Welcome to Muse Ecology, where we hear some of the voices and grooves of people and place as we make our way back to harmony.  In a time of rising dissonance it is important that we share the stories of the reharmonization process so that we can live more into that narrative together.  Scientists, musicians, ecologists, thinkers and doers, often all in the same person.  Through their voices, and sometimes their music, we will explore some of the key complexities of this time on Earth as we all ask together how we might reintegrate with the song of life.

I am currently releasing a four part series beginning to explore humankind’s relation to the bison in the Great Plains of North America.  I have a backlog of inspiring, thought-provoking content I have been recording and am excited to share, and would love to be able to spend more time and resources creating these episodes so I can release them more frequently.  To enable you to help me do this, I’ve started a Patreon page where listeners can pick any monthly amount to contribute.  All contributions are greatly appreciated. Click here to become a patron.

You can subscribe to the email notification list on the right of the screen or subscribe on iTunes to hear about new episodes when they are released.  Upcoming episodes include Dr. Bronner, Alan Savory, the return of beaver, the relations between ecological function and climate, and much more.

We will also have our first Muse Ecology live webinar on March 5th 2019.  Mike Mease of the Buffalo Field Campaign, and Daniella Howard, director of the Savory Institute, will discuss possible synergies between wildlife advocacy and regenerative land management, and respond to questions from you in the Q and A session.  Stay tuned for pre-registration details on the email notification list or on the Muse Ecology Facebook page.


-Timothy Sexauer

Wild Bison and Holistic Management: A Collaborative Conversation

This webinar was a year in the dreaming and ended up being even more than I’d imagined. It’s long, so take a break if you need, but I highly recommend watching through to the end.
You can see the trust and friendship forming and I am excited to see what comes of these folks and more working together to enable wild bison to repopulate the Great Plains in a way that works in the greater holistic context. As was said by Mike and Moritz, we agree on 95%, so let’s get that right. I look forward to watching this synergistic conversation grow anf include more voices, including the many folks already working on this. As Daniel Ibarra-Howell, Savory Institute Director said in the webinar, “We’re gonna make some noise!”

You can hear Mike Mease in Episode 4, Moritz Espy in upcoming Episode 6, and Daniela Howard and Allan Savory in upcoming Episode 7.

Buffalo Field Campaign

777 Bison Ranch

The Savory Institute

Join the Muse Ecology Live Webinar on March 5th- Wild Bison and Holistic Management: a Collaborative Conversation


Tuesday March 5th, 1-3ishpm PST


Join us for this live webinar, where we will explore possible synergies between wildlife advocacy and regenerative ranching with Daniela Ibarra-Howell, director of the Savory Institute (upcoming Episode 8), and Mike Mease, co-founder of the Buffalo Field Campaign (Episode 4).

While cattle ranching has been in conflict with wild roaming buffalo herds since the 1800’s, this conversation will explore shared holistic context and possible creative solutions that include the needs of free-roaming wildlife, ranchers, and other aspects of domesticated civilization.

The Buffalo Field Campaign has been defending the last continuously wild herd of bison in the U.S. in and around Yellowstone National Park for decades, advocating that they be treated with the same respect and dignity given to other wildlife. Unlike the elk, wolf, pronghorn, and every other wild species, the Yellowstone bison are confined to Yellowstone Park and kept from repopulating by a yearly kill quota. While this policy is largely driven by cattle lobby concerns, in this live webinar we will explore ways that this narrative of opposition might shift.

The Savory Institute promotes the use of the Holistic Management framework and Holistic Planned Grazing, which is a way of creating a grazing plan that regenerates rather than degrades grasslands. They also respect uncontrolled wildlife as an essential part of whole systems, and many examples of holistically managed properties report increases in wildlife as grasslands are restored to health.

While both The Savory Institute and Buffalo Field Campaign each have a unique focus, there is ample common ground to have a discussion of ways we might rethink and redesign things to help the bison repopulate and again roam the plains while working within the limits of modern cultural, economic, and infrastructural realities.

Register to join us live and participate in the Q and A. Bring your open hearts and creative minds, and let’s see what new harmonious grooves we might find together.

Click here to register for this webinar:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

I look forward to seeing some of you there and getting to connect a bit during the question and answer session.  I’m also thinking of other ways that we can all connect to discuss the topics in the podcast and share research with each other.

I also host the monthly Ecosystem Restoration Deep Dive Webinar for the Ecosystem Restoration Camps movement, and this will be the first time that Muse Ecology listeners can get together with Deep Dive Webinar participants and others.

Cheers, timothy sexauer

#5 Bonus: Protecting the Black Hills

In our visit with Mark Tilsen in the Black Hills for Episode 5 about Tanka Bar, our interview happened to take place right before a prayer walk to a proposed gold mining site up the creek from Mark’s place.  As I began to include this synchronous content in the Tanka Bar episode, I realized that it lit up a section of the rabbit hole that needed it’s own episode for a proper introduction, so I created this bonus episode to explore some of the complexities that emerged while looking at gold mining in the Black Hills.  It includes another historical introduction, audio from the prayer walk, and recordings from phone conversations with Mark Tilsen and Cheryl Rowe of Dakota Rural Action.

Continue reading “#5 Bonus: Protecting the Black Hills”

#5 Tanka Bar: for the Buffalo, the Land, and the People

In this episode, the second of four in this series on the bison in the Great Plains, we visit the lands of the Oglala Lakota in the Black Hills of Western South Dakota, where we met with Mark Tilsen, cofounder of Tanka Bar.   Tanka Bar, a company owned and operated by the Oglala Lakota of the Pine Ridge Reservation, created the first commercial bison meat and fruit bar based on one of their sacred foods, called wasna.  The mission of Tanka Bar is to restore the Pine Ridge landscape and economy by bringing back the buffalo.

Before the interview with Mark, I also share a bit more history of the time of the buffalo slaughter.  I feel it’s useful to have some understanding of the creation of the wounds that Tanka Bar is working to help heal.

Continue reading “#5 Tanka Bar: for the Buffalo, the Land, and the People”

Episode 4: The Buffalo Field Campaign, Protecting the Last Wild Bison

This episode of Muse Ecology is the first in this four part series beginning to explore humankind’s relation to the bison in the Great Plains of North America. This buffalo series features diverse voices of folks involved in the bison’s return that Alison and I met on our buffalo investigation journey in February 2018. While the next three episodes feature entrepreneurs (Tanka Bar) and ranchers (777 Bison Ranch and Wild Idea Buffalo Company) who are working to restore bison to the landscape, this first episode features voices of wildlife advocates who see the buffalo as a wild elder whose right to roam long precedes our recent human constructs.

The first visit on our buffalo journey was with the Buffalo Field Campaign, a volunteer-run organization that exists to defend the dignity and freedom of the last continuously wild herd of buffalo in North America, in Yellowstone National Park. Founded over 20 years ago by Lakota Grandmother Rosalie Littlethunder and videographer Mike Mease, through documentation and advocacy, the BFC seeks to promote awareness of the story and management of the Yellowstone bison, and to influence policy to allow them to roam free like the other wild ones.

At just over two and a half hours this episode ended up a bit long, but felt like one story to be released together, so I divided it up into chapters like an audio book or radio play, and created a table of contents with minute and second, to make it easy to restart if you have to take a break.

Continue reading “Episode 4: The Buffalo Field Campaign, Protecting the Last Wild Bison”

#3 A Bonn Voyage with John D. Liu

Episode 3 closes out Muse Ecology’s inaugural series recorded in December 2017, about ecosystem restoration and the work of John D. Liu. In this episode, John and I have a conversation on the way to the airport that weaves through many topics currently affecting our global situation, and we discuss how a large scale shift to focusing on ecosystem restoration addresses the roots of all of them.

John D. Liu is Ecosystem Ambassador for Commonland Foundation and Visiting Research Fellow at the Netherlands Institute of Ecology of the Royal Academy of Arts and Sciences. He also catalyzed the Ecosystem Restoration Camps movement. You can find his films and research papers at knaw.academia.edu/JohnDLiu

One of the topics we discuss is how water vapor is more of a greenhouse gas than carbon emissions, and how ecosystem destruction has disrupted the water cycle and led to increase of uncondensated (not formed into clouds) atmospheric water vapor. The source John was referring to for his greenhouse gas numbers can be found at the following link.

Continue reading “#3 A Bonn Voyage with John D. Liu”

#2 Global Landscapes Forum V, Economy and Indigenous Sovereignty

This is the fifth and final part of episode 2 at the Global Landscapes Forum in Bonn, Germany with John D. Liu.  In this part we hear two conversations about the important but historically ignored voices from indigenous nations, including their long history of oppression by globalizing civilization, the distinct worldviews inherent in the global economy and indigenous cultures, and the importance of bridging these differences and working together to protect and restore the Earth.
Continue reading “#2 Global Landscapes Forum V, Economy and Indigenous Sovereignty”

#2 Global Landscapes Forum IV, Economy and Peatlands

While largely unfamiliar to many, peatlands perform crucial funcions in Earth’s carbon and water cycles.  For many centuries we have been draining peatlands to free up land for commodity agriculture, destroying these important living systems.  We now are growing aware of the effects of draining peatlands, and some folks are exploring ways to preserve and restore these wet ecologies while still being able to produce and harvest biomass and other crops from these areas.  This sort of peatland agriculture is called paludiculture.

In part 4 of this 5 part series at the Global Landscapes Forum in Bonn, Germany, we will hear John D. Liu interview 3 individuals who are working to change agriculture, finance, and policy so that they work to restore, rather than drain peatlands.

Continue reading “#2 Global Landscapes Forum IV, Economy and Peatlands”