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Podcast: Kelp, condors and Indigenous conservation

  • On today’s episode of the Mongabay Newscast, we take a deep dive into two ambitious Indigenous-led conservation initiatives on the U.S. West Coast.
  • We speak with Dune Lankard, founder and president of The Native Conservancy, who tells us about kelp farming pilot projects in Alaska’s Prince William Sound and how the projects are intended to create a regenerative kelp economy based on conservation, restoration, and mitigation.
  • We also speak with Tiana Williams-Claussen, director of the Yurok Tribe’s Wildlife Department, who tells us about efforts to bring condors back to her tribe’s territory in Northern California, which is set to culminate in the first four birds being released into the wild this April.

Today we look at two Indigenous conservation initiatives in the United States.

Listen here:

The importance of Indigenous stewardship and traditional ecological knowledge is increasingly recognized as vital to the future of conservation and the preservation of life on this planet. Mongabay frequently reports on Indigenous-led conservation initiatives, and we wanted to take a closer look at two that have been featured in our recent reporting.

We speak with Dune Lankard, founder and president of The Native Conservancy, who tells us about kelp farming in Alaska’s Prince William Sound and the larger vision of a regenerative kelp economy based on conservation, restoration and mitigation that provides economic benefits and connections to tradition for local Indigenous communities.

We also speak with Tiana Williams-Claussen, director of the Yurok Tribe’s Wildlife Department. Williams-Claussen tells us about the more than a decade-long effort to bring condors back to her tribe’s territory in Northern California, which is set to culminate in the first four condors being released into the wild in April 2022.

Further reading:

“Thanks to the Yurok Tribe, condors will return to the Pacific Northwest” (21 September 2021)

“By cultivating seaweed, Indigenous communities restore connection to the ocean” (14 January 2022)

Mongabay Series: Indigenous Peoples and Conservation

Yurok Tribe staff with a California condor. Photo by Chris West, Yurok Tribe Condor Program Manager.

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Featured Image Credit: Chris West, Yurok Tribe Condor Program Manager.

Follow Mike Gaworecki on Twitter: @mikeg2001

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