About Us

The Face Behind The Mic

Show Host

Jeff Ryan

Series Creator and Show Host

Author, photographer, historian and keynote speaker Jeff Ryan has hiked thousands of miles in the United States and spent the past several years relating his experiences to audiences throughout North America, traveling in his 1985 Volkswagen Vanagon camper van.

Jeff has written two critically acclaimed books about the Appalachian Trail. His research for his second book, Blazing Ahead, was the catalyst that sparked this podcast. Jeff is continually impressed by the forward-looking pioneers that saw the need to retain and protect pieces of American wilderness where we can, in the words of Benton MacKaye, “oxygenate, recreate and gain perspective.”

About Our Podcast

Many of us who spend time outdoors can readily — often enthusiastically — share what the existence of our wild and scenic areas mean to us. Exploring our wilderness areas adds a dimension of health and perspective to our lives we simply can’t find elsewhere. We can’t wait to post pictures and share our experiences. And who can blame us?

But what about the people that spent their lives articulating and advocating for the the places we so enjoy? As years pass, we risk losing the visions and insights of those who shared a deep reverance for nature and our connection to it. My hope is that Voices of the Wilderness will help us reconnect with the thoughts and wisdom of our past — and rediscover why the gifts they gave us are still relevant and urgent today.

Voices of the Wilderness is produced through the enthusiastic support of the National Conservation Training Center, home of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and many of the archival materials shown in this series. Special thanks to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Historian Dr. Mark Madison and his colleagues  for their help in making this series possible.