An autodidact, Jim has spent a lifetime studying and exploring what he refers to as “the intersection of human progress and wildness.” Stumbling on the writings of Aldo Leopold in his early twenties—namely Leopold’s essay Thinking Like a Mountain—launched Jim on a journey that has crisscrossed the country in pursuit of wildness.
Jim began his guiding work in the early 1990's, living in an old Volkswagen bus and paddling rafts on the Snake River in Wyoming in the summer, and working as an educator with live birds of prey in Arizona in winter. Since then, he has been as a naturalist, guide, and host, on rivers, in the back country, in national parks, and aquariums, from Redwood National Park to the Tennessee River Gorge, and now the rainforest of Southeast Alaska.
Jim will tell you that he would rather paddle a canoe than drive a car and prefers watching birds to watching television, and that he agrees with author Bernd Heinrich when he wrote “There is no greater pleasure than eating roasted moose, while resting under a spruce, and contemplating ravens.” He believes, like Leopold, that every one of us must have an ethical relationship with the land that is based on love, respect and admiration, and has a passion for helping others find their own Land Ethic.
My upcoming expeditions
Exploring Alaska's Coastal Wilderness
Columbia & Snake Rivers Journey
Wild Alaska Escape: Haines, the Inian Islands & Tracy Arm Fjord