Mountain & Prairie Podcast is an exciting, well-crafted, long-form interview-based podcast from conservationist and western transplant, Ed Roberson. A current Colorado resident, Roberson interviews interesting artists, hunters, writers, historians, novelists, conservationists, activists, and more that live or focus their work on the west. Many of his guests reside in Big Sky country, the great state of Montana. In one of his podcasts interviewing a Montanan he admitted that about a third of his episodes are about a Missoula (Montana) resident.
What makes the podcast so amazing is Ed’s ability to listen and let people talk. Yes, he asks several questions and often interjects his own experiences or ideas into the conversation. But mostly he encourages his guests to tell their story and explain what their work is and why people should care. It’s a simple, yet great format and clearly works. He has been doing this since 2016 and his guest list is incredible.
The guest list ranges from nationally famous authors to local artists and conservationists. One episode he may interview historian Douglas Brinkley and the next, a novelist based in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Yet both will be entertaining and captivating. My favorite episodes are when he interviews an author whose book I’ve recently read or an author I’ve never heard of that I quickly want to read.
In nearly all the episodes, Roberson asks his guests for book recommendations. These range from most inspiring to western-specific titles. Over the many episodes there are many repeats, a sure sign that they are “must read” books. But there are a lot of hidden gems that make their way into the episodes and onto my “to be read” list. I’ve already discovered dozens of interesting new books from the Mountain & Prairie Podcast.
Ed Roberson is a voracious reader. With all his personal reading and guest book recommendations, he has created a bi-monthly newsletter that highlights recommended reads. You’ll most likely want to sign up for this after listening to a single episode (or even before).
He also has a weekly email that puts the spotlight on interesting happenings in the west. Titled “Good News From the West“, this newsletter consists of about a half dozen positive western news. These can include new short films, conservation victories, or upcoming events. With a lot of negativity in the environmental world, “Good News” is a welcome beacon of hope.
If that wasn’t all (and it isn’t), Roberson hosts an annual Strenuous Life Retreat.
“Inspired by Theodore Roosevelt’s life-long commitment to the Strenuous Life, Ed Roberson’s Strenuous Life Retreat is a five-day annual gathering of curious, humble, and motivated individuals who are committed to pushing themselves hard every day, both physically and intellectually.”
Speaking of Theodore Roosevelt, Roberson is definitely a modern-day TR. His passions for the outdoors, conservation and reading mesh well with family and friendship. Although I’ve never met Ed in person, by listening to his podcast he is instantly likeable. As an interviewer, he brings out the best in his guests and really shines a spotlight on some really fascinating people and issues. And he does all this with a hopeful, positive attitude.
Please subscribe to the Mountain & Prairie Podcast right away! We could use a few more Ed Robersons.