Public Lands Grazing: Death & Destruction

Wilderness Podcast episode with Jon Marvel

Public Lands Grazing: Death & Destruction | Jon Marvel | Western Watersheds Project | Ep. 038

Listen To Wilderness Podcast For Free

itunes-icon (1).png
Please Share This Episode

Derrick Jensen - @ Dawn Paley

Jon Marvel - Founder of Western Watersheds Project

Release Date: August 28th, 2020

In this episode, I speak with Jon Marvel, public lands activist and the founder of Western Watersheds Project. We talk about his background, his first experiences on public lands in Idaho, what public lands mean to him, looking at ecosystems with fresh eyes, the vast destruction from intensive livestock grazing on public lands, a vision for public lands without the cows, multiple use mandates, the Bundy clan, the contentious founding of the Idaho Watersheds Project (pre Western Watersheds Project), buying grazing leases for conservation purposes, why some conservation groups don’t address the issue of public lands grazing, reflecting back on his time with Western Watersheds, legislative buyout programs, grazing as the most ubiquitous use of public lands and the reasons why grazing destroys ecosystems. 

About Jon


Jon Marvel is the vice-president of the Sagebrush Habitat Conservation Fund ( ) which has facilitated the permanent retirement or non-grazing use of over 1,000,000-acres of public land grazing allotments since 2013. He co-founded Western Watersheds Project in 1993 after concluding that public lands ranching needed to be ended and served for 21 years as its executive director.

Originally from Delaware, Jon has a BA in American History from the University of Chicago and a MArch from the University of Oregon. He is a licensed architect and has practiced architecture in Idaho for more than 40  years. Jon has lived in Idaho for 51 years and in Hailey, Idaho since 1981. He has been active in local and state politics in Idaho, having served as Democratic Party Chair in Blaine County and as a member of the Idaho State Democratic Party Central and Executive Committees. He has extensively explored the public and wilderness lands of Idaho, Oregon, Wyoming and Nevada. In those many excursions he has enjoyed floating undammed wilderness rivers on mutlitple-day river trips including the remote but exquisitely beautiful Forks of the Owyhee River, the Bruneau and Jarbidge Rivers and Deep Creek. He has been married for 50 years and has two children and three grandsons.

Impacts from cows on public lands in Idaho @ Western Watersheds Project

© 2021 Wilderness Podcast

  • White Twitter Icon
  • White Instagram Icon
  • White Facebook Icon