Wild country produces wild people, who sometimes are just what’s needed to keep that wild cycle going. This is a memorable portrait.
Bill McKibben, author of The End of Nature, winner of the 2013 Gandhi Peace Award, founder of 350.org
A true action hero, Carol Ruckdeschel is using her powers of insight, persuasion, and personal commitment to protect a wilderness island off the coast of Georgia. She’s not just bemoaning the tragic decline of the natural world that sustains all life on earth, humans and turtles included. She is also putting her own life on the line to save what’s left. Thanks to Carol, there is hope for wild creatures who have preceded humankind by hundreds of millions of years—and hope for an enduring future for ourselves as well.
Sylvia Earle, National Geographic explorer-in-residence, TED Prize winner, Time's first Hero of the Planet
Carol Ruckdeschel isn’t quite your mother’s idea of a role model, but she is my idea of an inspiring woman. Her gifts are many, her commitment resolute, her contribution world-class. And boy—as you’ll read—has she had fun. What a story! It’s as beautiful as the island she loves.
Carl Safina, author of The View From Lazy Point and A Sea in Flames

About Will Harlan

Will Harlan is editor in chief of Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine and an award-winning journalist. He has written for National Geographic Adventure and appeared in Sports Illustrated, The Wall Street Journal, and on The Oprah Winfrey Show.Read More
UNTAMED is now a national bestseller. Order it here:

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Cumberland Island is the most biologically diverse barrier island in the country.

View photos of Carol and her island here.

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Will Harlan’s Writing

What’s it like to run naked, wander homeless on the streets, get lost in the continent’s deepest canyon, and live with indigenous tribes? Follow Will Harlan’s adventures through his stories for National Geographic Adventure, Blue Ridge Outdoors, and other magazines. Learn More

Barefoot Farm

Will’s off-grid organic farm grows food for Appalachian families in need and provides seeds, tools, water, and education to indigenous Tarahumara farmers in Mexico’s Copper Canyons, helping them to sustain themselves in their ancestral homelands. Learn More

Have any questions?

Will receives comments and questions from readers and fans around the world: The Frequently Asked Questions page answers many common inquiries about Will’s writing, subjects, and travels. You can also submit questions and comments through the Contact page.Learn More