Cattle rancher John Harder

From the Kansas farmlands to the Gulf of Mexico, Miriam Horn has seen firsthand the efforts of American conservationists. The head of Special Projects at the Environmental Defense Fund says those environmentalists take shape in red-state farmers, western ranchers and commercial fishermen. Horn followed five such conservationists, chronicling their efforts to sustain the land and sea in her new book, “Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman: Conservation Heroes of the American Heartland.” Horn joins us in this hour to talk about environmental preservation at the grassroots level and new challenges to conservation in America’s current political climate.

Miriam Horn Highlights Conservation Heroes in America’s Heartland 17 November,2016Mina Kim

Miriam Horn, author, "Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman: Conservation Heroes of the American Heartland"
Dusty Crary, Montana rancher

  • Terry

    I think at whatever point Krasny retires, which hopefully won’t be anytime soon, the Forum show will sink into an oblivion of mediocrity and cynical establishment propaganda.

    • johnqeniac

      You mean it hasn’t been under Krasny?

  • Mark SF

    “Elitist coastal cities” – really. Keep up the division.

  • Shelley Peery

    Remarkable how it turns out that the people indigenous to the Plains were right about how to conserve the land. Has the edf considered consulting w the remaining tribes re additional environmentally sound approaches?

    • Curious

      Native Americans would have hunted buffalo to extinction if they had had firearms.

  • Ben Waldo

    A shoutout to Joe McBride, UCB Professor Emeritus of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning. A fantastic inspiration for students over 4 decades, and still walking the streets and hills of Berkeley tending to the urban forest. Joe sees the interconnectedness of everything in a pragmatic and scientific way that is accessible for people of all political bents.

  • Claire Hoyt

    Shout out to Pelah Hoyt, my cousin in Montana doing the good work with 5 Valleys Land Trust to create meaningful easements with ranchers and farmers around that great state!!

  • Robert Thomas

    Thanks very much for getting in the caller who spoke about Martial Cottle Park in South San Jose. It’s an imperfect effort but a nevertheless breathtaking achievement. It is destined for full-on beloved status; one of its greatest gifts is indeed the vista it provides of the surrounding hills, otherwise generally obscured at valley floor level by our mature suburban canopy.

  • reich.jonathan

    Troubling to hear today’s spin on Forum and I wish Miriam Horn would tell a more complete story and Mina Kim would ask more critical questions. Many decades of experience working on these issues (Washington, Idaho, California) have taught me that most of the time the farmers and ranchers have embraced environmentalism it has been out of enlightened self-interest. Many rich people have embraced strategies such as conservation easements to protect their holdings, their privacy, reduce their property taxes and to keep out the hoi-polloi.
    By the way it’s laughable to hear the listener commenter state that Republican presidents have done more than Democratic presidents on environmentalism. Both Nixon and Reagan were dragged kicking and screaming by democratic controlled congresses to recognize their contemporary political realities and sign environmental legislation. Reagan appointed James Watt as Interior Secretary who was very destructive to environmentalism and put corrupt people in charge of the EPA. GW Bush set back environmentalism for decades – remember Cheney’s energy policy and the “Halliburton Rule”?
    The laudable efforts of the authentic “heartland” environmentalists are a distracting drop in the bucket compared to the destructive environmental agendas of corporate America (Exxon, Monsanto, Big Ag, Big Pharma, Big Chemical, etc.) and their primarily Republican champions. I hope people stay focused on the real issues and don’t get too distracted by fluff like today’s program.

    • Robert Thomas

      Indeed one often hears of Richard Nixon’s having been the “most environmentally active president” of recent decades. Nixon was a sociopath who had absolutely no interest in environmental affairs.

      Nixon was very pleased to extract foreign policy concessions from his then (young people will find it difficult to comprehend this) solidly and perpetually Democratic Congress in return for his acquiescence on (what were to Nixon) uninteresting and unimportant issues of domestic policy. Among these trivial matters were those of environmental policy; the great environmental laws and federal institutions created during the era were conceived, developed and nurtured by such as Senator Edmund Muskie of Maine and Representative Mo Udall of Arizona.

  • Matt Spruce

    Great program and book sounds awesome! They are right how important clothing is. This is the article about the local organic clothing company called “Harvest & Mill”. Conservation and clothing need to be addressed together – it’s a really important issue I never thought about before. Now I know! I’m a long time conservationist and am learning more all the time about how I can conserve energy and resources.

  • Robert Thomas

    In school, I was assigned A Sand County Almanac, and it was made clear to me that my North Dakota farmer relatives, though surrounded by hayseed, were anything but hayseeds.

    I very much appreciate the efforts of many careful land stewards but something I herd on the air yesterday caused me great dismay.

    The phenomenon of “organic” agriculture long ago passed from describing a pragmatic set of prudent and thoughtful practices into the realm of orthodox religion, complete with a vociferous and calculating marketing establishment, an array of rabid Elmer Gantrys and their adoring rubes.

    Ms Horn speaks of the measure of agriculture’s ecosystemic success being the reciprocal of its impingement upon the land and its resources. Yet, there is now a cut-throat attempt to keep hydroponic farmers – who’ve engineered their operations to use (and re-use) water in as miserly a way as possible, to use land space exceedingly sparingly and to use added (naturally produced) nutrients and sources of nitrogen only as absolutely necessary to pursue their admittedly niche product – from acquiring the designation “organic” because the Bishops of the Ortodoxy demand that they must root their plants in Godly dirt.

    What greater perversion of the concept of sustainability by sclerotic ideology masquerading as righteous environmentalism could be conceived?

    “Some Growers Say Organic Label Will Be Watered Down If It Extends To Hydroponics”
    By Rebecca Sananes
    All Things Considered, November 16, 2016

  • JohnC

    Regarding what people can do to help the environment, one of the first things out of the guests mouth should have been to reduce consumption of meat and animal products. The fact of environmentally conscious ranchers or fishermen is great, but that does not meant the livestock or fishing industry is environmentally friendly as a major food source for 7 billion humans.


Mina Kim

Mina Kim is KQED News’ evening anchor and the Friday host of Forum. She reports on a wide range of issues affecting the Bay Area and interviews newsmakers, local leaders and innovators.

Mina started her career in public radio at KQED as an intern with Pacific Time. When the station began expanding its local news coverage in 2010, she became a general assignment reporter, then health reporter for The California Report. Mina’s award-winning stories have included on-the-scene reporting of the 2014 Napa earthquake and a series on gun violence in Oakland.

Her work has been recognized by the Radio Television Digital News Association, the Society of Professional Journalists and the Asian American Journalists Association.

Mina grew up in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Oak Park, CA. She lives in Napa.

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