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PODCASTS

Jim O’Donnell has hosted the podcast for the New Mexico-based Taos Land Trust since 2018. In the Taos Land Trust podcast, Jim speaks with scientists, authors, land managers, artists, and journalists on complex issues of land, water, wildlife, culture, and conservation in the Southwestern United States.

Education to Meet the Needs of Children and Community

September 8, 2020

The Taos Land Trust and Vista Grande High School (VGHS) have joined forces to provide fresh weekly produce to Taos families, school food delivery programs, and local food pantries while offering paid technical training to Vista Grande students. The project is funded by Vista Grande High School’s Career Technical Education and Community Schools grants. The program takes place at Taos Land Trust’s Rio Fernando Park, the 20-acre public space created by the Taos Land Trust in the center of Taos.

Jim O’Donnell talks with Corbett Wicks, the Vista Grande High School Sustainable Agriculture & Leadership Teacher and Mentorship Coordinator, and Amanda Flores, the Vista Grande High School Community Schools Coordinator about the program at Rio Fernando Park, the changes to education brought on by the COVID19 pandemic and about the future of education.

This episode was recorded at the Taos Land Trust office in Taos, New Mexico on September 8, 2020. Produced by Jim O’Donnell. Recorded and edited by Brett Tomadin of Taos Sound and Media (www.taossound.com) Listen >>

MegaFire - How Climate Change and Poor Decision Making is Burning the West

May 7, 2020

We have mismanaged our forests over the last century—and we are now paying the costs. Climate change is making forests drier, beetles and other pests (driven by warming temperatures) are making kindling of vast stretches of woodland, and “booming development…[has] filled forests with human-produced sparks and heat,” and far too many houses.

What is a megafire? How is climate change influencing wildfires throughout the Western United States of America? How are towns and communities pushing development into fire prone areas, thereby creating a deadly situation. Should American taxpayers bear the costs of poorly planned development or utilities that spark fires?

Jim O’Donnell talks with Michael Kodas, Senior Editor at InsideClimate News, author of “Megafire” & “High Crimes” and former deputy director at the Center for Environmental Journalism

This episode was recorded at the studios of Taos Sound and Media in Taos, New Mexico on May 7, 2020. Produced by Jim O’Donnell. Recorded and edited by Brett Tomadin of Taos Sound and Media (www.taossound.com) Listen >>

Science be Dammed! Science, Water and the Future of the West

May 7, 2020

Host Jim O’Donnell talks with John Fleck, Director of the University of New Mexico Water Resources Program and Eric Kuhn, self-described “Colorado River nerd” about their new book “Science be Dammed: How Ignoring Inconvenient Science Drained the Colorado River” and how the realities of water in the American West run up against the hopes and dreams of developers and land managers. “Science Be Dammed” is an alarming reminder of the high stakes in the management—and perils in the mismanagement—of water in the western United States.

This episode was recorded at the studios of Taos Sound and Media in Taos, New Mexico on May 7, 2020. Produced by Jim O’Donnell. Recorded and edited by Brett Tomadin of Taos Sound and Media (www.taossound.com/)  Listen >>

The New Mexico Healthy Soils Initiative - Regenerative Agriculture for a Better Future

April 1, 2020

We are at a critical time for agriculture and the environment. The realities of extreme weather events, conflicts over water, the blight of rural communities, and diminishing natural resources are bearing down on all New Mexicans, with farmers and ranchers at the forefront of these serious problems. At the same time, the awareness that soil stewardship can be part of the solution to the climate crisis has been rising and new approaches, mutually beneficial for agriculture and the environment, are gaining traction. Agriculturalists are looking for ways to improve their soil, but they require know-how, sustained technical assistance, help in overcoming institutional barriers, financial incentives, and risk mitigation.

Host Jim O’Donnell talks with Isabelle Jenniches of the NM Healthy Soils Initiative and rancher Tommy Casados of Tierra Amarilla, New Mexico. This episode was recorded at the studios of Taos Sound and Media in Taos, New Mexico on April 1, 2020. Produced by Jim O’Donnell. Recorded and edited by Brett Tomadin of Taos Sound and Media (www.taossound.com/)  Listen >>

Solutions-Oriented Environmental Journalism with Todd Reubold

April 1, 2020

What is solutions-oriented environmental journalism and how do journalists make complex science accessible to the public? Host Jim O’Donnell talks with Todd Reubold publisher and co-founder of Ensia Media about journalism, climate change, story-telling, and COVID19. This episode was recorded at the studios of Taos Sound and Media in Taos, New Mexico on April 1, 2020. Produced by Jim O’Donnell. Recorded and edited by Brett Tomadin of Taos Sound and Media (www.taossound.com/)   Listen >>

The Legacy of Exploitation - An Interview with Author Johnathan P. Thompson

March 5, 2020

Jonathan P. Thompson is the author of RIVER OF LOST SOULS which the gripping story behind the 2015 Gold King Mine disaster that turned the Animas River in southwestern Colorado orange with sludge and toxic metals for over 100 miles downstream, wreaking havoc on cities, farms, and the Navajo Nation along the way. Host Jim O’Donnell talks with Thompson about the tragic legacy of gold mining in the American West and how the oil and gas industry is repeating this same pattern of exploitation and pollution. This episode was recorded at the studios of KNCE 93.5FM in Taos New Mexico on March 5, 2020. Produced by Jim O’Donnell. Edited by Brett Tomadin of Taos Sound and Media (www.taossound.com/)  Listen >>

America's Bedrock Environmental Laws - A Conversation with John Horning

February 20, 2020

What are our nation’s bedrock environmental laws? How do the National Environmental Policy Act, the Clean Water Act, the Endangered Species Act, and others work and how effective are they? Host Jim O’Donnell speaks with John Horning, Executive Director of Wild Earth Guardians. Recorded at the studios of KNCE 93.5FM True Taos Radio on February 20, 2020. Produced by Jim O’Donnell. Edited by Brett Tomadin of Taos Sound and Media (www.taossound.com/). Listen >>

Urban Forests 101 - What is an urban forest?

February 6, 2020

What is an urban forest? Forests are dynamic ecosystems providing critical benefits to people and wildlife. Forests within towns and cities are called urban forests. These systems help filter air and water, they control stormwater, protect infrastructure, conserve energy, increase economic activity, and provide animal habitat and shade. They also add beauty, form, and structure to urban design and they are vital for climate change adaptation. The Taos Tree Board is working to increase and improve the urban forest in this northern New Mexico town. Host Jim O’Donnell speaks with arborist Paul Bryan Jones of the Taos Tree Board about urban forests. Recorded at the studios of KNCE 93.5FM True Taos Radio on February 6, 2020. Produced by Jim O’Donnell. Edited by Brett Tomadin of Taos Sound and Media (www.taossound.com/). PLANT A TREE!  Listen >>

Rio Fernando Collaborative Speaker Series - Nature's Reservoir Builders

January 23, 2020

The age of big dams is over. Communities throughout the country are looking for new ways to slow down, clean, and store water. How does nature take on these needs? This podcast from the Rio Fernando Collaborative speaker series looks at nature-based ways to hold and clean water and how to take care of our rivers. Jim O’Donnell speaks with Dr. Malia Volke of the Washington Department of Natural Resources (formerly of the New Mexico Department). This episode was recorded at the studios of KNCE 95.3FM True Taos Radio on January 23, 2020. Produced by Jim O’Donnell. Edited by Brett Tomadin of Taos Sound and Media (www.taossound.com).   Listen >>

Rio Fernando Collaborative Speaker Series - Noxious and Invasive Species

January 9, 2020

What is a noxious weed? What is an invasive species? What kind of impacts do they have on the health of our ecosystems? How and when do we best manage them? This podcast from the Rio Fernando Collaborative speaker series looks at noxious and invasive species, what they are and how to deal with them. Jim O’Donnell speaks with Jim Wanstall of the New Mexico Department of Agriculture and Kineo Memmer of the Taos Land Trust. This episode was recorded at the studios of KNCE 95.3FM True Taos Radio on January 9, 2020. Produced by Jim O’Donnell. Edited by Brett Tomadin of Taos Sound and Media (www.taossounds.com).  Listen >>

What is a Conservation Easement?

December 20, 2019

A conservation easement is a voluntary legal agreement between a landowner and a land trust or government agency that permanently limits uses of the land in order to protect its conservation values. Landowners retain many of their rights, including the right to own and use the land, sell it and pass it on to their heirs. Helping landowners decide if a conservation easement is right for them and then helping them through that process is the core mission of the Taos Land Trust. What is a conservation easement? is it right for you? Host Jim O’Donnell spoke with TLT Executive director Kristina Ortez and Stewardship Coordinator Maya Anthony on the ins and outs of conservation easements. Recorded at the studios of KNCE 93.5FM True Taos Radio on December 12, 2019. Produced by Jim O’Donnell. Edited by Brett Tomadin of Taos Sound and Media (www.taossound.com/).   Listen >>

Keeping Working Lands in Working Hands

November 14, 2019

Taos Land Trust is home base to an innovative and experimental project to reconnect traditional farming families to their lands and their farming heritage. How can conservation easements, tax breaks, planning, and zoning work together to keep farmlands from development while at the same time giving those lands economic, community, and conservation values? How can this help a rural community achieve climate resilience? Jim O’Donnell talks with Taos Land Trust’s Chyna Dixon about the Working Lands project. This podcast was recorded at the studios of KNCE 93.5FM True Taos Radio in Taos, New Mexico on November 14, 2019. Produced by Jim O’Donnell. Edited by Brett Tomadin of Taos Sound and Music (www.taossound.com/).  Listen >>

Bat-lovers unite! Monitoring, protecting and loving our flying mammal friends.

October 3, 2019

The Taos Land Trust has been monitoring the bat population at Rio Fernando Park in Taos, New Mexico for over a year. How do we do it? Bat expert Mike Balistreri explains the scientific process of monitoring bats, the status of bat populations in northern New Mexico and dives into the importance of bats for our ecosystems. Recorded at the studios of 93.5FM True Taos Radio on October 3, 2019. Produced by Jim O’Donnell. Edited by Brett Tomadin of Taos Sound and Media.  Listen >>

The Taos, New Mexico Healing and Reconciliation Project

September 5, 2019

New Mexico has a very rough history. Violence, colonialism, racism and displacement all contribute in no small way to the poverty, low educational attainment, and other problems facing the state. This history often makes it difficult for people to talk to each other even over shared goals such as natural resource protection. The Taos Healing and Reconciliation Project is a 4-year pilot project which aims to heal racial divides in Taos, New Mexico building upon the strong cultural heritage by offering traditional Indigenous healing and reconciliation techniques through Community Health Fairs and gatherings. Recorded at the studios of 93.5FM True Taos Radio on September 5, 2019. Produced by Jim O’Donnell. Edited by Brett Tomadin of Taos Sound and Media. Listen >>

Rio Fernando Collaborative Speaker Series - Green Infrastructure

August 22, 2019

Engineer Erin English describes green Infrastructure is a practice of hope. What is infrastructure and how can it be changed to improve water management, walkability and generally improve our quality of life? This podcast from the Rio Fernando Collaborative looks at green infrastructure options and financing in the town of Taos, New Mexico. Jim O’Donnell speaks with Chyna Dixon of the Rio Fernando Collaborative and Erin English of BioHabitats. This episode was recorded at the studios of KNCE True Taos Radio on August 22, 2019. Produced by Jim O’Donnell. Edited by Brett Tomadin.  Listen >>

How Do Sidewalks Improve the Quality of Life in Small Communities?

July 11, 2019

How do sidewalks enhance the safety, equity, economy, and beauty of a community? How can sidewalks and increased pedestrian activity benefit small and rural communities? What is a good sidewalk design? Jim O’Donnell of the Taos Land Trust talks with Michelle Lieberman and Danielle Sherman of the National Safe Routes Partnership. This episode was recorded at the studios of KNCE True Taos Radio on July 11, 2019. Produced by Jim O’Donnell. Edited by Brett Tomadin.   Listen >>

Forest (and forest fire) Management in the Age of Climate Disruption

June 13, 2019

How will New Mexico and other western states manage forests in the age of Climate Change? Taos Land Trust’s Jim O’Donnell talks wtih Collin Haffey, the conservation coordinator with The Nature Conservancy in New Mexico. Before joining TNC Haffey worked on climate-related forest disturbance processes, ranging from drought- and fire-induced ecosystem type conversion from forests to shrublands or grasslands at local and regional scales. This episode was recorded at the studios of KNCE True Taos Radio on June 13, 2019. Produced by Jim O’Donnell. Edited by Brett Tomadin.  Listen >>

Why Should New Mexicans Care About Climate Change?

April 18, 2019

Why should New Mexicans care about climate change? What will the impacts be on our daily lives and in our communities? How do scientists know that climate change is happening and how do they know what it will impact? Jim O’Donnell of the Taos Land Trust talks with New Mexico State Climatologist Dave Dubois. This episode was recorded at the studios of KNCE True Taos Radio on April 18, 2019. Produced by Jim O’Donnell. Edited by Brett Tomadin. Listen >>

Climate Change in New Mexico with Erik Schlenker-Goodrich of the Western Environmental Law Center

March 7, 2019

Climate change is already impacting New Mexico. How do we deal with this to protect our waters, our communities and our children? How do we think strategically and long-term when it comes to dealing with what is truly an existential threat. What are the issues facing New Mexico and what is being done both at a Federal and State level? Jim O’Donnell talks with Erik Schlenker-Goodrich, the Executive Director of the Western Environmental Law Center. This episode was recorded at the studios of KNCE True Taos Radio on March 7, 2019. Produced by Jim O’Donnell. Edited by Brett Tomadin.   Listen >>

Civic Tourism: the Poetry and Politics of Place with author Dan Shilling

January, 2019

Tourism is one of the largest industries in the world, and perhaps the leading economic engine in your community — an industry with tremendous potential to change the social-economic, and natural landscapes of every place it touches. In this “reframed” approach to travel and tourism, Dan Shilling encourages the caretakers of place to craft a restorative tourism ethic. At the basic level ask, “Why do we do tourism?” Are the comings and goings of guests little more than a cheerleading backdrop for a rapacious growth policy that pays slight, if any, attention to its costs and consequences? Or can you imagine tourism as an enabler of healthy place-making, a tool for meaning-making, and a means to provide a sense of purpose and connection more people seek? It’s not just retiring boomers who are searching for their own travel epiphanies, and it’s not only Machu Picchu that can dish it out. Tourism isn’t going away; it’s not if you do it how. get in the game, but establish your own rules. Taos Land Trust’s Jim O’Donnell talks with author Dan Shilling about the poetry and politics of place. Recorded at KNCE 93.5FM studios in January 2019. Produced by Jim O’Donnell. Edited by Brett Tomadin.   Listen >>

Coyote America. The Story of an American Native with Dan Flores

January, 2019

Legends don’t come close to capturing the incredible story of the coyote In the face of centuries of campaigns of annihilation employing gases, helicopters, and engineered epidemics, coyotes didn’t just survive, they thrived, expanding across the continent from Alaska to New York. In the war between humans and coyotes, coyotes have won, hands-down. Coyote America is the illuminating five-million-year biography of this extraordinary animal, from its origins to its apotheosis. It is one of the great epics of our time. Taos Land Trust’s Jim O’Donnell talks with author and historian Dan Flores about this incredible animal. Recorded at KNCE 93.5FM studios in January 2019. Produced by Jim O’Donnell. Edited by Brett Tomadin.  Listen >>

What is so interesting about birds? With Steve Knox and Robert Templeton

August 23, 2018

Taos Land Trust’s Jim O’Donnell talks with ornithologists Steve Knox and Robert Templeton about the health of birds and bird populations in northern New Mexico. They discuss the impact of climate change and habitat destruction on bird health and migration. Most importantly, they get philosophical as to why birds are so interesting and important! Recorded August 23, 2018 at the KNCE studios in Taos, New Mexico.  Listen >>

Agriculture and the Art of Place - with Gillian Joyce

September 20, 2018

Taos Land Trust’s Jim O’Donnell talks with Gillian Joyce of Rio Chiquito consulting about the development of community agricultural plans, public gardens, and the creation of Rio Fernando Park. Plus they dive into their shared Irish heritage…. Recorded September 20, 2018, at the KNCE studios in Taos, New Mexico. Listen >>

Taos, Acequias, Water and the Abeyta Settlement With Judy Torres

October 4, 2018

Taos Land Trust’s Jim O’Donnell talks with Judy Torres of the Taos Valley Acequia Association (TVAA) about irrigation in northern New Mexico, the Abeyta Settlement, the history of acequias, water in the valley, and where we are headed. Recorded at the KNCE studios in Taos, New Mexico on October 4, 2018.  Listen >>

Restoration Work Along the Rio Fernando with Jen Vrooman

October 18, 2018

Taos Land Trust’s Jim O’Donnell speaks with restoration ecologist Jen Vrooman of Keystone Restoration Ecology about the ongoing watershed restoration efforts along the Rio Fernando in Taos, New Mexico. Recorded October 19, 2018 at KNCE studios in Taos, New Mexico. Listen >>

How to Build a Public Park with Amy Bell

September 6, 2018

Amy Bell of Groundwork Studio joins Taos Land Trust’s Communication Coordinator Jim O’Donnell to discuss how the Land Trust and its partners developed a master plan for the new Rio Fernando Park through a year-long community-driven process. The new 20-acre park in the center of Taos will feature. Recorded September 6, 2018, at the KNCE studios in Taos, New Mexico.  Listen >>

What is an Acequia? With Poet and Activist Olivia Romo

July 26, 2018

Olivia Romo from the New Mexico Acequia Association talks with Taos Land Trust’s Jim O’Donnell about acequias, water, culture, and farming and how art and activism go hand-in-hand. Recorded July 26, 2018, at the KNCE studios in Taos, New Mexico. Listen >>

How Beavers Can Save the World - with author Ben Goldfarb

July 12, 2018

Environmental Journalist Ben Goldfarb discusses his new book “Eager: The Surprising, Secret Life of Beavers and Why They Matter” Recorded July 12, 2018, at the KNCE radio studios in Taos, New Mexico. Listen >>

Invasive Species - What are they and how do we manage them? w/ Ben Wright

June 28, 2018

Host Jim O’Donnell talks to Ben Wright, Education Coordinator at the Taos Land Trust, about so-called “invasive” species, why they are so persistent, and how we might eradicate, manage or even welcome them into our landscapes. Recorded June 28, 2018, at the KNCE radio studios in Taos, New Mexico. Listen >>

What is the Taos Land Trust? with Kristina Ortez, Executive Director of Taos Land Trust

May 31, 2018

The first episode of the Taos Land Trust Radio Hour hosted by Jim O’Donnell features Kristina Ortez, Executive Director of the Taos Land Trust. In this introductory episode, Jim and Kristina highlight the work of Taos Land Trust. Recorded May 31, 2018, at the KNCE studios in Taos, New Mexico. Recorded May 31, 2018, at the KNCE radio studios in Taos, New Mexico. Listen >>

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