EP 31: Making a Difference in our Environment

Biden restricts mining with new national monument near Grand Canyon

What you’ll learn in this episode:

  • How a coalition of groups came up with a plan to save the Grand Canyon from uranium mining
  • How difficult and treacherous it can be to fight against environmental destruction 
  • What works and what doesn’t work in this struggle
  • How sometimes a failure can lead to ultimate success
  • How success is often impermanent and dependent on the winds of political change

Welcome to another episode of Free Range Dogs

In this episode, Web talks again to his longtime friend and colleague, David Gowdey, about working as an environmental advocate.  The conversation begins by acknowledging that in the past, all hunters were also conservationists who worked to maintain the natural world and the animals that lived in it.  As Web and Dave are both bird hunters, they have experienced firsthand the significant changes and declines in habitat and bird populations and have been involved in efforts to restore habitat and prevent its destruction.

During his time with the Grand Canyon Trust, Dave worked with a number of other organizations and formed a coalition to prevent uranium mining in the Grand Canyon.  They came up with a plan to prevent the 10,000 mining claims from proceeding with both a short-term plan and a long-term plan.  The long-term plan finally came to fruition recently when the Biden Administration, in response to a proposal by the Grand Canyon Tribal Coalition, created a National Monument to protect the Grand Canyon.

In this conversation, Web also discusses his experiences with advocating for environmental protections, his discouragement with the difficulties facing anyone involved in this type of effort, and his concerns for the future of the planet and the younger generations.  

Dave discusses the power of NO and its effectiveness.  They also talk about how easy it is to get “sandbagged” when working to resolve issues in dialogue with opposing forces such as developers. Being prepared and being aware of the many tactics used against environmental and conservation groups is a hard-won education. 

Ultimately, in light of the impacts being felt around the world from global warming, environmental activism is inspiring passion in new generations and it is hoped they will learn effective tactics to succeed where others before them, unfortunately, have failed.


David Gowdey

Author of: The German Shorthaired Pointer: A Hunter’s Guide

Available at Amazon.com