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Looking to the skies for inspiration in changing a life

Rodney Stotts

Rodney Stotts's life could have ended behind bars, but he made a change. After a jail term in the early 2000s, he gave up the street life and focused on wildlife, one of his first loves.

Now Stotts is a conservationist and a master falconer, one of the few Black master falconers in the country. The change in his life comes down to a two-word mantra: look up.

He tells the full story in a new memoir, Bird Brother: A Falconer's Journey and the Healing Power of Wildlife. In a visit to the Exchange, Rodney talks about the rough start to his life in Washington, DC, and how he turned it around to enhance nature in a very urban environment.

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The Jefferson Exchange is Jefferson Public Radio's daily news program focused on issues, people and events across Southern Oregon and Northern California. Angela Decker is the program's senior producer, Charlie Zimmermann is the assistant producer, and Geoffrey Riley hosts the show.