In 1988, forest fires raged in Yellowstone National Park, destroying more than a million acres. As the nation watched the land around Old Faithful burn, a longstanding conflict over fire management reached a fever pitch. Should the U.S. Park and Forest Services suppress fires immediately or allow some to run their natural course? When should firefighters be sent to battle the flames and at what cost? In Scorched Earth, Barker, an environmental reporter who was on the ground and in the smoke during the 1988 fires, shows us that many of today's arguments over fire and the nature of public land began to take shape soon after the Civil War. As Barker explains, how the government responded to early fires in Yellowstone and to private investors in the region led ultimately to the protection of 600 million acres of public lands in the United States. Barker uses his considerable narrative talents to bring to life a fascinating, but often neglected, piece of American history. Scorched Earth lays a new foundation for examining current fire and environmental policies in America and the world. Our story begins when the West was yet to be won, with a colorful cast of characters: a civil war general and his soldiers, America's first investment banker, railroad men, naturalists, and fire-fighters-all of whom left their mark on Yellowstone. As the truth behind the creation of America's first national park is revealed, we discover the remarkable role the U.S. Army played in protecting Yellowstone and shaping public lands in the West. And we see the developing efforts of conservation's great figures as they struggled to preserve our heritage. With vivid descriptions of the famous fires that have raged in Yellowstone, the heroes who have tried to protect it, and the strategies that evolved as a result, Barker draws us into the very heart of a debate over our attempts to control nature and people. This entertaining and timely book challenges the traditional views both of those who arrogantly seek full control of nature and those who naively believe we can leave it unaltered. And it demonstrates how much of our broader environmental history was shaped in the lands of Yellowstone.
John Muir believed that excessive grazing and logging would result in the destruction of the wilderness, so campaigned to designate the area a protected national park. Muir describes the botanicals of the landscape, his enthusiasm infectious. With a new introduction from Terry Gifford, the message in The Yosemite is more pertinent now than ever.
As a young Norwegian Lutheran teenager in rural Wisconsin, Brocker lay awake one night worrying whether he believed in Jesus enough to get to heaven. This getting-to-heaven anxiety reflected an excessive focus on individual salvation and a loss of concern for the well-being of the Earth community. A faith journey that leaves Earth behind is misguided. Ever since those early teen years Brocker has been on a journey to come home to Earth. Coming Home to Earth makes the case that there is no salvation apart from Earth and that Earth care is at the core of our identity and mission as followers of Jesus. The ecological consequences of a loss of concern for the well-being of Earth have been devastating. Brocker is especially concerned to determine what will motivate followers of Jesus to make radical changes in our way of life so that we can participate in the healing of wounded Earth and all of its inhabitants, both human and nonhuman. We are far more likely to make needed sacrifices for our fellow creatures if we share God's delight in and affection for them, and cherish Earth as our home.
John Muir is best known for his work in preserving the great natural areas of America. What is not commonly known is that he was also a great contemplative thinker - a sort of "wilderness mystic" - one who experienced union with the Divine through contact with the great natural areas of the Western United States. Muir's preservation efforts were motivated in large part by his experience of the spiritual dimension of Nature. It was Muir's earthy mysticism that motivated him to work so diligently for the preservation of wild places, which he viewed as "God's First Temples." This book is a sort of "bible" of Muir quotations related to a vibrant and ecstatic spirituality of Nature. It includes a new selection of never-before published selections from original journals contained in the John Muir Papers, as well as passages from his published works. Anyone interested in experiencing a deeper communion with Nature will find this book invaluable.
With a strong political tone and shrewd, subtle manoeuvring, Muir uses Our National Parks to persuade his readership of the necessity of nature and national parks for human recreation and more importantly for health and wellbeing, as well as the - in his mind - obvious need for preservation of wild ecosystems.
It's 1873. Gore-Tex shells and aluminum climbing gear are a century away, but the high mountains still demand your attention. Imagine the stone in your hands and thousands of feet of open air below you, with only a wool jacket to weather a storm and no rope to catch a fall. Daniel Arnold did more than imagine he spent three years retracing the steps of his climbing forefathers, and in Early Days in the Range of Light, he tells their riveting stories. From 1864 to 1931, the Sierra Nevada witnessed some of the most audacious climbing of all time. In the spirit of his predecessors, Arnold carried only rudimentary equipment no ropes, no harness, no specialized climbing shoes. Sometimes he left his backpack and sleeping bag behind as well, and, like John Muir, traveled for days with only a few pounds of food rolled into a sack slung over his shoulder. In an artful blend of history, biography, nature, and adventure writing, Arnold brings to life the journeys and the terrain traveled. In the process he uncovers the motivations that drove an extraordinary group of individuals to risk so much for airy summits and close contact with bare stone and snow.
Three Immersions Into Alaskan Wilderness and Culture
Author: John Muir
Travels in Alaska details three of Muir's trips to Alaska: 1879, 1880 and 1890, each one embedded with stunning metaphors, a dedicated love of Mother Nature and a desire to protect and preserve wildness, this book is an insight not only into Alaska, but into Muir himself.
Tongue-tied travellers need not despair. This compact Lonely Planet phrase book provides a two-way dictionary, a pronunciation guide and keys to mastering the local idiom. Also included are handy maps and detailed sections on food, accommodations and travel. A special section covers the flora and fauna of Costa Rica.