The methodology: To help select our Champions of Conservation, we called in experts with a broad range of perspectives, from sustainability in packaging to ecosystem and species restoration. “There is no place in the world that compares to the ecologically diverse habitat of the South,” says the Nature Conservancy’s Dale Threatt-Taylor. “I felt hopeful just reading about the work of the outstanding conservationists working to protect it.”
Durrell Smith is a Georgia-based hunter, bird-dog trainer, podcast host, and artist who cofounded the Minority Outdoor Alliance in 2020. The organization’s mission is to cultivate inclusiveness in the outdoors. Last year, Smith received the Orvis Breaking Barriers Award for his work bringing new participants into the upland bird hunting, bird dog, and wing-shooting communities.
Carol Denhof serves as president of the Longleaf Alliance, working across the Southeast to restore the region’s formerly dominant longleaf pine forests, which once blanketed up to ninety million acres from Texas to Virginia. She took the helm of the organization in 2019 and fosters partnerships, provides landowner assistance, and offers science-based outreach to promote longleaf habitat.
Wes Carter is the third-generation president of Atlantic Packaging, the largest privately owned industrial packaging company in North America. As a lifelong outdoorsman, he feels both a connection to the land and a responsibility to create sustainable supply chains. Through his A New Earth Project and other initiatives, he is committed to reducing plastic and partnering with outdoor enthusiasts, brands, and packaging suppliers to implement industry-level change.
Dale Threatt-Taylor brings twenty-five years of experience in conservation leadership to her role as the executive director of the Nature Conservancy in South Carolina. She oversees projects and partnerships ranging from forest restoration to the revival of living shorelines to species protection plans.
Simon Perkins took over as the third-generation president of Orvis in 2020, having started at the company eight years earlier after a stint as a hunting and fly-fishing guide in Montana. Under his leadership, the outdoor retailer continues to support conservation projects with such organizations as the Everglades Foundation, the Teddy Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, and Trout Unlimited, and supports diversity in fly fishing through its Breaking Barriers Awards and by becoming the first company to sign the Angling for All pledge along with Brown Folks Fishing.
Land & Conservation
David Joy’s Unexpected French Connection
On his book tour overseas, the North Carolina novelist discovers that catfish are the ties that bind
Land & Conservation
Champions of Conservation 2023
Saving wild turkeys, protecting Venus flytraps, cleaning up rivers, cultivating the crops of tomorrow, and more—the heroic efforts of these ten undersung scientists, advocates, and innovators are helping defend the South’s imperiled ecosystems
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Land & Conservation
Chasing the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker
The struggle to prove the majestic bird still exists has obsessed believers and exasperated doubters for a century. Now photographer Bobby Harrison is racing to document the species once and for all before the government declares it extinct
Home & Garden
Thirty Ways to Make Your Garden Look Older
Garden pros share tips for giving your green spot a sense of Southern story
A Perfect Fall Weekend in Edenton, North Carolina
North Carolina’s Inner Banks have a surprising political history, famous barbecue, and the best grilled cheese oysters you’ve never heard of
In the Studio with Vincent Neil Emerson and Shooter Jennings
The Grammy-winning producer Jennings helps Emerson tap into his rock-and-roll spirit on his new album, The Golden Crystal Kingdom