(re)Learning How to Be Human.
A renowned storyteller, rewilding pioneer, author of award-winning books Wild Like Flowers and Dark Cloud Country, and the “poet laureate of Holistic Management” (Allan Savory), Daniel’s work and writing focuses on regenerating relationship—that is, relearning what it means to be human.
Rewilding In Action
A first-generation agrarian, Daniel’s life pivoted when a life-threatening diagnosis with a degenerative genetic disease landed him in hospitals and therapy for nearly 4 years. After a multitude of failed surgeries and years spent learning how to walk again, Daniel weighed less than he did in the 5th grade. At the end of his proverbial rope, Daniel and his family turned to agriculture and relational conservationism as the last hope. What they found was instead a life complete and life once more.
In 2013, Daniel’s interest in the nourishing meeting ground between regenerative systems and human origins culminated in the archeological assay of paleolithic cave art. In Nantes, France, Daniel partnered with ONIRIS’ bioengineering department (Nantes-Atlantic National College of Veterinary Medicine, Food Science and Engineering) to dig and examine paleoanthropology’s then budding insights into the formation and combination of early homo genetics in the Lascaux Cave System.
In 2016, Daniel founded Timshel Wildland—a pioneering rewilding and relational conservation project that is leading the modern convergence of ecological restoration and wildly autonomous living yet harvestable systems. Alongside paradigm-challenging hydrologic and landform design systems, the Wildland has become home to grand multiplicities of wildlife—such as nesting black bear families, river otters once again in the Piedmont uplands, and the return of extinct species of mountain lions. In 2021, the Wildland opened a decentralized network of privately funded, human-scale, and ethical meat processing training abattoirs that utilize ancient field harvest techniques, whole-animal utilization, and a general lack of mechanization throughout. Timshel Wildland has been featured in many online magazines and news platforms, most recently on India’s largest progressive media organization, The Wire. Article link.
In 2018, Daniel founded the Robinia Institute—a center for relational conservationism’s social emergence that is now the Mid-Atlantic Hub of the Savory Institute, a global organization and leader in the climate-change and ecological restoration sector. Robinia has emerged as one of the premier educators of ecological restoration and rewilding and yearly educates hundreds of students, designs and consults on hundreds of thousands of acres of lands, and monitors the ecology and wildlife diversity of hundreds of farms, from abandoned surface coal mines to localized homesteads of three acres.
Who We Are