Ayana Young

Millennials collect seeds for the whole forest


Ayana will be joining us via video interview from California. She will be talking about the 1 Million Redwood Project which is a project inspired by Ayana’s time with the Redwoods of California. It is dedicated to renewing and preserving the biodiversity and resiliency of Cascadia’s temperate rainforest through holistic research, biomimetic reforestation, land conservation, and living libraries of native seed and fungi.  The Tree Conference strongly advocates exploring this methodology in terms of whole forest seed collection.

Ayana also hosts For The Wild Podcast (formerly Unlearn & Rewild) and teaches about empowered earth stewardship, leads biodiversity enhancement workshops and facilitates panels across North America.

We highly recommend you check the podcast out.  There are excellent, incisive interviews with some of the key names in caring for the Earth. For the Wild Podcast


Ayana is a lover and protector of wild nature. She was studying Ecology at Columbia University when the Occupy Wall Street movement began. Amid the burgeoning resistance in Zuccotti Park, she co-created the Environmental Working Group to help orient the movement to the realities of a suffering planet. From there she moved West to her beloved Cascadian bioregion, starting an organic farm and wild foods cartel on an Oregon mountaintop. In Portland, she had the fortune of learning from the herbalist Cascade Anderson Geller before her passing.

Ayana is currently studying Restoration of Natural Systems in Victoria, BC, and creating an ecological research center and native species nursery in the Southern tip of the Cascadian bioregion. Along with the restoration of damaged landscapes, Ayana is committed to protecting intact ecosystems.

In the summer of 2016 she lead a delegation of women to the Tongass National Forest in SE Alaska to spend time with the forest and learn from the local people to collaborate on a strategy to stop old growth logging. The Tongass film and campaign launched in 2017.

She is working closely with the Women’s Environmental and Climate Action Network (WECAN) and her method of working with the forest includes seed saving of the large trees (like redwoods) and also the smaller scrub, medicinal lower plants and the spores of the mychorizzhal networks.