Kyle Lybarger

Today's guest is Kyle Lybarger, a forester and conservationist from north Alabama. His passion is identifying, protecting, and managing the overlooked grassland ecosystems in his region and educating the public about the environmental value and climate benefits of these native plants. Most people don't realize that so many of our forested areas were once actually native grasslands that were maintained by the grazing of native animal life and the management practices of the native people. In this conversation, Kyle also explains the importance of fire in land management, both the naturally occurring fires and those that indigenous people practiced to sustain local food systems. Tune in to hear Kyle's take on Smokey the Bear, rewilding and the "no-mow" movement, how our domestic landscape has shifted here in the United States and what we can all do to reinvigorate our land and secure our food system. 

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Podchaser, Podtail, Youtube, or on your favorite podcast platform.

Topics Discussed:

Join the Lady Farmer Slow Living Challenge! (Starts 2.6.23)

  • How Kyle got to the Native Habitat Project and how that evolved
  • Grassland ecosystems
  • The need for education about native plants
  • The ecological role of grasslands
  • Why the grasslands have disappeared
  • Kyle discusses "rewilding"
  • Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee 
  • The role of burning in maintaining grasslands
  • How Native Americans utilized the grassland ecosystems
  • How Smoky the Bear and growing populations changed land management practices
  • Porter's Goldenrod
  • Hartselle Sandstone Barren
  • How Kyle established an outdoor classroom in his hometown
  • How forestry competes with biodiversity
  • Grasslands are valuable for sequestering carbon
  • Birds for Beef
  • Jenny Harris of White Oak Pastures
  • Grazing Gone Native with The American Forage Council
  • Discretionary use of sprays to restore grasslands
  • Restoring lawns to native habitats for wildlife diversity and for creating reliable food sources


Connect with Kyle:


About Lady Farmer:


This Episode is Sponsored by Havelock Wool: Visit to learn all about wool insulation!

Original music by John Kingsley. The Good Dirt podcast is edited and engineered by Aleksandra van der Westhuizen and produced by Mary Ball. The Good Dirt is a part of the Connectd Podcasts Network.

Statements in this podcast have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not to be considered as medical or nutritional advice. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease, and should not be considered above the advice of your physician. Consult a medical professional when making dietary or lifestyle decisions that could affect your health and well-being.