#21: John “Griff” Griffith on Redwood Ecosystems, Hosting Animal Planet’s Wild Jobs, and Being a “Solutionary”

#21: John "Griff" Griffith on Redwood Ecosystems, Hosting Animal Planet's Wild Jobs, and Being a "Solutionary" Nature's Archive

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My guest today is John Griffith, or better known as Griff.

Griff is a Natural and Cultural Resources Interpreter for California State Parks, and host of the Animal Planet show “Wild Jobs”. Prior to that, Griff was a long time crew supervisor in the California Conservation Corps, where he and his crew restored habitat throughout Northern California.

Griff during Wild Jobs. Photo: Kelsey Rocks

Griff’s love of nature and infectious personality make him a natural educator. He immerses himself in his projects and parks that he supports, learning the ecology and history, and encouraging diversity in his programs. You have to check out some of his Facebook Live weekly videos from Humboldt Redwoods State Park to see how charismatic and on-point his videos are.

Griff joined us from location in some of the last remaining in-tact old growth redwood forest, so please forgive the occasional bit of wind noise. I promise, it’s barely noticeable. And note, that while he works for California State Parks, in this episode he is off duty, not representing state parks. 

In our wide-ranging conversation, we discuss what is so magical about the old growth redwoods of California. If you haven’t seen these trees before, just think about Star Wars Return of the Jedi. The scenes from the Forest Moon of Endor were filmed in that area!

Our discussion of giant trees takes a surprising turn to prairies – yes, there are very productive prairies in the redwoods. Griff tells us about a few, as well as an exciting elk encounter he had at one of them, that thankfully, we can laugh about.

And of course, we spend a lot of time talking about Griff’s approach to creating engaging conservation content, including specific approaches that you and I can use. We get into some details about Griff’s Animal Planet show, “Wild Jobs”, which is a lot of fun to watch and highly recommended.

Measuring alligator movement on Wild Jobs. Photo: Kelsey Rocks

And we wrap up discussing the importance of treating our properties like habitat. And in typical Griff style, he makes this point in a unique and entertaining way. 

If you haven’t seen or heard Griff before, I promise you that you’ll walk away from this interview a fan. Be sure to check out his Facebook page and YouTube channel!

Links To Topics Discussed

People and Organizations

Animal Tracks – organization profiled in Episode 1 of Wild Jobs.

California Conservation Corps

Chris Wilmers UC Santa Cruz Lab – famous for their Puma project, among other things

Gibbon Conservation Center

Griff on the Kelly Clarkson Show

Humboldt Redwoods State Park

Jose Gonzalez, founder of Latino Outdoors

Ojai Raptor Center

Reed Noss – Griff will be interviewing Reed Noss for the CA State Parks

Wood River Wolf Project

Books, Places, Other Things

Before the Wilderness: Environmental Management By Native Californians, by Kat Anderson

Bald Hills – A Prairie in the middle of the Redwoods

Bringing Nature Home – by Doug Tallamy

Nature’s Best Hope – by Doug Tallamy – highly recommended by both Griff and I

Mattole Road – “The Most Epic Road on the Planet”

Roosevelt Elk

Wild Jobs from Animal Planet. Griff hosted this show, and recommends Wounded Reptile Rehab with the Phoenix Herpetological Society as a good one to start with.

Note: links to books are affiliate links

Music Credits

Opening – Fearless First by Kevin MacLoed

Closing – Beauty Flow by Kevin MacLoed

Both can be obtained from https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/

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