“I’ve come to the conclusion that groups like The Wilderness Society are no longer apart of our movement. They’re doing something that is completely different. They have strayed so far from their visionary founders. The Wilderness Society, Montana Wilderness Association and the Greater Yellowstone Coalition… I don’t consider any of these groups to be apart of the Wilderness Conservation Movement any longer.”
-Howie Wolke on Wilderness Podcast
In this episode, I interview Howie Wolke and Marilyn Olsen. Howie is a past two time president of Wilderness Watch and has been on and off the Board of Directors over the past twenty five years. He is also a recently retired wilderness backpacking guide. Marilyn is a retired nurse and also a retired long-time wilderness and backpacking guide. We talk about how they met, their Wilderness backpacking business (Big Wild Adventures which now has new owners), the cumulative impact of exposing people to Wilderness and wilderness values, the disconnect of employees in many conservation organizations and their deviation from traditional grassroots wilderness advocacy, influence of corporations and foundations expecting compromise and collaboration from conservation groups that they fund, selfishness of certain recreational users, the Gallatin Range (right up against their backyard), the formation of Montanan’s for Gallatin Wilderness, how to revive grassroots wilderness movements, examples of when the Big Greens sold out and abandoned wilderness principles, a message to the Gallatin Yellowstone Wilderness Alliance and how to reach young folks and making the wilderness movement relevant to them.
Howie and Marilyn continue their crusade by writing articles and letters in defense of wilderness and wild places.Support the show (http://www.wildernesspodcast.com/support)