#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’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.
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.
Links To Topics Discussed
People and Organizations
Animal Tracks – organization profiled in Episode 1 of Wild Jobs.
Chris Wilmers UC Santa Cruz Lab – famous for their Puma project, among other things
Jose Gonzalez, founder of Latino Outdoors
Reed Noss – Griff will be interviewing Reed Noss for the CA State Parks
Books, Places, Other Things
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”
Note: links to books are affiliate links
Opening – Fearless First by Kevin MacLoed
Closing – Beauty Flow by Kevin MacLoed
Both can be obtained from https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/