My name is Peter Michael Bauer and I a have been a rewilding catalyst since the late nineties. I created the rewild forums in the mid oughts (now archived at discuss.rewild.com), wrote a book on rewilding called Rewild or Die, founded the organization Rewild Portland, and created the annual North American Rewilding Conference.
You could say that rewilding is my life.
So what do I mean by that? Civilization fundamentally destroys biodiversity and is in the process of collapse. I dedicate my life to walking away from this culture in order to create something new inspired by the resilience of our gatherer-hunter ancestors who lived on the planet for 3 million years without causing the sixth extinction (and continue to live in some places to this day). In short, I live as a “gatherer-hunter wannabe” in search of meaning and community in the time of ecological and cultural collapse. That is rewilding to me in a nutshell. You can read more about that here.
As a multi-disciplinary artist and community organizer, I feel I have a duty to mythologize the rewilding process and inspire others to join in on the fun. I write, teach, facilitate events, network, play match-maker, shoot videos, take pictures, make designs, weave baskets, forage for wild edibles, dabble in gardening, pretend I’ll learn to actually hunt someday and otherwise use this website as an educational public exhibition space.
A little bit more about my background:
I’m a fourth generation Portlander. My first merit badge in the Boy Scouts was basketry. From there I went on to receive the Eagle Scout rank. It was during my years camping with the scouts that I began to yearn for a deeper connection to place. At the age of sixteen, inspired by Daniel Quinn’s book “Ishmael,” I dropped out of high school and ran away from home to travel across the United States and attend Tom Brown Jr.’s Tracking, Nature Observation and Wilderness Survival School in New Jersey. After that I went to Wilderness Awareness School in Washington state, where I attended several Art of Mentoring workshops led by Jon Young. Later I was heavily influenced by the works of Joseph Campbell, Derrick Jensen, Nancy Turner, Douglas Deur, M. Kat Anderson, Finisia Medrano, and Martin Prechtel. I began blogging about rewilding under the moniker “Urban Scout” in 2004. During this time as Urban Scout (2004 – 2008), I received local press in the The Oregonian, Portland Mercury, Willamette Week, national press in ReadyMade Magazine and international press in Positive Living Magazine (UK) and Chain Reaction (AU) for my efforts to create and promote the culture of rewilding. In 2007 I created www.rewild.com, an international online forum dedicated to discussions about rewilding. In 2008 I published a collection of my blogs into a book, Rewild or Die. In 2009, after dedicating so much time to writing and managing the rewild.com site, I founded Rewild Portland. Rewild Portland is non-profit organization with the mission of creating cultural and environmental resilience through the education of earth-based arts, traditions, and technologies. I love basketry, playing the banjo, and am a fluent speaker of Chinuk Wawa (AKA Chinook Jargon), the Native trade language of the Pacific Northwest and heritage language of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde. During the summer of 2012 I attended Lynx Vilden’s Stone Age immersion program. I’ve been an environmental educator for over a decade, working with local organizations like Cascadia Wild, Friends of Tryon Creek, Audubon Society, Portland Waldorf, Shining Star Waldorf, Cleveland High School, and others. I’ve served on the board of the Columbia Basin Basketry Guild.