Eustace Conway is an American naturalist who advocates a back-to-nature way of life.
Conway is also the owner of 1,000-acre Turtle Island Preserve in Boone, North Carolina.
He was born Eustace Robinson Conway IV in 1961 in Columbia, South Carolina, USA.
Eustace has three siblings – Martha, Judson, and Walton.
At age 17, Conway left his parents’ suburban home to live in the woods.
Conway has earned a degree in anthropology and English from Appalachian State University.
Turtle Island Preserve
He founded Turtle Island Preserve in 1987. It is an environmental education center near Boone, North Carolina. He got the idea to start Turtle Island Preserve from his grandfather — who founded Camp Sequoyah in 1924.
Here, Eustace guides people through experiences with the natural world.
Note – Turtle Island Preserve is named after an American Indian legend of a great turtle who rose up out of the waters after the earth was flooded.
In November 2012, officials from the Watauga County Planning and Inspection Department shut down public access to Turtle Island Preserve since they have found health and sanitary violations.
The officials came prepared with a county 4-wheeler to more easily get around the property, pages of highlighted photographs of unknown origins, laptops, GPS equipment to discern coordinates, aerial photographs, and topographic maps.
Their findings were summarized in a 78-page report.
In the 78-page report, consultant W.O. Whaley stated according to AL:
”The property in its present state presents a hazard to the safety of anyone near any of the structures.”
Conway told the Wall Street Journal:
”Codes don’t apply to what we’re doing.”
One Turtle Island staffer said for Fox News:
”If we complied to everything the county is requesting, we would cease to exist as we are. We are inherently primitive.”
”Basically I’m living like the American heritage pattern of all our ancestors and the modern world isn’t, and they don’t know how to accept me.”
On December 13, 2012, Eustace was arrested after being served a warrant for second-degree trespassing on a neighbor’s land in the Triplett community. In April 2013, authorities dismissed the charge for lack of evidence.
In June 2013, Conway reopened Turtle Island Preserve thanks to House Bill 774 titled – ”An Act To Exempt Primitive Structures From The Building Cod.”
From 2012 to 2018, Conway appeared in 103 episodes of Mountain Men, a reality TV series that focuses on his daily life.
On July 24, 2017, one of the main cast members of Mountain Men, Preston Roberts, died. Conway wrote on Facebook:
”The loss and sadness we feel is indescribable. Turtle Island will host a memorial Celebration of Life ceremony on Saturday July 29 at 3pm.”
There is no information about Eustace Conway’s wife or girlfriend.
”The best way to understand nature is to be involved with it.”
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”If trees gave off WiFi signals, there’d be a whole lot more of them.”
”Until we realize our kinship with all creatures, there is no hope for change.”
”I have had a few very unusual things in my life that I’m blessed by.”
”Teaching children about the natural world should be seen as one of the most important events in their lives.”
”I think the Appalachians are one of the finest places on the planet to live.”
He is one of four featured characters in the documentary film ”Reconvergence” that premiered at the Maryland Film Festival.
Eustace is the subject of the book ”The Last American Man” by Elizabeth Gilbert.
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In The Last American Man, Elizabeth Gilbert introduces Conway:
”By the time Eustace Conway was seven years old, he could throw a knife accurately enough to nail a chipmunk to a tree.”
Gilbert also wrote:
”He lives in the woods because he belongs there.”
Some of Eustace’s impressive feats are:
- he lived with primitive indigenous tribes in Guatemala;
- when he turned 12, Conway went into the forest alone for a week;
- he rode across the US on horseback;
- he hiked the entirety of the Appalachian Trail (2,190 miles);
- he has canoed 1,000 miles on the Mississippi River.
Another famous cast member from Mountain Men is Jason Hawk.
Eustace Conway – Net Worth
Eustace Conway has an estimated net worth of $0.25 million. Conway earned most of his wealth from offering workshops to people interested to be trained in basic survival techniques at his Turtle Island Preserve. Eustace also appeared in over 100 episodes of Mountain Men.
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