Producing season two of Working Wild U

Since the spring thaw, I’ve been traveling the West gathering stories for the forthcoming second season of Working Wild U, our award-winning documentary podcast presented by Western Landowners Alliance and Dr. Jared Beaver at Montana State University Extension.

This season, we’re going big: We’re exploring community and landowner-led species conservation on working and tribal lands. You can expect to hear surprising stories about iconic species, such as grizzly bears, but mostly we’re digging into lesser-known species and how communities are working together to find common-ground solutions to protect them and their habitats. And what we’re discovering gives us much to be hopeful about. 

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Across the West, there are countless ongoing success stories of species conservation in the working wild landscape. In this season, we’re jumping into the action as we meet with ranchers, biologists, non-profits, tribal members and wildlife enthusiasts. 

Throughout this season we’re asking big questions: What is making these community-led efforts successful? And, can they become a model for how we think about conservation going forward? What can we learn and apply in our own communities or across the country? We’re not avoiding the hard stuff, either: How do we reconcile recovery in a world challenged by rapidly changing climate conditions? 

On the 50th anniversary of the Endangered Species Act, we’re getting curious. What could the next 50 years of conservation in the U.S. look like? Can we work to prevent species from needing to be listed in the first place? Can we accelerate recovery and delisting? When it comes to proactive, voluntary conservation, we think these communities are on to something. And we can’t wait to share it with you! 

Zach is a multimedia producer and storyteller based in the Greater Yellowstone. He is a producer for Working Wild U, and an occasional host and producer for the On Land Podcast. He loves running, skiing, raising animals and cuddling with his dog.