Remote Footprints operates as a branch of Coastal Plains Institute, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. We are based in North Florida but our scope is nationwide. Remote Footprints is an idea rooted in our concern that the remoteness of the natural landscape is still continually diminishing despite America’s best efforts to preserve its public wildlands. We have discovered that the U.S. road network fills the national landscape so fully, that it is no longer possible to be more than 5 miles from a road within the vast majority of the conterminous 48 United States. The number of roads continually increases, even within many conservation lands. Opportunities for humans to “get away from it all” are all but gone outside Alaska. The roaring sound of roads, light pollution on the horizon, or line of sight views of civilization are next to impossible to avoid. The mental and physical health of a culture farther and farther removed from the natural world is at stake and worth saving. We have developed a unique and exciting approach to preserving remote and roadless areas, called Project Remote, and we invite you to browse our website to learn more about the problem and solutions for preserving America’s famed remoteness.
Ryan Means is a conservation ecologist, naturalist, and outdoor explorer. He holds a B.S. in zoology and a M.S. degree in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, both from the University of Florida. As conservation ecologist, and director of the Coastal Plains Institute, his research interests include ephemeral wetland ecology, herpetology and developing conservation strategies for imperiled wild lands and wildlife (see coastalplains.org). As naturalist and outdoor explorer, Ryan has journeyed through many iconic wild areas of our planet including the Outback of Australia, the Amazon basin and Guyana Shield of South America, the USA (see projectremote.org), and to what may be his favorite—the Alaskan wilderness. Ryan rejuvenates his well-being through frequent forays or all-out expeditions into wild areas. One of his greatest desires in life is to help others establish their own connection with the natural world. See Ryan’s CV for more information.
Rebecca P. M. Means is a wildlife ecologist with a passion for wildlife, outdoor adventure, and food. She has a B.S. degree in both Wildlife Ecology and in Biology from Virginia Tech and an M.S. degree in Forestry from Texas A&M. Rebecca has worked with wildlife ranging from fire ants to the Florida panther but her expertise is with the amphibians that inhabit temporary wetlands. Rebecca’s love for adventure has led her backpacking all over the U.S. and beyond — from Florida to California, Costa Rica to Thailand. She loves how traveling changes her perspective on life and what is really important and she loves the feeling of waking up in a new place and knowing everything she really needs is right there in her tent (or tied up in a not-so-nearby tree). Rebecca has always loved interacting with people and one of her great desires is to help families experience the outdoors and learn natural history together. See Rebecca’s CV for more information or check out her blog Traveling Trail Mix.
Skyla is our amazing, inquisitive daughter. She accompanies us on all of our outdoor expeditions and pursuits. She has already camped and explored the United States from Florida to Maine and all the way to Idaho before age 5. She is our willing and wonderful companion on Project Remote and has been to 32 state Remote Spots. We believe in raising our daughter by our side and giving her the gift of the outdoors often and early. Children raised in the outdoors are many times more likely to be knowledgeable, self-reliant, passionate individuals. Skyla has taught us that we as a family are limited only by our imagination – she is game to do just about anything.