Mountain & Prairie Podcast
About This Show
The Mountain & Prairie Podcast spotlights the innovative, creative individuals who are helping to shape the future of the American West. From ranchers to writers, athletes to artists, conservationists to entrepreneurs, there is no shortage of fascinating characters whose hard work makes the West such a special place to live, work, and play. Through informal yet informative interviews, Ed Roberson introduces you to these unsung heroes, giving you a better understanding of their work and a deeper appreciation for life in the American West.
• Ranches • Conservation • History • Water • Books • Adventures • Colorado • Rocky Mountains.
Most Recent Episode
Connor Coleman - How to Build a Meaningful Life in the West
Dec 21 16
Connor Coleman is the founder of Resiliency Lands, a progressive, conservation-minded land management and advisory group committed to promoting ecological and resource resiliency. Prior to starting Resiliency Lands, he held a variety of positions closely connected to the land, jobs that would be on the wish-list of anyone who loves adventure and the American West—wildland firefighter, cowboy, bison manager, and conservationist, just to name a few. Connor is currently based in Colorado’s Roaring Fork Valley, and he resides on a spectacular ranch just outside of Carbondale.
You may be surprised to learn that Connor was not born and raised in the West or on ranches. On the contrary, he grew up in Ohio, went to college in North Carolina, and after paying his dues in east coast conservation and earning two master’s degrees from Duke, he headed West to focus his energy on western landscapes. Thanks to an insatiable curiosity, a rock-solid work ethic, a service mindset, and a willingness to insert himself into new and uncomfortable situations, Connor has carved out a professional niche for himself in Colorado doing rewarding, exciting, and important work.
Connor’s education and unconventional career path can serve as a great blueprint for anyone who loves the American West and wants a life centered around land, conservation, and natural resources. When I was in my early twenties, I would’ve loved to meet a guy like Connor who could point me in the right direction. So in this episode, we talk in depth about his career and his ability to “put himself out there” to create exciting professional opportunities. We dig deep into his thoughts on conservation in the West, as well as issues related to forest fires throughout the country. Connor loves to read and learn, so he also has tons of great book and film recommendations.
We cover a ridiculous amount of information, so be sure to check out the episode notes for the full list of topics we discuss. Enjoy!
2:32 - How Connor describes his work
3:55 - Importance of conserving working ranches
7:55 - Grazing as an important part of conservation
13:40 - Examples of some of Resiliency Land’s projects
16:35 - Where did Connor grow up?
18:50 - Connor’s decision to make conservation a career
22:45 - Brief history of NC barbecue
25:00 - Early career in conservation
29:10 - Grad school at Duke
30:30 - Difference be