I spent most of my youth growing up in the South, and my roots are deeply North Carolinian. I was raised the son of a Baptist minister, with a strong belief in divine providence. So my perspective on environmental matters is largely influenced by my upbringing where saving souls was more important than saving the planet. However, as a kid, I was less interested in soul saving than being a protector of God's creation.
My pursuit of wildlife took me to Yellowstone in 1988 where I studied predation of the elk herd, a prelude to the reintroduction of the wolves. I managed to escape grizzlies, irascible bison and the great fires that summer to return to the University of Maine to finish a degree in wildlife management. Faced with the dilemma of pursuing wildlife or raising a family on seasonal jobs and subsistence living, I opted to return to school to pursue a degree in natural resource economics and policy from Duke. From there, in 1990, I was fortunate to land a conservation internship with the National Wildlife Federation in DC. Although my heart remained in the woods of Maine, my mind drew me to DC where I knew the best way to manage wildlife was to manage people.
For nearly 20 years, I have worked as an environmental scientist and environmental lawyer and from 2004-2007 served as a senior leader at the U.S. EPA in the Bush Administration. As a philosophical conservative and person of faith who cares about the human condition, I aspire to be a voice of change - raising greater awareness of "wicked" environmental problems facing society - and a voice of reason - working with others, irrespective of political or ideological leaning, to promote common sense solutions. My blog, ConserveFewell, is devoted to speaking openly and directly to the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead, exploring ideas and ideals that promote noble human potential while guarding against oft destructive and insatiable human desires.
I am blessed with a loving family and a Country in which freedom and liberty still abound to live, love, dream, think, play and worship in the manner I so desire. And I am eternally grateful to God for these blessings. I have learned many things during life's sojourn, but what I have learned the most is that the Earth is a wonderful place to make our short appearance, and with hard work, open minds, and love for others, together we can make the Earth a better place for all to experience and enjoy.