August 18, 2015


“Michael is excellent at providing a powerful and engaging presentation. He received glowing feedback from our donors, staff and board for an informative and thought-provoking speech, and was an absolute delight to work with. Michael’s positive, can-do attitude will leave you inspired and downright happy.”
—Claire Noell Nickell, Wild Earth Guardians, Event Manager

“I’ve been hosting the RM Land Series for the past 13 years. It’s hard to think of a more inspiring presentation then what Michael shared last Saturday! Thanks so much — and for all you do. With the challenges facing wilderness today, we all need the passionate energy of people like Michael Leach. His exuberant love of nature inspires people to discover what it is that they can do to save our threatened wild places.”
—Jeff Lee, Rocky Mountain Land Series, Tattered Cover, Denver, Colorado

“Michael recently joined the Sierra Club – Rocky Mountain Chapter and the Sierra Club – Denver Metro Network on the steps of the Colorado State Capitol to share his views on climate change and protecting our planet. As a champion of wild places like Yellowstone, Michael inspired and empowered the group to stand up and joyfully embrace positive change. Michael embodies the rare combination of passion, eloquence, and unbridled enthusiasm that helps give activists like us the optimism and energy to continue our work.”
—Mathew Elsner, Chair, Sierra Club – Denver Metro Network

 “Michael Leach spoke at my bookstore, Out West Books in Grand Junction, Colorado, in late April this year (2015).  He was promoting his book, Grizzlies on My Mind. It was my first “official” event and it couldn’t have been a better introduction for me.  My store was packed with a completely captivated audience.  Michael is such a terrific speaker and positive person, he had us in the palm of his hands.  My only concern after his presentation was “How are we going to top this.” I also have to give him accolades for skillfully handling my lack of projector and screen with complete grace.  In fact, no one noticed or cared that there were not photos.  He is just that engaging. Thanks, Michael, for making my experience with you the best yet!”
—Marya Johnston, Out West Books

“Thank you for providing the keynote presentation on Saturday for the Seventh Annual Northern Rockies Bioneers Conference. Your presentation on the wildness and spirit of Yellowstone and how it inspires local communities was a gift to all who attended. Your unparalleled energy, spirit and love for Yellowstone was inspiring and transformative. It was a great honor and pleasure to have you participate in our conference.”
—BORN Inc. Northern Rockies Bioneers

“I had the great pleasure of meeting you on a Wild Side trip with Nathan and Linda back in February 2010 at the Buffalo Ranch. You touched everyone in that group with your Yellowstone presentation that evening. I found you to be one of the most amazing and truly inspiring speakers that I have ever heard, and you certainly made a difference in my life, even in my mid fifties! Mike, thanks so much for what you do. You really do make a difference in so many people’s lives, and I thank you for everything you continue to do.”
—Dave Hornoff, PhD, Executive Director, National Wolfwatcher Coaltion

“The highlight of the eve was Mike’s passionate presentation of all things wild and ‘of’ Yellowstone to a college group. I have not witnessed such an inspiring, powerful talk for some time. I loved his passion and advocacy.”
—Stephen Speckart, Missoula, MT

“I was at your Yellowstone presentation tonight at the Portland REI. I’m sure you get tons of emails so I’m sorry to fill up your box, but I just wanted say thank you very much. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it and loved your energy not only on the topic but the energy you have for life and adventure. I think what you’re doing is amazing and extremely important. Glad I had the opportunity to come meet you and enjoy. Thank you very much Mike! Best Wishes.”
—Derek Tatum, Portland, OR

“I guarantee he will not disappoint! He is by far the best public speaker I have ever witnessed, and I know your audience will be inspired and will learn a great deal.”
—Steve Hoffman, Executive Director, Montana Audubon

“I wanted to thank you for sharing your inspiration and passion with us yesterday. Not only was it great to hear your presentation and see your energy, which I know everyone felt, but I know we all loved hearing your personal story of starting your non-profit and also the relationships you’ve built with your basketball team. Thanks for spreading your enthusiasm for life and the wilderness.”
—Jennifer Ullman, Program Coordinator, Montana Tobacco Use Prevention Program (MTUPP) Helena, MT

“Your presentation last night at the Metcalf Refuge was an unexpected delight…much more than the ‘nice Yellowstone slideshow’ I was prepared for. You provided an educational experience cocooned in the essence of what life is truly all about…appreciation, love of place and family, commitment to something greater than self and science thrown in for good measure. I am still thinking about it this morning. It’s a special gift to be able to pack all of that science and soul into 45 minutes and hold an audience in the palm of your hand the entire time.”
—Barbara Ellis, Hamilton, MT

“My fellow Audubon folks and I are so impressed with your message and delivery. You totally have us jazzed up to take action! For now, I just want you to hear that you intensely, positively affected another roomful of people.”
—Lisa Carnicom, Billings, Montana

“Michael Leach provided one of the most fascinating and inspirational programs we have had the pleasure to observe.”
Kathleen Dickson, San Pedro, California

“If every ranger we encountered shared Michael’s sincere love and regard for our natural, national treasures, we would be a better country.”
—Marry Ellen Rose-Blewett, Darnestown, Maryland

“Michael gave an enthusiastic presentation that excited our whole family about the hidden processes in Yellowstone.”
—Dyan Winship, Julian, CA

“I must share how much we enjoyed your presentation last Thursday!! We are so energized to visit Yellowstone now!! You are a very inspiring presenter and I admire your entrepreneurial spirit and visionary leadership! We talked about your presentation the whole way home and how excited we are to visit Yellowstone!”
—Beckie Christiaens, Missoula, MT

“There are rare times when you come across someone who you know why they were put on this earth. . . put on this earth for a reason. You, Michael (aka Rev) are that rarity. You are truly a blessing to know. Keep spreading your ‘sermon’ because it is filled with so much for everyone to take to heart.”
—Lani Alvarez, Kirkland, WA

“Thanks for the great presentation. Our daughter came away with much from your inspiring words. She will be off to college next year to study animal science. She will be the next generation of eco-scientists following in your steps.”
Patrick Mezzulo, Bothell, Washington

“I found your presentation both soundly informative (and I like lots of facts) and very well delivered. You clearly have a talent for this. I see why they call you “Rev”. I find myself captivated by both your message and the way you are choosing to deliver it. Best of luck with your future prospects and keep that tremendous positive energy going. You have a real gift for delivery that few possess – use it.”
—Dennis Willard, Author of “Working In The Northwest Woods” Everett, Washington.

What Educators Are Saying

“Mike Leach is the real deal. He has inspired me since the first day he walked into a class I taught at North Idaho College. Without a doubt, Mike is the man that can inspire you to be more than you ever believed you could be. I’m honored to call him my friend. Check this out. You’ll be happy you did. Friends call him the Rev. If you ever have the honor of meeting him, you’ll understand.”
—Tim Christie, North Idaho College

“Motivational speaker and environmental educator Michael Leach brought his experience and passion to the California Academy of Sciences during Earth Day weekend this past April. Michael conducted multiple slideshow presentations for various groups of all ages that highlighted the beauty and importance of Yellowstone National Park and the greater Yellowstone area. Even with his focus on the Yellowstone ecosystem his presentations and passion extend far beyond that area and touch the core of what it means to be an inspired, connected, steward of the Earth. His moving and personal presentations only helped further inspire me to get out in nature and work to protect this amazing planet for the future of all life.”
—Scott Black, Manager of Specialty Tours and Sleepovers, California Academy Of Sciences

“As an Outdoor Education Professional, I have seen many presentations about all kinds of topics come through our doors. Along with those presentations, I’ve see many diverse audiences come through our facilities and take away some very rewarding experiences and there were some luke warm receptions as well.
After having been contacted on the phone by Michael Leach, Director and Founder of Yellowstone Country Guardians, I knew that I was talking to a very knowledgeable and motivated gentleman who had an important message to deliver about one of my favorite National Parks. He would be traveling to the Pacific Northwest from Livingston, Montana soon and I was excited to meet him. At that time, I had no idea how much of an impact this exceptionally gifted, passionate man and the sheer power of his mission would impact my life.
The magnitude of enthusiasm radiating from Michael as he manifested the grandeur of Yellowstone National Park before us was literally palpable from where I sat in the audience. His knowledge about the Park, the wilderness of Yellowstone and the wildlife in that region crackled with energy. The power of his adoration and respect for the wild had every one of us riveted to his words.”
Billy Rosewarne, Outdoor Events and Education Seattle, Washington

“It was with great anticipation that I invited Michael to speak to my non-majors biology classes. I had heard through the grapevine that Michael was a very captivating and passionate speaker and was able to reach out and connect with his audience in a very deep and meaningful way. I must tell you that I was not disappointed. Michael delivered a very passionate and informative lecture on the greater Yellowstone ecosystem that not only captivated my class, it inspired many of them to seek out more information on the topics that Michael covered. He talked extensively on the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem and what magic there is to be witnessed there. Through his story telling style lecture he drew my class in and motivated many of them to desire a trip to Yellowstone to learn and to see and appreciate its beauty and magic for themselves. What I found truly interesting was that while Michael was lecturing on his topic of environmental responsibility and husbandry he was able to challenge my students in a personal way as well. He left them asking “am I doing all I can to be successful and fulfilled in my life…. am I living intentionally or am I just going through the motions”? I had multiple students approach me in the following days and testify that they were inspired by what Michael had to say. He was able to reach them in a one hour lecture when I have tried for weeks to get them to have the same realization. I guess that I do not care why or how they come to this point as long as they get there. For that reason I look forward to inviting Michael back to speak to my classes and am trying to secure a larger audience for next time. I would like to see that all NIC students have a chance to listen to what Michael has to say and hopefully many more of them will have an epiphany of how they want to proceed in life and what path they should choose. Again I thank you for sharing Michael’s talents and wisdom with me and my class.”
—David Cunnington, Biology/Zoology, North Idaho College

“I wish to enthusiastically recommend Michael Leach as an articulate, knowledgeable, engaging and inspirational public speaker. He can captivate ANY audience, skillfully developing a rapport with people of diverse backgrounds like no one I have ever witnessed. During the past two years I have had the pleasure of personally observing many of Mike’s presentations to a wide variety of audiences, from high schoolers to senior citizens, and without question Mike is the most effective public speaker I have experienced in my 35-year career. Mike is truly an engaging storyteller, and he always has his scientific facts right. He shares his extensive knowledge of ecology and natural history of the region’s wildlife and the key conservation issues of the day so effortlessly the listener does not realize just how much he/she is learning!”
—Steve Hoffman, Executive Director Montana Audubon

What Administrators Are Saying

“Michael’s presentation was the best interpretive presentation I have ever witnessed. Having been a teacher for more than twenty years, I have been in many presentations. Michael exhibited excellent teaching and person skill from the moment we met him. He was aware of the needs inherent in this young age group 10-11 year olds. He engaged us with one thought provoking idea after another. He challenged our ideas, knowledge and values. Michael used storytelling, personal experience, laughter, photographs and other tools to reach my students on all levels. I rarely, if ever, see that happen in a group setting.”
—David Stringfield, Yellowstone Park School Principal

“Thanks for sharing your story and inspiring message today. Your passion will carry you a long way. I appreciate your thoughts, time, and efforts.”
—Dan Schmidt, Colstrip, Montana Superintendent

“Thank you again for your inspiring speech Michael! You sent us all out on a high note! I hope other schools and administrators get a little time with “Coach!”
—Leland Stocker, President of School Administrators of Montana following Michael’s Closing Keynote at the annual Montana Superintendent’s Conference, 2012

“Michael Leach was inspiring…his presentation to kick-off Leadership Week with our middle school was terrific! To keep 5th through 8th grade students engaged for 90 minutes isn’t an easy task…he made it look easy. They are still talking about Being Audacious. Thanks Michael!”
Deb House, Principal, Arrowhead Middle School, Pray, Montana

What Students Are Saying

“By far the best part of my Yellowstone class trip with Longwood University was listening to Michael Leach speak to us and the trip isn’t even over yet. He had me in tears, I learned so much not only about Yellowstone, but about my self in just that hour of listening to you. Thanks so much!”
—Will Green, Longwood University

“While being in school I’ve heard a lot of people talk to us kids about certain things but when you came to Arrowhead it was different. You really inspired me and made me think about life. The stories you told were pretty amazing. You are one of the most inspirational people I’ve ever met! Thank you once again for changing my life in such a positive way!”
—Shannon, Arrowhead Middle School

“This man is the most inspirational person I’ve ever had the good fortune to meet. Read what he has to say. Be Audacious.”
—Jack Borthwick, Arlington, Virgina

“I was glued to my seat for the entire speech which lasted for more than an hour. But I was not the only one, the entire room of teenagers where enthralled with Michael Leach’s story and message and anyone knows that it is quite a feat to keep the attention of a teenager for that long. Every one of us lived Michael’s hardships during that speech and related to his tough times weighted against our own. We realized that if Michael could persevere through his struggles and achieve the great things he has then we could do it too.”
—Merlin H. Bozeman High School, Montana

“It was great to meet Mike. His talk was so inspirational and it got me pumped up to start doing something productive with my life.”
—Jessica Heavens, Longwood University, Virginia

“The energy and passion Coach shares is contagious. He can fire you up and really make you want to go out and make a difference in the world.”
Kyle Laubach, Montana State University

“The most inspirational stakeholder that we had a chance to meet was Mike. He has the most passion I have ever seen anyone have in my entire life. It truly made him shine and anyone would want to hear what he had to say no matter what he was talking about because of this. He is only 30 years old and has dedicated his life to Yellowstone Country Guardians, which is dedicated to reaching the youth and teaching them about the park that surrounds them. Not only is he the founder of the organization but he is also the head coach of the boys basketball team in Gardiner, a writer, a public speaker, and a fishing guide. He urged us all to find our own sense of place, a place that speaks to us. He also told us that we all need to be audacious without fear and to love.”
—Kristin Camp, Longwood University, Virginia

“It was so wonderful to hear someone speak about the natural world so eloquently and with such passion.”
—Bridget Chipman, Reynolds High School Natural Resources Academy, Troutdale Oregon

“So you spoke to my class a couple years ago and I remember being so fascinated with your devotion and commitment to bears and the wilderness. It was that speech you gave that truly changed my views on nature. I had never, and still have never seen someone so passionate about something and it was very inspiring.”
—Elise Cunningham, Missoula, MT

“Reinvigorated with life after listening to Mike Leach in class today. ‘Dare to be audacious.'”
Megan Wade, Longwood University, Virginia

“It was a very inspirational presentation, I’m really glad I attended and thanks for sharing your powerful words!”
—Jason Grieshaber, Longwood University, Virginia

“I can’t sum up all the things Coach Leach’s inspirational speeches have done for me. I wouldn’t be the man I am today without Coach and the talks he has given me whether it be in the locker room or about everyday life. Mike Leach is my role model in life and the most inspirational person I know.”
—Devon Kennedy, Gardiner High School

“I don’t even know where to start except to say thank you! Thank you so much for the time you gave my class. I now understand what you were saying about Yellowstone, how it could move you if you let it, and after you said that I really let it in. I always knew I wanted to make a difference but I never knew where it would be until I got a ‘sermon’ from ‘The Reverend.’ It blew me away and all I can say is thank you so much for your teaching words and inspiration.”
Bree Cooper, Reynolds High School Natural Resources Academy, Troutdale, Oregon

“I really enjoyed Mike’s presentation during diversity week at Hellgate High School, he inspired me and made me believe in myself. After his talk I realize how much I am able to do if I trust myself, and work hard. Thank you Mike for making a difference in my life.”
Carolina Osorio, Hellgate High School

“There are so many people in this world who will make grand claims, who will try to sell you on what they can do but are unable to show you with their actions. Every game, every practice, every meeting spent with Coach, the passion, love, and energy he put into every minute was incredibly obvious. Its easy to use big words, and grand terms that sound good in theory, but witnessing true passion in action is infectious and cannot fail to inspire you to try and live the same way.”
—Ben Broadhead, Georgia Tech University