Rewilding America Now Appoints Dr. Ross MacPhee as Scientific Advisor/Spokesperson to Preserve Wild Horses and Promote Environmental Conservation

LOCUST VALLEY, N.Y., March 12, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Rewilding America Now (RAN), a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving America’s wild horses and promoting innovative environmental conservation practices, has appointed Dr. Ross MacPhee in the new position of Director of Science/Spokesperson, announced today by Manda Kalimian, Founder/Chair, and Michael Nathanson, Managing Director/CEO.

Dr. MacPhee, Curator Emeritus at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, brings a wealth of experience and expertise to RAN. With over 40 years of research and fieldwork in the fields of paleontology and evolutionary biology, Dr. MacPhee is a renowned expert in the study of extinct and endangered species. Using both fossils and modern genomic methods, he and his colleagues seek to show that all modern horses, whether domestic or wild, have ancestries that ultimately originated in North America.

“We are thrilled to have Ross expand his role as Director of Science and Spokesperson after serving as a valuable board member for five years,” said RAN’s Founder/Chair, Manda Kalimian. “His extensive knowledge and experience will be invaluable in our efforts to protect America’s wild horses and promote environmental conservation. With Ross leading our science and thought leadership roles, RAN will share the latest insight into this field and help all efforts to save horses and other species while providing benefits to the environment. Ross’s passion for conservation makes him the perfect fit for RAN’s mission.”

Dr. Ross MacPhee shared his vision, “I am really looking forward to expanding the strategy and influence for RAN’s critical advocacy efforts. We will now emphasize wide-spectrum rewilding as our central mission. Horses have physiological, behavioral, and anatomical traits that make them more appropriate than cattle in many contexts in our American West. We will be looking at a broader spectrum of species in addition to megaherbivores that can make rewilding effective.”

RAN’s appointment of Dr. MacPhee as Director of Science marks a significant step towards attaining their goal of rewilding America and preserving its natural heritage. The organization, formerly known as the CANA Foundation, has led the way in developing innovative approaches to rewilding, conservation awareness, and the inclusion of traditional knowledge through Native American Culture. One aspect of their commitment is that RAN is in the process of acquiring 400,000 acres of grazing lands in the Birch Creek Valley of Idaho, the purpose of which is to try out new rewilding methods involving heritage megaherbivores like horses and bison as well as other species native to the area, including elk and deer. “The purpose of our Birch Creek experiment is to show that our grasslands can be restored to peak diversity and health by introducing or re-introducing the species or near relatives that maintained and enriched them for millions of years—the large-bodied herbivores, which most particularly includes horses,” said MacPhee.

“With our focus on restoring the ecosystem, the role Ross will play as RAN’s evangelist is critical to reaching the full potential of rewilding not just for horses, but for the environment and ultimately, people,” stated Michael Nathanson, Managing Director/CEO. “I am confident with the expertise Ross brings in so many relevant disciplines, RAN and our stakeholders will make great contributions to the rewilding movement.”

For more information on RAN and their conservation efforts, visit their website at

About Rewilding America Now (RAN)

The mission at Rewilding America Now is to conserve and restore the North American landscape through innovative rewilding initiatives, with a focus on wild horses as a keystone species. Using science-backed research and partnerships with tribal nations and incorporating traditional ecological knowledge, RAN advocates for public policy that protects wild horses and native lands, and allocates new resources for breakthrough rewilding projects. Rewilding America Now is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization. Member, Global Rewilding Alliance

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Manda Kalimian, Founder/Chair

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Rick Markovitz

SOURCE Rewilding America Now