Intrinsic Drive™

Casting for Conservation with Trout Unlimited's Chris Wood

January 05, 2022 Phil Wharton - Wharton Health Season 2 Episode 9
Intrinsic Drive™
Casting for Conservation with Trout Unlimited's Chris Wood
Show Notes Transcript

A trip to Alaska to follow the Salmon run changed the course of Chris Wood’s life; upon returning home he resigned from his job working for an ice cream company. Choosing a new path, Chris resolved to dedicate his life to saving endangered fish and waterways. He began his career as a temporary employee with the US Forest Service in Idaho where he quickly realized the power of learning from mentors and teachers in the conservation field.  They - in turn - saw his passion, tireless work ethic, and optimism. He went on to become the senior policy and communications advisor to the Chief of the U.S. Forest Service, where he assisted in protecting 58.5 million acres of publicly owned land. He began to realize his potential to have a significant impact on the environment and our natural resources.

In 2009 Chris began his leadership as President and CEO of Trout Unlimited.  Today TU is an internationally respected conservation powerhouse with close to an $80 million-dollar annual budget and national staff of 260 employees. TU has become the science delivery system for state and national agencies who have sustained large budget cuts. 

 Trout Unlimited, in partnership with their three hundred eighty-seven local chapters across the country, is protecting, reconnecting, restoring, and sustaining our cold-water resources. TU invests tens of millions of dollars annually for river and stream recovery, protecting head-water streams, thus reducing downstream drinking water filtration costs. This evangelist of fishing and fisheries conservation was recently inducted into the Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame. Chris has authored Watershed Restoration: Principles and Practices (AFS, 1997), From Conquest to Conservation: Our Public Land Legacy (Island Press, 2003), and My Heathy Stream: A handbook for Streamside Owners (Trout Unlimited and The Aldo Leopold Foundation, 2013). 

We are honored to welcome this giant of conservation to this episode of Intrinsic Drive™.  For those who would like to learn more about the conservation efforts of Chris and his team, become members, or donate please visit Trout Unlimited.

Intrinsic Drive™ is produced by Ellen Strickler and Phil Wharton. Special thanks to Andrew Hollingworth, our sound engineer and technical editor.  For more information on this and other episodes visit us at www.whartonhealth.com/intrinsicdrive. Follow us on socials (links below) including Instagram  @intrinsicdrivelive

 

 

Phil Wharton:

A lifetime of training, practice, study, hard work through discipline, some achieve excellence, mastery, fulfillment, self actualization. What can we learn from their beginning discoveries, motivations and falls, how do they dust themselves off and resume their journey. During these interviews, stories and conversations, we reveal their intrinsic drive.

Chris Wood:

A trip to Alaska to fall the salmon run changed the course of Chris Woods life. Upon returning home, he resigned from his ice cream company job choosing a new path, Chris resolved to dedicate his life saving endangered fish and waterways. beginning his career as a temporary employee with the US Forest Service in Idaho. He quickly realized the power of learning from mentors and teachers in the conservation field, who saw his passion, tireless work ethic and optimism. Serving as the senior policy and communication adviser to the chief of the US Forest Service, where he assisted to protect 58 and a half million acres of publicly owned land, he began to realize his potential to accomplish great things for the environment in our natural resources. In 2009, he began his leadership as president and CEO of Trout Unlimited. Today, Trout Unlimited is an internationally respected conservation powerhouse with close to an $80 million annual budget and national staff 260 employees TU has become the science delivery system for state and national agencies who have sustained large budget cuts. Trout Unlimited in partnership with our 387 local chapters across the country are protecting, reconnecting, restoring and sustaining our cold water resources TU invests 10s of millions of dollars annually for river and stream recovery, protecting headwater streams, thus reducing downstream drinking water filtration costs. This evangelist of fishing and fisheries conservation was recently inducted to the freshwater fishing Hall of Fame. Chris has authored three books, including the Watershed Restoration principles and practices, from conquest to conservation, Our Public Land Legacy, and My Healthy Stream, a handbook for streamside owners. We are honored to welcome this giant of conservation to this episode of intrinsic Drive.

Phil Wharton:

What a blessing to take time out of your busy schedule, Chris to join us on intrinsic drive. Welcome to the show. Thank you, Phil. It's a real pleasure to be here. And let's go to the beginning for you, Chris, the Genesis. Take us to the beginning of your journey. Was there an inciting moment for you?

Chris Wood:

Yeah, it's funny that you asked that, you know, I I grew up in New Jersey, and really never really left the state until I went to college. Other than a, we took a trip to Ireland to visit family when I was young. And so we, you know, I kind of had a traditional sports oriented background. And New Jersey is one of the most urban states in the country, and not a lot of great outdoors there. Although it is a quite beautiful state. But my time was mostly consumed on basketball courts and football fields and baseball diamonds. And when I graduated college in Vermont, I had a chance to go to Alaska. And it was there while I was in Alaska visiting a friend that I discovered these incredible creatures called salmon. And these fish I learned about could you know, they can migrate into places like the Yukon River 1000 miles to go back to the very place where they were born, and, you know, have sex a single time, and then their bodies provide their decaying bodies provide the nutrients that keep that whole system intact. And I was so blown away by that I had no I mean, I had heard about Salmon but I really had no idea about their life history. And so I, at the time I had been, I was making ice cream and coaching high school football at my alma mater and High School in Jersey City. And I finished out the season and resigned from the ice cream factory and basically, you know, decided that I wanted to dedicate my life to helping to try to recover these remarkable salmon and steelhead. And, you know, I, there's a famous story in my family where I came down was Monday morning and my father came down, and I wasn't at work. And he said, Hey, why aren't you at work? And why are you in the house here? Because I had my own my own apartment. Yeah. And well, I said, Dad, I quit the ice cream factory job. And he said, Well, what are you going to do? And it turns out that that morning, as fate would have it in the New York Times above the fold, there was a picture of a guy named Keith Edwards. He was an official wildlife uniform in the capition under the photo read, it saddens me that I work at a lake that's named for a fish that doesn't return here anymore. And that was Red Fish Lake in Sawtooth's of Idaho. And, you know, those the salmon, the sockeye salmon that he was talking about that year, only one made the journey through eight different dams, all kinds of preditors. And late one late the journey, only one made it back to its native habitat to spawn. And so you know, I looked at that, and I said to my dad, well, what I'm going to do is I'm going to save the salmon dad may pointed to the paper. So it has a very colorful man, I will tell you exactly what he said. But, you know, I have that same sense of optimism and enthusiasm, that I will one day say the salmon. And when I say I mean, the collective, we really Yeah, that, you know, we can take specific actions that will help to bring those fish back to their natal habitats in places like Idaho, where we're down now to basically 1% of their historic numbers. And we know what we need to do to bring those fish back, we have to remove the for four lower Snake River dams. And the more we're able to organize people to understand that that is the answer and that it can be done. I think the more likely we are to succeed. And we can we can take those dams out importantly, Phil, in a way that makes all of those socio economic interests who are reliant on the dams intact.

Phil Wharton:

So a win, win, win.

Chris Wood:

That's right, it's the triple win. Exactly.

Phil Wharton:

Amazing. Now, in this time now, is this when you begin to join the Fish and Wildlife Program in Idaho? And then in your ascent? When did you feel yourself kind of rising in your craft? How old were you now? And then what other event made that path clear to you, besides the salmon? The initial salmon run in Alaska?

Chris Wood:

Yeah, you know, I've been lucky. I've had a series of people in my life were important mentors to me, I when I was in Idaho, I was basically a seasonal employee for the US Forest Service. And there were some incredible mentors, people like Russ Thoreau and Jack King, people who were scientists basically and saw how passionate I was about this cause and really helped me and then, you know, I moved back to Washington, DC and I, one of the guys the hydro techs, they call them the hydrologic technician that I worked with was named Louie Wasnuski. Louie is today a hydrologist with Caribou Targhee National Forest in Idaho. And he and I had become friends. And he said, when we go back to DC, you should meet my Uncle Mike. And that turned out to be a man named Mike Dombeck, who later became the director, the only man who's ever led, the only person who's ever led both the Department of Interior Bureau of Land Management and then the US Forest Service over at the Department of Agriculture. And so I worked for Mike for five years over at the BLM and then five years at the Forest Service and then I came over to try to Trout Unlimited. I had another terrific mentor here named Charles Dobbin, he was the former CEO here, I took his role for him 10 years ago, and I've just been blessed along the way to have really good people who, you know, looked out for me saw that I was really passionate about this and helped me to make good choices.

Phil Wharton:

That's it's really amazing those and you're learning through these, that these mentors and these experiences, and because of your passion, and you know, and these, what else was revealed at that time that you needed to focus on in terms of to really come to that place that you are now with 80 million annual dollars being allocated all these wonderful things that Trout Unlimited that you're doing to Trout Unlimited.

Chris Wood:

You know, I think I realized the potential to accomplish a lot of really good things for people, probably first when I was at the Forest Service, and that's an agency of, you know, 30,000 very proud employees $5 billion a year agency. And I got there sort of at a strange time in the agency's history they had for many years back in the 60s in the 70s. They were kind of a, as I say, they were kind of fabled for their their esprit de corps they had within the agency. Yeah. And, and they went for a period of like 30 years where they were harvesting about 12 billion board feet of timber a year. And just to give you a frame of reference, it takes about 30,000 board feet to build a typical home. Yes. So those timber cuts, those timber harvests were reduced by about all the way down to like, one and a half. 2 billion in the 80s in the early 90s. And it was all because of things like spotted owl protection in the Pacific Northwest and salmon, steelhead protection. And so they had to really drop their timber cuts. And so, I got to the agency in a at a time, that was a real period of uncertainty. And my boss was working for a man, as I mentioned, Mike Dombeck, who had just become the head of the agency. And the thing that probably was the most revealing thing for me, Phil was this is a little bit inside baseball. But yeah, at the time, the Forest Service had like an eight and a half billion with a B, dollar maintenance backlog on its existing road system. Wow. And Congress had come within a single vote of cutting the agency's road budget by like 80%, and they were they were cutting it largely because they were doing that as a surrogate to keep the agency from going into these so called roadless areas. These are wilderness quality, relatively pristine lands that you know, we don't have a lot of in America anymore, at least outside of Alaska. No. And I realized that the agency Well, the most people in the nation, were focused on things like naturalness and wildness and clean water in open space. The Forest Service was more fixated at the time on, you know, things like road building, and timber harvest and other forms of development because that's their job. They're what's called a multiple use mandate, organization. And meaning they serve many, many different masters and working for Mike Dombeck, the man who ran the agency at the time, we realized that the agency was a little bit we were a half a step out of step with the rest of the country when it came to the values that most Americans really cherished their public lands for. And so we set about on an ambitious policy to protect turned out to be about 58 and a half million acres. Yes, I read that. Publicly owned land, land that you you and I own as a birthright. And from new forms of road construction and other developments. By gosh, 20 years later, that policy remains in effect today. And that was, it was probably at that moment back in the early 90s. When I realized I guess this would actually be the late 90s. But I realized the impact that one person could have if they were willing to listen and learn.

Phil Wharton:

Edward Abbey would be proud of that, you know, looking back at the at his you know, nightmare of the arches right? The development in, in this feels like Chris, your, some of your drives the things that are urging you forward? Were there what were some of the other external internal forces or motivations during that time in your life.

Chris Wood:

Um, you know, I, as I mentioned that story about the Salmon. I had always been sort of, you know, transfixed by these creatures, these remarkable creatures. For millennia, I've just come back, and we've made it so difficult for them to get back to their natal streams in Idaho, because of the dam construction, largely. That was always a motivating factor. For me. That was probably the primary motivating factor that got me involved in conservation. And that keeps me involved today.

Phil Wharton:

That's yeah, that's amazing. And like you say, people that love something like, they love to do a sport activity, fishing, all of a sudden, if those are going to be no more, then there's a reverence and there can be more of a connection of personal connection. What about the fall or speed bumps along the way? Tell us about your lowest moment in your career or life overall, was there a major inciting moment or event for this?

Chris Wood:

Exciting or, or the opposite?

Phil Wharton:

Or inciting or something? That personal insight? Yeah. A moment that you can reflect back to?

Chris Wood:

Yeah, you know, I It's interesting, you know, I, as you can imagine, in this job, that I'm in today, running Trout Unlimited, I do a fair amount of public speaking. And when I first began my career, I I truly, even to this day, I don't really enjoy doing it. But you become good at it because you have to, yes, you become practiced at it. Whether you're good or not. It's always debatable. Probably the most humiliating moment I had was early in my career. I had come back to Washington. I didn't start right away with the Bureau of Land Management. I was an intern. Actually, I think they called me a fellow It was basically a glorified intern, okay. For an organization called American Rivers, and I did that. Okay, for about two years, during which time I think I was paid a grand total of like $10,000. Ok wow, two years. Yeah. And I was bartending, you know, here in town too. They had asked me to look at so the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management, they're both they're since they're public agencies, they're required to come up with these big decision documents that document for you and I and anyone else who wants to read them, what the agency's intention is for the various lands that they manage. And salmon, we're in, you know, back in 1992, another mentor of mine, Jack Williams, as part of a trio of scientists who had written this really seminal paper that said that we had already lost 200. And we had already lost 106 stocks of salmon and steelhead, and another 215 were risk of extinction. And so, yeah, it was really a dire situation. So the Forest Service asked me to go through these land management, planning documents, and to pull out all of the information relative to the objectives and the standards and the goals that they were going to use to manage salmon and steelhead. And then to basically evaluate if they were up to snuff. And so there wasn't another person in the world, who knew more about how public land management agencies plan to manage salmon and steelhead than me, I spent 18 months, parsing through these documents that are like three inches thick, okay, just, you know, and there were probably forty of them. It came the day to make my presentation. And all of the regional brass from the Bureau of Land Management, where there. All the regional brass were there from the US Forest Service. And I probably had, I don't know, ten deck, ten slides in my deck. And I started talking, and I kept talking. And I realized maybe after the third or the fourth sentence, that I probably should take a breath. Yeah.

Phil Wharton:

And then do much information to get into one presentation.

Chris Wood:

And then so I basically talked until I ran out of air. And then I stopped and I took a big inhale. Basically, my voice started shaking. And the rest of the presentation was given stuff that I was completely authoritatively knowledge about. The rest of that presentation was was given with me on a quavering, shaky voice that belied that I knew anything at all about what I was speaking of. And I remember going back to my cubicle after that, you know, and I was probably 27 or so just kind of having my hand in my head, like this. And I got a call from a friend who worked over at the Forest Service who had been at the presentation. And he said, and I quote, "man you must feel so low you could crawl under a pregnant ant right now". That was probably the that was one of the low points professionally.

Phil Wharton:

Oh, yeah. No, I can feel that. And. And, Chris, what was the pivot for you? What, what steered you back on course? And what turned you around after that, in that, for that two year process?

Chris Wood:

It's a it's a great question. It wasn't one thing. I think it was a series of things. Um, you know, it's interesting when you're, and I didn't study natural resources growing up. I didn't even know what a salmon was. And I was 24 years old. So, you know, I was a political science major and American Lit minor. At Middlebury College, Middlebury in Vermont. Yeah. So I mean, I, I wasn't a dummy, but I just didn't know much about natural resources. And, you know, the thing that I've benefited from are these people who, you know, I've just been talking about other people to people like Niffy Hamilton, a woman I worked for at the BLM, and mentioned Jack Williams, but these people who were willing to mentor me and to help teach me and and really all of the professional staff at those two agencies, they all knew that I was clueless, they could see that I was really passionate and energetic, but I was a big dummy. And, but I was smart enough to be a sponge. And so I just learned a ton from these folks. And after a while, you realize that you've taken in enough information, you actually sound like you know what you're talking about. And three, I've often I've often said that my knowledge base is like the Platte River. It's like a mile wide, but only a few inches deep. But I think the thing that really helped me to overcome that fairly inauspicious beginning to my career, and by the way, it was a perfect setup, right? I mean, anybody would be would kill for an opportunity to have all these important people in one place or one time In one place at one time, and you're giving a presentation on something that you know better than anyone else in the world, yes. And, and I just completely fell down. And I think it was just the support of that whole network of people around me over several years that, you know, enabled me to build my confidence back up. And, you know, I also benefited from because I didn't have the traditional background that a lot of people did going into natural resources. I wasn't afraid of things like talking to the media. And so when I got to the Forest Service, for example, believe it or not, they actually had a policy that all media requests had to be run through the Department of Agriculture. Oh, you're talking about it? 30,000 person organization, you can't do that. So I, began developing relationships with reporters at all the major newspapers and, and regional newspapers and, and suddenly, the Forest Service had this elevated press profile, due in part to my work and others work. It wasn't just me, but so I think I benefited both from the traditions of these agencies where I think people take their stewardship and their mentorship roles very seriously. Yeah. And then I also I benefited from, you know, being a little bit of a non traditional employee, I didn't quite fit, you know, I didn't work my way up the ranks. Usually, people in the Washington office, if those organizations are in their mid 50s, or early 60s, they're kind of winding down their career, or they're making a pit stop to go get a bigger job somewhere else. Right. And then there was me this, you know, back in the day, I had this big mop of curly brown hair. And, you know, I was running around like, my hair was on fire every day and half the people didn't know what the hell to make of me and the other half wanted to help me succeed. And somehow I found my way through that experience.

Phil Wharton:

Yeah. And you're able to bridge the gap and find these people that really lifted you up. And that's right, for the common cause. And it was right. Look at the rollback, Chris, and if he had the opportunity, what would you redo or do differently, if anything?

Chris Wood:

Well, that's a really good question. hearkening back to that point in my career, I think what I would, you know, and I hope my I become the partner, the Forest Service's has changed very much over the past 20 years. They, they're an agency that now I mean, they they bleed partnerships at every pore of that organization. And, but that didn't used to be the case, back then they were a little more insular, they were a little more resistant to criticism, it looked at the, the press as the enemy. Yeah. And so, you know, it was, was easy to have an impact there. But I think what I would have done differently as early on, I realized that changing the culture of an agency, not that I, I, by any means could do it alone. But I worked for the guy who ran the agency, but I realized, you know, that was going to be too hard. And rather than try to change, you know, the culture, the hearts and minds of people, what we did instead or what I tried to do instead was do things like secure protections for these so called roadless areas, as we talked about, or, you know, we were going to before we ran out of time before President Bush was elected, we were going to put a prohibition on the harvest of old growth timber, these trees that can be several hundreds of years old from our public lands. So I really made them in the the decision as a younger man to focus more on the policy and less on the people. And I wish I could get that one back again. But you get you get wiser hopefully as you get older. And I think one of the things that we do a good job of here at TU is, we do both we focus on both the policy the on the ground outcomes, but we also try to elevate people as often as we can.

Phil Wharton:

Yeah, I can see that and feel that as a member also. On the anvil, Chris, take me to an event or decision that forged you the defining moment you feel it for just your destiny in a positive way. Maybe not like the initial debacle with the presentation, but another.

Chris Wood:

You know, back in 2010, So moving forward a few years, I'd left the forest service after five years, I've been at TU for about ten. I was running our conservation programs, and as I mentioned, my predecessor who had been the CEO since 1992. So you'd been there for you know, 92 to 2010. That was a long run. Yeah. He was stepping down and I remember the board selecting me to become the new CEO and this is a job that I was uniquely unqualified for. Really, you know, just because I I had become a decent public speaker I had you know, I had demonstrated that I was a pretty good fundraiser because I'm very passionate about our work and as you know, money flows to things that people want. And, you know, so I was good at that. But I, you know, there were there were so many things that I was not really ready for in terms of managing a staff and, you know, having Profit and Loss responsibility managing a budget. And but that was really that was a moment in my life, that several year period where I probably learned more about myself and about areas that I needed to get better at and to improve, and then probably any other and, and it remains a period. I remain grateful to the board back then for having selected me, and then given me the opportunity to to learn and become a better leader on the job.

Phil Wharton:

Oh, that's, that's, that's beautiful to see your transition, and you're so willingness to dive in and learn those things that maybe you had initial limitations on, but now are becoming strong points. It's sort of it sort of transition there on your journey. Chris, what's most important to you now, on your journey? What does the road ahead look like for you? And what's what's next?

Chris Wood:

Boy? It's a great question. You know, obviously, occasionally the opportunities will pop up. And you wonder about them, I'm probably at the phase of my life where I've got one or two, you know, big, more big plays in me, whether that's here or somewhere else. I'm really excited now about a new direction that we're we've chosen a Trout Unlimited. So we have this whole model of going out and protecting, reconnecting and restoring river systems. It's basically it's a, it's a way to cover the natural recover the natural resilience of rivers and streams so that they're better able to withstand a changing climate. And that does a terrific job of describing what we do. But it doesn't really do a great job of describing where we do it and why. And one of the things that we've decided to do this year, is to work with all of our local chapters, all of our state councils, basically our volunteer network around the country, as well as our partners, places like the Forest Service and the Fish and Wildlife Service in the state agencies and some in industry even, and come up with a national network of priority waters, the waters that should be highest on our radar for protecting, reconnecting and restoring. And our hope is that through this process of collaboration of talking to our partners about what they think is most important, that we'll be able to, instead of leveraging, you know, today, tens of millions of dollars, right, we put about $80 million, as you mentioned earlier, of conservation on the ground, we could turn that into hundreds of millions of dollars. So the idea basically is it's the, it's the it's the Tom Sawyer School of conservation, you'll recall, the Tom got in trouble from his aunt. And he was made as a punishment to go out and whitewash the fence and he went out, and he pretended to have so much fun doing it. Soon all of his friends joined in, and they helped. And maybe a better analogy, as many hands make light work. But what we're really trying to do is to create a unified agenda among all the people that care about trout and salmon, so we're all working on the same set of priorities. And that way, we'll be able to leverage hundreds of millions of dollars. And then the second piece that I think is really exciting for me personally is, and you'll know this, Phil, as a TU member, we've had a, historically a very, I call it like a transactionally based membership model, where we'll send you a bunch of direct mail or email, and try to entice you with offers of flies or hats, or bags or rods or whatever. And eventually, you'll break down and write a check. And it's just a very, it's a very transactional model. And yet, we have the ability to increase engagement in in thousands of communities around America in ways that many groups just simply can't, just by virtue of the 260 staff we have. And by virtue of the 400 chapters, who are spread like a network across the country, yes, we can drive engagement like none other. And so we're really looking at changing our membership model from one that is based on, you know, this highly transactional model I mentioned, to one that's driven by engagement and then helping to facilitate that engagement. And again, the idea is, we want to get the boulder rolling downhill so we can pick up more and more speed. Trout and salmon are the ultimate indicators of the health of our lands and waters. And these these critters are in trouble right now. They're at the they're at the front or at the you know, the tip of the spear when it comes to climate change. And you know, we need to we need to get as many people working on similar agendas as we possibly can and that's the that gives me the most hope for the future. At this moment.

Phil Wharton:

Well, I just I so love that the your latest book, My Healthy Stream; A Handbook for the Streamside owner. "Streams are the lifeblood of the land, you write. They are the veins and arteries that carry the substance water that all life depends on". You know, and I think that, that that's the essence there. Well, you've never some people that listen to the show never been a fisherman or fisherwoman. They've not been out there. But they all depend on water and understand the the immediacy of our rivers and streams. And I loved also what you've done for the the Clean Water Act, and I was so captivated by your story there. Yeah, changing that legislation, which is really a watershed moment for our streams and take me to the slipstream. Chris, if we look back at your life, any parting gems of advice that you'd like to leave for us that you've learned?

Chris Wood:

Well, join Trout Unlimited, first of all.

Phil Wharton:

Absolutely, in the liner notes, there'll be a link for you to become a member right away.

Chris Wood:

that's awesome. Phil,

Phil Wharton:

thank you realize that 87 cents of every dollar contributed goes directly to conservation and programs and services at Trout Unlimited.

Chris Wood:

That's right. That's right. Well, thank you for that plug, Phil. No, I mean, I just think that, you know, we get one shot at this, you know, and we think about it, conservation, this idea that, you know, we can take positive action today, to ensure that our kids or grandkids, or even just people who come after us have a better life. Tomorrow, it's probably the most optimistic and affirmative idea that America ever gave the rest of the world. And I think it's really important that even people who don't fish or don't hunt, but simply enjoy walking along streams or knowing that their neighbors or their children can play in a clean stream and not get sick. I think it's really important that people get involved and, and support conservation efforts, like some of the ones that we've been talking about today. It's, it's easy for conservation, often, you know, these, these companies that do polling every year to see what issues are most important to Americans, conservation is often down to fourteen to sixteen range. But there's probably not one of those issues that's more important to the well being of more people than the health of our lands and waters. And so just to the extent that people can do what they can to get involved, whether it's by volunteering time, or writing checks, or whatever they can do. It does make a difference. And it helps to, it helps to keep, keep this great green and blue orb that we call home intact.

Phil Wharton:

And don't be afraid to question Madison Avenue I love in your latest blog posts that you're willing to reach out to Nissan and say, Look, instead of driving a truck through the stream, let's go and get that winch and take down the dam and and plant some trees there and put some reinforced wood there to rebuild these stream banks. And there's a better way to do this, folks.

Chris Wood:

Yeah, that's right. You know, I'll leave you with this thought for your reader. For your listeners who might not know Nissan is the latest but they're not the only one Jeep has done it. Ford's done it Landrovers done it to to show an ad during the baseball playoffs of their new truck running straight up the middle of the stream. And it is. It is profoundly dumb. It's exactly the wrong message to send. And it's obvious that they're getting advice from people, like I said in the in the piece on on Madison Avenue, right? Probably have very expensive suits, but probably never spent any time in the outdoors. Because there's not a hunter or an angler, or an outdoor enthusiast who would ever take their truck out of the middle of the stream, ever. It's also really dangerous. Not to mention stupid. So what we did what we did this time because this has happened before and we've called out Ford and we called out Jeep and very little gets done. We said hey, why don't we pivot? Why don't we turn this thing around? I love that showing let's flip the script. I love that let's let's flip the script rather than showing these vehicles damaging God's creation. Yep. How about what we do is you show them being used to like you said plant trees or haul logs. More structure back in Creek order to clean up trash to have big trash bags being thrown into the truck clean. So we'll see I haven't heard anything from Nissan yet but hope springs eternal.

Phil Wharton:

No, I think the cooperation showing them a new way. A new way forward I think is fabulous. Chris Wood, you're just a shining light for us in the environment. And it makes me want to become a fisherman. And one day I hope to meet you in person and get out there on the water. and learn how to do it right. So,

Chris Wood:

Likewise, Phil, I really enjoyed our talk today. Thank you.

Phil Wharton:

Thanks for coming to Intrinsic Drive. Have a great day. Bye bye. Thanks for being with us. opt in rate and review us. subscribe, thumbs us up. Follow us on socials like us. We like you. Tell us what stories move you. For videos and more information visit us at Wharton Health dot com, and join us for the next episode of Intrinsic Drive.