I have worked on the front lines of collaborative conservation, regenerative agriculture, and ecological restoration for two decades, sharing innovative, on-the-ground solutions that bring people together in what we call the "radical center." These solutions include progressive cattle management, land health, local food production, and atmospheric carbon sequestration in soils. I have advocated for these hopeful solutions both in my writing and nonprofit work.
In 1997, I cofounded The Quivira Coalition, a grassroots nonprofit dedicated to building a radical center among ranchers, conservationists, scientists and others around practices that improve economic and ecological resilience in working landscapes. I served as Executive Director for fifteen years before becoming its Creative Director for three more years.
A principle focus of my work at Quivira involved writing, editing and storytelling. In my experience, scientific and economic data tended to fall on the deaf ears of non-specialists if there wasn’t an inspiring narrative to go along with it. That’s why I began writing short profiles of innovative people and practices for a general audience.
My book Grassroots: the Rise of the Radical Center is a collection of writing on our effort to resolve the lengthy feud between environmentalists and ranchers that had imperiled the wide open spaces of our beloved West. Our idea was to find a ‘third way’ beyond the polarization in order to implement on-the-ground goals through collaboration, not confrontation.
I have come to believe that telling important stories in inspiring ways is critical to our collective future. As our challenges grow in size and complexity, we urgently need as many ‘right-brain’ answers to ‘left-brain’ questions as we can muster.
I live in Santa Fe with my family,