By Land Podcast

By Land Podcast

Emory Wanger


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EP 144 The Modern West with Melodie Edwards

Melodie Edwards is the host and senior producer of the Modern West Podcast which dives into the history of the west, and how it’s shaped our landscapes and modern culture while digging up little-known facts about the past. The show is produced for Wyoming Public Media (aka the state’s NPR station) which is now going into its 5th season so for me, it was great to connect with someone who is doing some really great work out there. Being a podcast producer isn’t the only thing Melodie is though. She’s a bookstore owner and writer, all of which we get into in this episode. The reason Melodie is on the show is to explore this weird crossroad between the past and the present with regard to how we as backpackers and hikers interact with the landscape. For example, for anyone who isn’t from the west, or specifically the Montana/Wyoming area, there are a lot of really large ranches in some very beautiful places and those ranches often graze cattle on land that you and I might hike through. So, you could be hiking along and bump into a cow or two, OR maybe you can’t access certain areas because it’s a private ranch. There’s a lot of nuance to this and as we move further and further away from the past when ranching was a major industry, we begin to see a bit of a rub between those generational ranchers and the public who may want to either access their land, pass through it, or find a way to minimize livestock impacts on the landscape. It’s a lot, and this is just one aspect of this whole topic. As the producer of the Modern West Podcast and doing her investigative work on topics like this, Melodie is joining the show to help enlighten or educate me (us), on where we’ve come from, where we are, and where we’re going. This podcast isn’t always about something clearly related to backpacking because I’d miss out on opportunities like this one to further educate myself on things like land access and the modernization of the west. To me, it’s conversations like this one that allow me to look at things through a different lens so that when I’m out there enjoying myself, I know what the heck I’m benefitting from or how it even came to be. As I said, it’s a lot and Melodie is here to help me begin to sort it all out. Emory, By Land By Land Links LEARN HOW TO BACKPACK https://www.learnhowtobackpack.com/ YOUTUBE https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChSSISEgIfwYz2cc0aHQj3g FACEBOOK GROUP https://www.facebook.com/groups/1192723304224313/ INSTAGRAM https://www.instagram.com/emory_by_land DONATE: https://byland.co/donate Show Notes and Links The Modern West Podcast https://themodernwest.org/ Introductions Melodie’s background The history of the cowboy in the west The impact that cattle ranchers have had on the landscape How we got to where we are today with the modern landscapes How cattle did on the landscape Finding a balance Finding common ground Closing thoughts

About By Land Podcast

Welcome to Better Backpacking! Whether backpacking, hunting, hiking, or simply enjoying the outdoors with family and friends, there is always a better way to do things and that is what this podcast offers. You deserve the very best experiences and By Land is here to help you attain them by simplifying the process, breaking down complicated subjects, and learning from people and organizations from around the world who are experts on the subject. Be it conservation, backcountry hunting, Thru Hiking, mountaineering, or general outdoor activities, By Land will give you tangible and actionable tips and tricks to take with you on your next outing into the wild.

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