Doug Peacock

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Doug Peacock grew up roaming the pine forests and swamps of Michigan, fishing for trout, exploring the encampments of ancient people along the post-glacial beaches of the Great Lakes. He attended the University of Michigan, spending two summers as a research assistant under National Science Foundation grants. The first allowed him to assist archeologists in excavating a site Peacock discovered as a teenager. On the second expedition, he and a professor traveled to Alaska in search of Tertiary non-marine vertebrate fossils.

While at the university Peacock ran a lecture program, personally inviting Martin Luther King, Norman Thomas and Tom Hayden to speak to students. Accordingly, Peacock–though essentially a loner–was involved with what would eventually be called “The New Left.” The principal movements then were civil rights and anti-war, especially the approaching war in Southeast Asia.

After two tours as a Special Forces medic in the Central Highlands of Vietnam (for which he received the Soldier’s Medal, the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry and the Bronze Star), Peacock was repatriated to the Rocky Mountains, the wild deserts and tundras of North America. It was there he met the late author Edward Abbey, who used Peacock to mold his iconic character, George Washington Hayduke.

After the war, Doug crawled back into mountains and found solitude in wilderness to be exactly what he needed to confront the demons of Vietnam. In Grizzly Years, Doug credits grizzly bears with restoring his soul. He has been the most consistent advocate for grizzly bears for the last 40 years, traveling between Yellowstone and Glacier national parks to film them and document their struggles to survive.

For the last three decades, he has lectured and written widely about wilderness: from bears to buffalo, from the Sierra Madres of the Sonoran desert to the fjords of British Columbia, from the tigers of Siberia to the blue sheep of Nepal.

Peacock was named a 2007 Guggenheim Fellow and a Lannan Fellow in 2011 for his work on about archeology, climate change and the peopling of North America, published in 2013 as In the Shadow of the Sabertooth: A Renegade Naturalist Considers Global Warming, the First Americans and the Terrible Beasts of the Pleistocene (Counterpunch/AK Press).

Doug was the subject of a feature film about grizzlies and Vietnam, Peacock’s War, which premiered on PBS’s Nature, and won the grand prizes at the Telluride Mountain film and the Snowbird film festivals.

He has appeared on television shows including the Today Show, Good Morning America, NBC Evening News, PM Magazine, Sesame Street, The American Sportsman and Democracy Now!.

He lectures regularly about wilderness and veterans issues, and has made two appearances on Fresh Air as well as other NPR segments including This American Life with Scott Carrier.

Doug co-founded the Wildlife Damage Review, Vital Ground and Round River Conservation Studies. He serves as chairman of the board of directors for Round River, which works with indigenous people and governments in Namibia, Botswana, North, South and Central America to develop region-wide conservation strategies protecting and enhancing intact ecosystems (simultaneously training indigenous people and college students in environmental sciences). Round River has emerged as one of the most successful medium-sized conservation groups anywhere, having directly or indirectly contributed to the preservation of more than 20 million acres of wilderness.

Peacock lives in Emigrant, Montana, and spends considerable time in the Sonoran Desert, southeast Utah and with the grizzlies of Glacier and Yellowstone national parks. Married to Andrea Peacock, he has two children with whom he visits the wilderness and three cats who share his homes.

Visit Doug’s Website here

Books written by Doug include

Shadow of the Sabertooth

Grizzly Years:  In Search of the American Wilderness

Walking It Off:   A Veteran’s Chronicle of War and Wilderness

The Essential Grizzly:  The Mingled Fates of Men and Bears

In the Presence of Grizzlies:  The Ancient Bond Between Men and Bears