Hawks Rest: A Season in the Remote Heart of Yellowstone


Gary Ferguson - 2003
    Through his encounters with park rangers, wildlife biologists, outfitters, and intrepid visitors, Ferguson weaves a poignant story of a land under siege. Opinionated first-hand accounts illuminate the dream and the difficulty of preserving the Yellowstone wilderness - America's first national park and a touchstone of all things wild. Ferguson's previous writings on nature have been well received. Publishers Weekly wrote about The Sylvan Path: In prose as inviting and uplifting as a walk in the woods, naturalist Ferguson shares his lifelong passion...with a sense of discovery, humor, and deep reverence for his subject, [he] reclaims the natural world for himself, and for the reader as well. William Kittredge praised Walking Down the Wild as a clear-eyed vision of what's at risk in the battle over wilderness in America. This is a terrific book.

John Muir and the Ice That Started a Fire: How a Visionary and the Glaciers of Alaska Changed America


Kim Heacox - 2014
    Muir went from impassioned author to leading activist. He would popularize glaciers unlike anybody else, and be to glaciers what Jacques Cousteau would be to the oceans and Carl Sagan to the starsThe book also offers an environmental caveat on global climate change and the glaciers' retreat alongside a beacon of hope: Muir shows us how one person changed America, helped it embrace its wilderness, and in turn, gave us a better world.In 2005, Californians had to choose a design for its commemorative quarter. Hundreds of submissions – the iconic Hollywood sign above Hollywood Hills, the 1849 Gold Rush, the Golden Gate Bridge, etc. – fell away until one remained: an image of John Muir.  2014 will mark the 100th anniversary of Muir’s death. Muir’s legacy is that he reordered our priorities and contributed to a new scientific revolution that was picked up a generation later by Aldo Leopold and Rachel Carson, and is championed today by influential writers like E.O. Wilson and Jared Diamond.Heacox takes us into how Muir changed our world, advanced the science of glaciology and popularized geology. How he got people out there. How he gave America a new vision of Alaska, and of itself.

The Secret Life of Wombats


James Woodford - 2001
    These torchlight adventures have since inspired a generation of scientists, and his research is still considered useful today. In The Secret Life of Wombats, James Woodford pursues Nicholson's story and embarks on his own journey to uncover the true nature of our most intriguing marsupial."Woodford has done the research, he has read widely, spoken with the major wombat pundits and with the lay observers. He has travelled to gain direct experience of all species...I know more about wombats than I did, and retain some stark images which I hope never to lose." - Sunday Age.

The Lobster Coast: Rebels, Rusticators, and the Struggle for a Forgotten Frontier


Colin Woodard - 2004
    Today’s independent, self-sufficient lobstermen belong to the communities imbued with a European sense of ties between land and people, but threatened by the forces of homogenization spreading up the eastern seaboard.In the tradition of William Warner’s Beautiful Swimmers, veteran journalist Colin Woodard (author of American Character: A History of the Epic Struggle Between Individual Liberty and the Common Good) traces the history of the rugged fishing communities that dot the coast of Maine and the prized crustacean that has long provided their livelihood. Through forgotten wars and rebellions, and with a deep tradition of resistance to interference by people “from away,” Maine’s lobstermen have defended an earlier vision of America while defying the “tragedy of the commons”—the notion that people always overexploit their shared property. Instead, these icons of American individualism represent a rare example of true communal values and collaboration through grit, courage, and hard-won wisdom.

The 1959 Yellowstone Earthquake (Disaster)


Larry E. Morris - 2016
    on August 17, 1959, a magnitude 7.5 earthquake rocked Montana's Yellowstone country. In an instant, an entire mountainside fractured and thundered down onto the sites of unsuspecting campers. The mammoth avalanche generated hurricane-force winds ahead of it that ripped clothing from backs and heaved tidal waves in both directions of the Madison River Canyon. More than two hundred vacationers trapped in the canyon feared the dam upstream would burst. As debris and flooding overwhelmed the river, injured victims frantically searched the darkness for friends and family. Acclaimed historian Larry Morris tells the gripping minute-by-minute saga of the survivors who endured the interminable night, the first responders who risked their lives and the families who waited days and weeks for word of their missing loved ones.

Wonderlandscape: Yellowstone National Park and the Evolution of an American Cultural Icon


John Clayton - 2017
    Today is often a byword for conservation, natural beauty, and a way for everyone to enjoy the great outdoors. But it was not always this way. Wonderlandscape presents a new perspective on Yellowstone, the emotions various natural wonders and attractions evoke, and how this explains the park's relationship to America as a whole.Whether it is artists or naturalists, entrepreneurs or pop-culture icons, each character in the story of Yellowstone ends up reflecting and redefining the park for the values of its era. For example, when Ernest Thompson Seton wanted to observe bears in 1897, his adventures highlighted the way the park transformed from a set of geological oddities to a wildlife sanctuary, reflecting a nation was concerned about disappearing populations of bison and other species. Subsequent eras added Rooseveltian masculinity, democratic patriotism, ecosystem science, and artistic inspiration as core Yellowstone hallmarks.As the National Park system enters its second century, Wonderlandscape allows us to reflect on the values and heritage that Yellowstone alone has come to represent—how it will shape the America's relationship with her land for generations to come.

Walking Home: A Traveler in the Alaskan Wilderness, a Journey into the Human Heart


Lynn Schooler - 2010
    Seeking solace and escape in nature, he sets out on a solo journey into the Alaskan wilderness, traveling first by small boat across the formidable Gulf of Alaska, then on foot along one of the wildest coastlines in North America. Walking Home is filled with stunning observations of the natural world, and rife with nail-biting adventure as Schooler fords swollen rivers and eludes aggressive grizzlies. But more important, it is a story about finding wholeness—and a sense of humanity—in the wild. His is a solitary journey, but Schooler is never alone; human stories people the landscape—tales of trappers, explorers, marooned sailors, and hermits, as well as the mythology of the region's Tlingit Indians. Alone in the middle of several thousand square miles of wilderness, Schooler conjures the souls of travelers past to learn how the trials of life may be better borne with the help and community of others. Walking Home recalls Jonathan Raban's Passage to Juneau or Jon Krakauer's Into the Wild, but with a more successful outcome. With elegance and soul, Schooler creates a conversation between the human and the natural, the past and present, to investigate what it means to be a part of the flow of human history.

The Quiet World: Saving Alaska's Wilderness Kingdom, 1879-1960


Douglas Brinkley - 2011
    Brinkley explores the colorful diversity of Alaska’s wildlife, arrays the forces that have wreaked havoc on its primeval arctic refuge—from Klondike Gold Rush prospectors to environmental disasters like the Exxon-Valdez oil spill—and documents environmental heroes from Theodore Roosevelt to Dwight Eisenhower and beyond. Not merely a record of Alaska’s past, Quiet World is a compelling call-to-arms for sustainability, conservationism, and conscientious environmental stewardship—a warning that the land once called Seward’s Folly may go down in history as America’s Greatest Mistake.

Last Stand: George Bird Grinnell, the Battle to Save the Buffalo, and the Birth of the New West


Michael Punke - 2007
    It was the era of Manifest Destiny, a Gilded Age that treated the West as nothing more than a treasure chest of resources to be dug up or shot down. The buffalo in this world was a commodity, hounded by legions of swashbucklers and unemployed veterans seeking to make their fortunes. Supporting these hide hunters, even buying their ammunition, was the U.S. Army, which considered the eradication of the buffalo essential to victory in its ongoing war on Native Americans.Into that maelstrom rode young George Bird Grinnell. A scientist and a journalist, a hunter and a conservationist, Grinnell would lead the battle to save the buffalo from extinction. Fighting in the pages of magazines, in Washington's halls of power, and in the frozen valleys of Yellowstone, Grinnell and his allies sought to preserve an icon from the grinding appetite of Robber Baron America.Grinnell shared his adventures with some of the greatest and most infamous characters of the American West—from John James Audubon and Buffalo Bill to George Armstrong Custer and Theodore Roosevelt (Grinnell's friend and ally). A strikingly contemporary story, the saga of Grinnell and the buffalo was the first national battle over the environment. In Grinnell's legacy is the birth of the conservation movement as a potent political force.

Leave Only Footprints: My Acadia-to-Zion Journey Through Every National Park


Conor Knighton - 2020
    But, after a broken engagement and a broken heart, he desperately needed a change of scenery. The ambitious plan he cooked up went a bit overboard in that department; Knighton set out to visit every single one of America's National Parks, from Acadia to Zion. Leave Only Footprints is the memoir of his year spent traveling across the United States, a journey that yielded his "On the Trail" series, which quickly became one of CBS Sunday Morning's most beloved segments. In this smart, informative, and often hilarious book, he'll share how his journey through these natural wonders, unchanged by man, ended up changing his worldview on everything from God to politics to love and technology. Whether it's waking up early for a naked scrub in an Arkansas bathhouse or staying up late to stargaze along our loneliest highway, Knighton goes behind the scenery to provide an unfiltered look at America. In the tradition of books like A Walk in the Woods or Turn Right at Machu Picchu, this is an irresistible mix of personal narrative and travelogue-some well-placed pop culture references, too-and a must-read for any of the 331 million yearly National Parks visitors.

Lassoing the Sun: A Year in America's National Parks


Mark Woods - 2016
    Mark’s most vivid childhood memories are set against a backdrop of mountains, woods, and fireflies in places like Redwood, Yosemite, and Grand Canyon national parks.On the eve of turning fifty and a little burned-out, Mark decided to reconnect with the great outdoors. He'd spend a year visiting the national parks. He planned to take his mother to a park she'd not yet visited and to re-create his childhood trips with his wife and their iPad-generation daughter.But then the unthinkable happened: his mother was diagnosed with cancer, given just months to live. Mark had initially intended to write a book about the future of the national parks, but Lassoing the Sun grew into something more: a book about family, the parks, the legacies we inherit and the ones we leave behind.

Dark Romance of Dian Fossey


Harold T.P. Hayes - 1990
    However, the closer to anthropoids, the farther from humans. More militant each year, she antagonized friends and earned enemies. In the end they killed her."Only the author's disciplined research, compassionate heart and inspired prose could have made us understand how one woman saved the animals that she loved so much." --Diane McMeekin, African Wildlife Foundation

Beyond the Outer Shores: The Untold Odyssey of Ed Ricketts, the Pioneering Ecologist Who Inspired John Steinbeck and Joseph Campbell


Eric Enno Tamm - 2005
    Steinbeck immortalized Monterey's bohemian spirit in Cannery Row, but the area's true lifeblood was his best friend and mentor, Ed Ricketts. Today Ed Ricketts is usually remembered as "Doc"—the beer-drinking philosopher-scientist who presided over Monterey's population of "whores, pimps, gamblers, and sons of bitches" in Cannery Row—but Ricketts was actually a trailblazing ecologist who did seminal work in the emerging field on the Pacific Coast. His ideas were decades before their time, and his two books, Between Pacific Tides and Sea of Cortez (coauthored with Steinbeck), are still considered classics. Now, some sixty years after his untimely death, Ricketts' ecological approach and ethic seem more relevant than ever.

Where the Wild Winds Are: Walking Europe's Winds from the Pennines to Provence


Nick Hunt - 2017
    Almost thirty years later he set off in search of the legendary winds of Europe; from the Helm, to the Bora, the Foehn and the Mistral.Where the Wild Winds Are is Nick Hunt's story of following the wind from the fells of Cumbria to the Alps, the Rhone to the Adriatic coast, to explore how these unseen powers affect the countries and cultures of Europe, and to map a new type of journey across the continent. From the author of the Dolman Prize-shortlisted Walking the Woods and the Water.

Category 5: The 1935 Labor Day Hurricane


Thomas Neil Knowles - 2009
    With winds estimated at over 225 miles per hour, it was the first recorded Category 5 hurricane to make landfall in the United States.Striking at a time before storms were named, the catastrophic tropical cyclone became known as the 1935 Labor Day Hurricane, and its aftermath was felt all the way to Washington, D.C. In the hardest hit area of the Florida Keys, three out of every five residents were killed, while hundreds of World War I veterans sent there by the federal government perished.By sifting through overlooked official records and interviewing survivors and the relatives of victims, Thomas Knowles pieces together this dramatic story, moment by horrifying moment. He explains what daily life was like on the Keys, why the veteran work force was there (and relatively unprotected), the state of weather forecasting at the time, the activities of the media covering the disaster, and the actions of government agencies in the face of severe criticism over their response to the disaster.The Labor Day Hurricane of 1935 remains one of the most intense to strike America's shores. Category 5 is a sobering reminder that even with modern meteorological tools and emergency management systems, a similar storm could cause even more death and destruction today.