Richard Lonewolf, Ethnobotany and Wilderness Survival Expert

by Sondra Wilson. Updated 11/25/2022.

   It is a great honor, that on July 26th, 2013, ethnobotany and wilderness survival expert Richard Lonewolf, signed this letter of endorsement for the organization I was then developing, Wild Willpower.

    After designing for him business cards, fliers, posters,  his own website at, he and I developed three projects to showcase his work and help pass on this extremely important knowledge to the world:

  • made copies and completely remastered the last “surviving” copy of the wilderness survival manual written in the 1980s by Lonewolf and Julie [seeking last name].  Cleaned it up, enlarged the pictures, added pages of color photos, and designed a cover for the book.


Click to enlarge, or scroll down below the letter to read the full text:

Picture of Endorsement from Lonewolf

 “To whom it may concern:

    My name is Richard “Lonewolf” Legan.  For over 40 years I’ve been teaching ethnobotany & wilderness survival.  Some of my past students include U.S. infantry, military police, Army, California Search & Rescue, California State Universities, Bakersfield & Kern County Schools, Pomona State University, Boy & Girl Scouts of America, & many others.  Skills include food, utility, & medicinal uses of plants, traditional & emergency shelter construction, fire making & cooking techniques (rock boiling, steam pits, blast ovens, Yukon stoves, keyhole lays, & many others), water location, recovery, & purification, traditional hunting tools, traps & snares, & many other daily life skills.


   I first met Alexandra “Distance Everheart” Wilson in the spring of 2003, & for 6 months I began teaching her survival skills in the high Sierra deserts of Southern California.  She participated in many traditional sweat lodge ceremonies, began to learn about traditional Native American customs & values, traditional plant uses, & showed an eager & quick understanding of things.  


   We would not meet again until spring 2010.  Since that time, she has studied with me regularly in various regions throughout Kern County, California wildlands.  She has greatly assisted me in reaching out to others around the world, including developing my business website (, filming, designing, & producing my first DVD that is now available entitled “The Forgotten Abundance of America’s Wildlands w/ Richard Lonewolf”, re-printing my survival manual from 1987 & adding many improvements to the original design including her photos, & has also helped me in preparation for many classes, & also has helped teach native plant uses at more than one traditional Pow Wow.  She has learned about many of my peoples’ customs, & has worked very diligently to help my people regain our traditional ways, & has even been invited to dance in more than one of the Pow Wows– which is considered a rare & great honour among our people.


   While studying these skills, Distance conceived of a way to make these skills readily available to people around the world in such a way that I believe will help preserve this ancient & otherwise scattered or disappearing knowledge.  She has (begun) sorted the skills that I have taught her into a very accessible way on, & has designed a non-profit organization ( that will help traditional medicine people & wilderness survival experts get paid for this knowledge so that it is not taken from our people, but instead that we may be able to help our families & teach more people, & also make these skills available at no cost to anyone.  As many people are aware, there are many reservations & native communities where poverty & lack of education, alongside a loss of knowledge of traditional ways are all too common– so keeping this knowledge available in an economically-inclusive way while compensating hard working teachers is something that is very dear to my heart, as I believe this knowledge is knowledge that does not belong to any one individual, but rather should be made available to everyone– as it is knowledge meant for us to have by The Creator.


   To any person or organization who might read this letter, I ask you to please view the websites, & help our progress in any way that you can.   At the time this letter is being written, Wild Willpower needs to obtain a 501c3 status, & immediate financial assistance is also needed.  I am a disabled Vietnam & Cold War era veteran who has not been receiving my due benefits, & a series of circumstances have left us without the finances necessary to continue our work.  On behalf of many people among my nation who are hoping that we are able to secure necessary funding in order to bring this knowledge forth, I ask with sincerity that you please consider assisting in any way possible.





                      Reverend Richard “Lonewolf” Legan

                  Proud to Serve in the U.S. Armed Forces

                  & Proud Member of the Cherokee Nation




Learning from the Past to Prepare for the Future