wilkinson

Todd Wilkinson, founder of Mountain Journal,  is author of the new book Ripple Effects: How to Save Yellowstone and American's Most Iconic Wildlife Ecosystem.  Wilkinson is a journalist proudly trained in the old school tradition. He's been writing about Greater Yellowstone for 35 years and is a correspondent to publications ranging from National Geographic to The Guardian. He is author of several books on topics as diverse as scientific whistleblowers and Ted Turner, and a book about the harrowing story of Jackson Hole grizzly mother 399, the most famous bear in the world which features photographs by Thomas Mangelsen. For more information on Wilkinson, click here. (Photo by David J Swift).
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