Adventure Made Podcast

Ep 15: Jess Johnson on the Controversy of Conservation

June 23, 2021 Seth Spears, Jess Johnson Episode 15
Adventure Made Podcast
Ep 15: Jess Johnson on the Controversy of Conservation
Show Notes

Jess Johnson is the Government Affairs Director for the Wyoming Wildlife Federation, and a founding member of the National Wildlife Federation Sportswomen’s Initiative, Artemis, a women’s coalition that encourages women to take leadership roles in conservation and wildlife-related policy positions.

As a board member for  2% for Conservation and the Wyoming Chapter of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, she brings her dedication to educating hunters on advocacy and policy in the conservation arena, and the dialogue around hunting into the industry as a pro team member of First Lite, Argali, and Kestrel Glassing Systems. 

Growing up in a conservation minded ranching family in Montana, Northern California, and Wyoming., she has a deep appreciation for healthy ecologies and since moving back to Wyoming 11 years ago she has worked for the voice of hunting and wildlife at the State Legislature.  

She spends most of her free time exploring the West's vast expanse of public lands on foot and on horse. Jess is an avid archery hunter and has a particular love for the big Wyoming mule deer. 


  • "Nature loves balance"

Topics Discussed:

  • Why Jess left college and a dance career to purse the outdoors & supporting conservation efforts
  • Why her love of nature and the outdoors motivates everything she does
  • The reasons why hunting is so male dominant and how that's changing
  • The differences between Western vs. Eastern hunting 
  • Why communication & eduction is so important for conservation efforts
  • The controversy surrounding reintroduction of wolves in Colorado and elimination efforts of wolves in Idaho
  • Why predators are part of a healthy ecosystem
  • The rural vs. urban mindset and pendulum swings of both groups
  • The relation of chronic wasting disease in deer and the presence of wolves & mountain lions
  • The difference between hunting and killing
  • Why the extirpation of bison is still relevant today for cultural & political reasons
  • Why a pocket knife is Jess's go-to piece of gear
  • The controversy surrounding Meat Eater's acquisition of First Lite

Resources Mentioned: