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National Book Award–winner Timothy Egan turns his historian's eye to the largest-ever forest fire in America and offers an epic, cautionary tale for our time. On the afternoon of August 20, 1910, a battering ram of wind moved through the drought-stricken national forests of Washington, Idaho, and Montana, whipping the hundreds of small blazes burning across the forest floor into a roaring inferno that jumped from treetop to ridge as it raged, destroying towns and timber in the blink of an eye. Forest rangers had assembled nearly ten thousand men to fight the fires, but no living person had seen anything like those flames, and neither the rangers nor anyone else knew how to subdue them. Egan recreates the struggles of the overmatched rangers against the implacable fire with unstoppable dramatic force, and the larger story of outsized president Teddy Roosevelt and his chief forester, Gifford Pinchot, that follows is equally resonant. Pioneering the notion of conservation, Roosevelt and Pinchot did nothing less than create the idea of public land as our national treasure, owned by every citizen. Even as TR's national forests were smoldering they were saved: The heroism shown by his rangers turned public opinion permanently in favor of the forests, though it changed the mission of the forest service in ways we can still witness today. This e-book includes a sample chapter of SHORT NIGHTS OF THE SHADOW CATCHER.
Rapidly disappearing bison in the late 1800s prompted progressive thinkers to call for the preservation of wild lands and wildlife in North America. Following a legendary hunt for the last wild bison in central Montana, Dr. William Hornady sought to immortalize the West's most iconic species. Activists like Theodore Roosevelt rose to the call, initiating a restoration plan that seemed almost incomprehensible in that era. Follow the journey from the first animals bred at the Bronx Zoo to today's National Bison Range. Glenn Plumb, retired National Park Service chief wildlife biologist, and Keith Aune, retired Wildlife Conservation Society director of bison programs, detail Roosevelt's conservation legacy and the landmark efforts of many others.
Pulitzer Prize nominated journalist Wendy Melillo authors the first book to explore the history of the Ad Council and the campaigns that brought public service announcements to the nation through the mass media. How McGruff and the Crying Indian Changed America: A History of Iconic Ad Council Campaigns details how public service advertising campaigns became part of our national conversation and changed us as a society. The Ad Council began during World War II as a propaganda arm of President Roosevelt's administration to preserve its business interests. Happily for the ad industry, it was a double play: the government got top-notch work; the industry got an insider relationship that proved useful when warding off regulation. From Rosie the Riveter to Smokey Bear to McGruff the Crime Dog, How McGruff and the Crying Indian Changed America explores the issues and campaigns that have been paramount to the nation's collective memory and looks at challenges facing public service campaigns in the current media environment.
With its soaring azure sky and stark landscapes, the American Southwest is one of the most hauntingly beautiful regions on earth. Yet staggering population growth, combined with the intensifying effects of climate change, is driving the oasis-based society close to the brink of a Dust-Bowl-scale catastrophe. In A Great Aridness, William deBuys paints a compelling picture of what the Southwest might look like when the heat turns up and the water runs out. This semi-arid land, vulnerable to water shortages, rising temperatures, wildfires, and a host of other environmental challenges, is poised to bear the heaviest consequences of global environmental change in the United States. Examining interrelated factors such as vanishing wildlife, forest die backs, and the over-allocation of the already stressed Colorado River--upon which nearly 30 million people depend--the author narrates the landscape's history--and future. He tells the inspiring stories of the climatologists and others who are helping untangle the complex, interlocking causes and effects of global warming. And while the fate of this region may seem at first blush to be of merely local interest, what happens in the Southwest, deBuys suggests, will provide a glimpse of what other mid-latitude arid lands worldwide--the Mediterranean Basin, southern Africa, and the Middle East--will experience in the coming years. Written with an elegance that recalls the prose of John McPhee and Wallace Stegner, A Great Aridness offers an unflinching look at the dramatic effects of climate change occurring right now in our own backyard.
Since the 1950s, the housing developments in the West that historian Lincoln Bramwell calls �wilderburbs� have offered residents both the pleasures of living in nature and the creature comforts of the suburbs. Remote from cities but still within commuting distance, nestled next to lakes and rivers or in forests and deserts, and often featuring spectacular views of public lands, wilderburbs celebrate the natural beauty of the American West and pose a vital threat to it. Wilderburbs tells the story of how roads and houses and water development have transformed the rural landscape in the West. Bramwell introduces readers to developers, homeowners, and government regulators, all of whom have faced unexpected environmental problems in designing and building wilderburb communities, including unpredictable water supplies, threats from wildfires, and encounters with wildlife. By looking at wilderburbs in the West, especially those in Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico, Bramwell uncovers the profound environmental consequences of Americans� desire to live in the wilderness.
Hiking Washington�s History reveals the stories embedded in Washington�s landscape. This trail guide narrates forty historic trails, ranging from short day hikes to three- or four-day backpacking trips over mountain passes. Every region in the state is included, from the northwesternmost tip of the continental United States at Cape Flattery to the remote Blue Mountains in the southeast. Each chapter begins with a brief overview of the region�s history followed by individual trail narratives and historical highlights. Quotes from diaries, journals, letters, and reports, as well as contemporary and historic photographs, describe sites and trails from Washington�s past. Each trail description includes a map and provides directions, so hikers can follow the historic route. Judy Bentley tells readers how to get there, what to expect, and what to look for. Despite Washington State�s rapid growth, a remarkable number of historic trails have been preserved in national parks, restored by cities and towns, returned to public use by the railroads, or opened to hikers by Native American tribes. Some trails, such as the Iron Goat Trail, have been fully restored and interpreted. Others, such as the Naches Pass Trail, have been abused but survive. Some are easily accessible, such as the Duwamish River Trail in Seattle and the Spokane House trails near Spokane. Others, such as Chief Joseph�s Summer Trail, require a half-day journey just to reach the trailhead. Hiking Washington�s History is for hikers, amateur historians, newcomers unfamiliar with the state's history, and Northwest natives who know only part of that history. Savor the vicarious experience of a hike from a cozy chair on a rainy winter day, or put your boots on and hit the trail when the sun shines. Watch the book trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5aulywhW2mY

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