Ryan was born in Appalachia but spent much of his youth in the midwest where he developed an affinity for hardwood forest, which led him to a biology degree. Then he headed West, where he worked seasonally with wildfires in Alaska for a while. Next, he moved to Southwest Colorado where he has been lost in the thrilling vortex of the San Juan Mountains for a couple of years. But, last fall a close friend called, inviting Ryan to revisit Western North Carolina to do wedding things. Walking around, he was pleasantly surprised, “Hey, I could dig this place!” Ryan exclaimed.
Now, Ryan is stoked on a position encouraging people to get outside and learn from and about the beauty found in wild places–his greatest love. Ryan believes that education and outdoor recreation are the wooded route to preserving a sacred landscape.