Ancient Pathways to a Sustainable Future

What can our ancestors teach us?

About Us


Ken Fischman and Lanie Johnson

We are are a group of people who are interested in saving the Earth, practicing ancient skills, and having fun doing these things.



Dr. Fischman was born and grew up in Brooklyn, New York. Although surrounded by a large city, he took every opportunity possible to spend time in natural places. He believes that he was the only kid in New York City who knew that there were not only rabbits in the Brooklyn Botanical gardens, but red foxes who hunted them.

He has a B.A from Brooklyn College, an M.S. in Zoology from the University of Arkansas, and a Ph.D. in Genetics from New York University. He spent most of his professional career at Columbia University Medical School, where he specialized in studying the effects of environmental agents on chromosomes and DNA.

Dr. Fischman has taught classes in wilderness survival and has a long-standing interest in hunter-gatherer cultures.

He was Vice President of New York Rivers United, an organization dedicated to protecting rivers and streams.  He is proud to say that he opened two rivers to the public, the Mongaup and the Neversink.  He was also the founder and faculty advisor of the Columbia University Kayak Club.

He now resides in Sandpoint where he spends his retirement trying to save wolves and raising awareness of climate change, his most challenging tasks yet. Dr. Fischman has been Vice Chair of the Northern Idaho Wolf Alliance (NIWA), a wolf advocacy group.


Lanie Johnson graduated Magna Cum Laude from Smith College. She has an M.A. in Art Therapy, owned an environmental business and was a professional calligrapher.  She is an artist whose works  are displayed in a New York City museum, the private collections of Tom Brown, Jr., Tracker and Daniel Quinn, author of Ishmael, as well as in the Bonner County Library in Sandpoint, Idaho.  She, like her husband, Ken, has been studying and teaching wilderness skills and lifestyles of nature-based peoples for over 20 years.


Presentations, Workshops, Articles

Both Ken and Lanie are passionate about the American people’s right to access their public lands, and in helping to save the Earth. Together, Lanie and Ken have taught many courses, given presentations and workshops in Sandpoint and other areas, and written articles for journals, magazines, and newspapers on a variety of subjects, including those listed below:


  • 1997 Wilderness Survival (Americorps, Trout Lake WA)
  • 1997 Nature Awareness Walk, (USFS, Gifford-Pinchot National Forest)
  • 2000  How To Take Your Grandchild for a Walk in the Woods (weekend for Big Brother, Big Sisters, Durango, CO)
  • 2003 Nature Awareness/Lostproofing (Life Designs School, Usk, WA)
  • 2004  Wilderness Survival – (Kinnikinnick Native Plant Society in Sandpoint)

Ancient Pathways to a Sustainable Future Series

  • 2005  How Not To Get Lost, And What To Do If You Do Get Lost
  • 2006  Hunter Gatherers, Brutish Or Brilliant?
  • 2006  Back to the Future (3-day workshop, including “The End of Cheap Oil”)

Programs (2003 – 2005)

  • Genetic Engineering and Genetically Modified Organisms (Ken)
  • The Biology and Politics of Cancer (Ken)
  • Breast Cancer (Ken)

Selected Articles (2004 -2006)

  • “Public Land Access Fees Opposed in Idaho”. Lanie Johnson.
  • “The Dark Side of Genetic Engineering”. Ken Fischman.
  • “The Empire Strikes Back: How Agribusiness Treats Scientists Who Question GMO Safety”. Ken Fischman.
  • “Only God Can Make A Tree: Patenting Life Forms”. Ken Fischman.
  • “The Biology and Politics of Breast Cancer”. Ken Fischman.

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