Charles Post - Stewardship, Science & Storytelling - Mountain & Prairie Podcast
Charles Post is an academically trained ecologist with a gift for communicating complex and sometimes emotionally charged issues in a thoughtful manner to diverse audiences. Whether he’s discussing the intricacies of ranch management, the ecological implications of ethical hunting, or controversies surrounding the BLM’s wild mustang program, Charles has honed his ability to consider all sides of issues, then educate the public in a style that is positive, comprehensive, and intellectually honest. His academic credentials, combined with his photography, writing, filmmaking, and popular social media channels have made Charles a rising star in the world of conservation.
Born and raised in northern California, Charles has enjoyed a deep connection with Western landscapes for as long as he can remember. He grew up hunting, fishing, and exploring the seascapes and mountain ranges of the West Coast, then earned both a Bachelors and Masters in ecology from UC Berkeley. After considering pursuing a PhD followed by a career in academia, Charles changed course and pursued a less traditional track that melded his two passions of science and storytelling. Since then, he has settled in Bozeman, Montana where he works on a wide range of projects that all tie back into conservation and stewardship in the American West.
Charles and I talked for well over an hour, and could’ve easily continued for several more. We discuss his recent work for Filson covering Ranchlands, a progressive, forward-thinking ranching operation in southern Colorado. We also chat about the ecological importance of ranching for Western landscapes and the progress that Charles has made trying to change some of the unfounded negative impressions of ranching and livestock. We talk about his recent elk hunt, and how that adventure was one of the richest, most meaningful experiences of his life. Charles speaks fondly about his relationship with Ben Masters, who helped him break into the filmmaking world. It also turns out that we have a shared love of the American Dipper (which is a bird, for those of you out of the loop), and we nerd out on that subject for a few minutes. As usual, we discuss favorite books, films, and the best advice he’s ever received.
If you’re a long-time listener, you will love this episode… and if you’re brand new, I hope you will, too! Be sure to check out Charles on Instagram at charles_post and check the episode notes for everything we discuss. Enjoy!
3:00 - Charles’s introduction to Ben Masters
5:10 - How Charles describes his work
6:30 - Why Charles identifies as an ecologist
8:50 - Science versus communicating to the mainstream
10:30 - Charles experience with Ranchlands and thoughts on ranching
17:45 - How Charles tells the ranching story
20:45 - Resources for learning more about ranching
21:55 - Discussion about wolves' effects on Yellowstone
24:35 - Where Charles grew up
25:50 - Charles’ connection to Gifford Pinchot
29:40 - Hunting from a conservation perspective
32:25 - Modern Huntsman
35:15 - Interplay between public and private land
41:40 - How science shaped his ability to be objective
43:40 - His approach to social media
49:45 - The importance of Charles’s sponsors and supporters
54:30 - Charles’s personal history with hunting
1:01:40 - Favorite books
1:08:10 - Weird habits and quirks
1:09:30 - American Dipper nerd-fest
1:12:20 - Most powerful experience in the outdoors
1:16:00 - Best advice he’s ever received
1:19:25 - Charles’s request of the listeners
1:20:50 - Connect with Charles online