One Woman's Journey from the Arctic Circle to the Olympic Rain Forest
Author: Susan Zwinger
Publisher: Big Earth Publishing
The northwestern edge of North America is a final edge to settle on a finite planet. Where does mankind go from here? Where else have we not settled, altered, and consumed? Author Susan Zwinger suspects that we have saved this wild edge for last because its geography is punched, exploded, ground, and drenched. Its forest of enormous trees once created a boundary difficult to penetrate, let alone farm. Yet, today this wildness is under threat, as civilization bores its way into even this remote edge.
"Opinionated and iconoclastic, Petersen writes with humor and a well-honed craft that will delight fans of Edward Abbey." -Library Journal (starred review) Twenty-five years ago David Petersen and his wife, Caroline, pulled up stakes, trading Laguna Beach, California, for a snug hand-built cabin in the wilderness. Today he knows that mountain land as intimately as anyone can know his home. Petersen conflates a quarter century into the adventures of four high-country seasons, tracking the rigors of survival from the snowmelt that announces the arrival of spring to the decline and death of autumn and winter that will establish the fertile ground needed for next year's rebirth. In the past we listened to Henry David Thoreau or Aldo Leopold; today it is Petersen's turn. His observations are lyrical, scientific, and from the heart. He reinforces Thoreau's dictum: "in wildness is the preservation of the earth." In prose rich with mystery and soul, his words are a plea for the survival of the remnant wilderness. "Many of us would like to live a life of greater intention and simplicity, but few can and even fewer do. David Petersen is one of those rare human beings among us who lives a wild life with a cultured mind . . . [He] has created a map all of us can follow."-Terry Tempest Williams, author of The Open Space of Democracy
Noted psychotherapist Francis Weller provides an essential guide for navigating the deep waters of sorrow and loss in this lyrical yet practical handbook for mastering the art of grieving. Describing how Western patterns of amnesia and anesthesia affect our capacity to cope with personal and collective sorrows, Weller reveals the new vitality we may encounter when we welcome, rather than fear, the pain of loss. Through moving personal stories, poetry, and insightful reflections he leads us into the central energy of sorrow, and to the profound healing and heightened communion with each other and our planet that reside alongside it. The Wild Edge of Sorrow explains that grief has always been communal and illustrates how we need the healing touch of others, an atmosphere of compassion, and the comfort of ritual in order to fully metabolize our grief. Weller describes how we often hide our pain from the world, wrapping it in a secret mantle of shame. This causes sorrow to linger unexpressed in our bodies, weighing us down and pulling us into the territory of depression and death. We have come to fear grief and feel too alone to face an encounter with the powerful energies of sorrow. Those who work with people in grief, who have experienced the loss of a loved one, who mourn the ongoing destruction of our planet, or who suffer the accumulated traumas of a lifetime will appreciate the discussion of obstacles to successful grief work such as privatized pain, lack of communal rituals, a pervasive feeling of fear, and a culturally restrictive range of emotion. Weller highlights the intimate bond between grief and gratitude, sorrow and intimacy. In addition to showing us that the greatest gifts are often hidden in the things we avoid, he offers powerful tools and rituals and a list of resources to help us transform grief into a force that allows us to live and love more fully.
This book describes Ian McAllister's experiences over that period following two packs of wolves, one that dominates the extreme outer coastal islands, and another that lives farther inland in the heart of the temperate rainforest. McAllister, along with Chris Darimont and Paul C. Paquet, were the first to document the unique behavior of these animals in The Last Wild Wolves. In Following the Last Wild Wolves, McAllister brings readers up to date describing what has happened to the wolves and their environment since the book first appeared. He chronicles their unique behavior as they fish for salmon in the fall, target seals hauled out on rocks in winter, and give birth to their young in spring. He also describes the work of scientists with the Raincoast Conservation Society who have been studying the wolves and explains how their science corroborates his own observations and the traditional knowledge of the area’s Native people. Most interestingly, the results of these studies reveal a genetically distinct population of wolves independent of and separate from all other known wolf populations on the planet.
Women Writing Nature addresses the question, 'Do women write about nature differently?' In the process, the collection considers women's writings about the natural world in light of recent and current feminist and ecofeminist theory.
The desert country along the Columbia River is one of the WestÕs least-known desert placesÑone that most people donÕt even drive through unless they are unusually curious travelers. The Hanford Reach is the last free stretch of the river between the McNary and Priest Rapids Dams, a place boasting a varied landscape of floodplains, wetlands, deserts, orchardsÑand nuclear reactors. This is not a place that people think to visit. Known primarily for hosting the countryÕs most toxic nuclear outpost, it is public land that barely exists in public consciousness. But because the Reach has been posted off-limits by the military since 1943, this book offers readers a little-seen glimpse into what the Pacific NorthwestÕs arid east was like before the postwar boom. Susan Zwinger has kayaked the Columbia through Hanford Reach with scientists and activists who are helping to restore it, and in this book she outlines the geographical extent of the Reach, reviews its history, and takes readers through the terrain by foot, on road, and on the river. Here is a land of dark lava flows and basalt cliffs interspersed throughout subtle, pale shrub-steppe, a table of aridity cut through by one of the countryÕs most prodigious rivers. ZwingerÕs sparkling text, enhanced by Skip SmithÕs striking photos, captures the subtleties of the contrasting vistas, just as it makes clear the depth of the radioactive poisoning within the soil and wildlife. We have only just begun to unfold the landÕs treasuresÑpetroglyphs, ancient village sites, new species, and geological wondersÑand in 2000, President Clinton protected 560 square miles of land as the Hanford Reach National Monument. This book celebrates what is preserved in that buffer zone at the dawn of a new era of environmental responsibility.