A Man On a Conservation Mission
John Davis is a “tri-athlete meets John Muir” and co-founder of the Wildlands Network. He is also a lifelong wildlands advocate, conservationist, writer and explorer. His inspiration for TrekEast came while rowing and hiking with his friend, Bill McKibben— the renowned author of The End of Nature—on another regional wildways journey that resulted in McKibben’s book, Wandering Home.
Other inspiration came from editing Dave Foreman’s Rewilding North America, as well as from his mother, the late Mary Byrd Davis, who completed the most comprehensive inventory of remaining Eastern Old-Growth Forest to date.
John’s dream of a trek across the continent was refined as he talked and walked with other friends and colleagues, many of them writers for the journal Wild Earth, which he co-edited from its founding in 1991 until 1996.
Most recently, John served as director of conservation for the Adirondack Council and as land steward for the Eddy Foundation. From 1997 through 2003, Davis was the biodiversity and wilderness program officer for the Foundation for Deep Ecology, based in Sausalito, California, where he helped identify conservation projects deserving of the foundation’s financial support.
In August of 2003, Davis won the “Distinguished Achievement in Open Space Protection” award from the Adirondack Council for his habitat protection work in the Split Rock Wildway.
Born in Madison, Wisconsin, John spent much of his youth in New Hampshire. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from St. Olaf College in Minnesota. John currently lives in Essex, New York with his family.
Davis’s passion has always been to explore wilderness, having hiked and camped in many of North America’s wildest backcountry areas, including paddling more than 300 miles on northern Alaska’s Noatak River and his most recent adventure, the 7,600 human-powered trek to scout the Eastern Wildway.
Show Us Your Wild Winners
The winner: John (Will) Leonard
The Konza Prairie is located in the Flint Hills region of Kansas and is home to native tallgrass and switchgrasses on its 50,000 square kilometer area. It is home to more than 600 species of fish, reptiles, mammals, and birds. It is a lively, beautiful, and calming environment located just outside of Manhattan, KS.
The runner-up: Kristin Williams
Located at the headwaters of the Peace River in Polk County, Florida, this ecosystem is home to many native fauna and flora. Circle B Reserve is an excellent green space for a family picnic, bike ride, or leisurely stroll. Birds are plentiful, you might also encounter river otters, alligators, snakes, butterflies and so much more.