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July 28th, 2017

New Strategies for Wicked Problems explores the various wicked problems-- problems that may be impossible or difficult to solve-- that impact our world today. Many of these issues are in need of democratic, creative, and effective solutions. Edward P. Weber, Denise Lach, and Brent S. Steel, professors here at Oregon State University, sought out the essays of other scholars in science, politics, and policy to address the challenges at hand. As a result, New Strategies for Wicked Problems gives a wide variety of alternative solutions to many major contemporary issues. Today readers will get an inside look at one of the Pacific Northwest's bigger issues: the decline in salmon runs and the secondary issues that arise from addressing such a significant problem.




Chapter 3: Science and Salmon Recovery
"Policy Context"
Robert T. Lackey

The striking decline of salmon runs in California, Oregon, Washington, and Idaho has been typical of those that have occurred elsewhere. In other regions of the world where salmon were once plentiful, increasing human numbers, their activities, and consequent alteration of the landscape have coincided with decreasing salmon abundance. Thus, what has happened-- and is happening-- to wild salmon in California, Oregon, Washington, and Idaho is the latest example of a pattern that has played out numerous times in other regions of the world for salmon (Lack et al. 2006) and other fish species (Limburg and Waldman 2009; Limburg et al. 2011).

Prior to the 1800s, large spawning migrations (runs) of Atlantic salmon were found in many coastal rivers of western Europe and eastern North America (Montgomery 2003, National Research Council 2004). By the middle to late 1800s, many of those runs were drastically reduced, concurrent with human population increase and economic development (Limburg and Waldman 2009). Overall, salmon runs continue to be much reduced on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. The largest remaining Atlantic salmon runs, although diminished by historical standards, occur in eastern Canada, Iceland, Ireland, Scotland, and the northern rivers of Norway, Finland, and Russia, locations with relatively few people and limited human impact on the aquatic environment. Nevertheless, Atlantic salmon are readily available in the retail market because commercial aquaculture provides an ample and consistent supply.

As with Atlantic salmon, Pacific salmon (Chinook, coho, sockeye, chum, pink, and steelhead) were historically abundant across a large region (Augerot 2005). Nevertheless, Pacific salmon, found on both sides of the North Pacific, have also declined substantially from historical levels, especially in the southern portion of their distribution, although not as dramaticaly as Atlantic salmon (Nehlsen 1997). Hatchery production has been used to maintain most runs in southern portions of the range (e.g., Japan, Korea, California, Oregon, and Washington). Today, in California, Oregon, Washington, and Idaho, runs that are sufficiently large to support commerical, recreational, and tribal fishing almost always comprise mainly hatchery-produced salmon. Runs of wild salmon in the northern portions of the range (e.g., Russian Far East, Alaska, Yukon, and northern British Columbia) are in better condition, though large hatchery programs exist in these regions as well (Nehlsen 1997). There are indications that salmon numbers are increasing in Arctic habitats, presumably caused by an overall warming trend (Nielsen et al. 2013).

The discoveries of gold in California (1848) and elsewhere later resulted in substantial adverse effects on many salmon runs (Lackey et al. 2006c). Efforts to protect and restore salmon populations in California, Oregon, Washington, and Idaho began in the early 1850s, and such efforts have been technically challenging, socially contentious, and politically painful (National Research Council 2012). Overall, past recovery efforts for wild salmon (in contrast to salmon bred and raised in hatcheries) have been largely unsuccessful (National Research Council 1996, 2012). Over many decades, thousands of scientists have been involved with salmon recovery efforts, but prospects for recovery of wild salmon remain elusive (Scarce 2000, National Research Council 2012).  Of the nearly 1,400 distinct Pacific salmon populations that occurred prior to 1848 in California, Oregon, Washington, and Idaho, an estimated 29 percent have been extirpated (Gustafson et al. 2007). The remaining populations of wild salmon are greatly reduced, with almost all at less than 5 percent of their historical levels (Schoonmaker et al. 2003). Twenty-eight evolutionary significant units (i.e., a group of salmon populations considered to be a "species" for purposes of regulatory protection) are formally listed as either threatened or endangered as defined by the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

Salmon recovery efforts are costly, though deciding which specific expenses should be deemed recovery costs is complicated and the subject of debate. Just within the Columbia River Basin, for example, salmon recovery costs have totaled approximately $10 billion since 1978 (Northwest Power and Conservation Council 2013), though part of this estimate reflects lost electricity sales (i.e., "forgone revenue") when the hydropower system curbed generation to meet constraints imposed by salmon recovery requirements (e.g., passing water downstream, but bypassing turbines that harm salmon).

As a public policy case study, wild salmon recovery in California, Oregon, Washington, and Idaho is characterized by many apparent conundrums:

  • For well over a century, both scientists and the public have recognized the dramatic decline of wild salmon runs, but consensus remains elusive on a regional recovery policy that would actually work.
  • At least several billion dollars has been spent to restore wild salmon, but their overall, long-term downward trajectory continues.
  • Many populations of wild salmon are listed as "threatened" or "endangered," yet wild salmon are available seasonally in grocery stores-- and farm-raised fresh salmon are sold year around.
  • The various species of salmon are among the most thoroughly studied fishes in the world, but the failure of recovery efforts is often attributed to a lack of scientific information (Naiman et al. 2012).
  • Thousands of scientists and other technological experts are employed to facilitate the recovery of wild salmon, but, over the long term, salmon populations have rarely responded positively to these recovery efforts (Lackey et al. 2006c).
  • The Endangered Species Act, arguably the most powerful US environmental law, has been extensively used by some policy advocates to impose federal authority by listing various salmon species as either threatened or endangered; however, this approach has been insufficient to achieve salmon recovery (Lack 2001b).
  • The overarching goal of the ESA is to protect at-risk species and the habitat on which they depend, but this law, counterintuitively, may impede recovery of wild salmon in watersheds where the chances of recovery are the greatest (Lach et al. 2006).
  • To offset the effects on salmon runs of certain dams constructed for hydropower, irrigation, and other purposes, federal, state, and tribal governments are required to operate salmon hatchery programs to supplement runs to sustain fishing, but these programs may actually weaken wild salmon runs (Lichatowich 1999).
  • Federal and state agencies are mandated with protecting and restoring wild salmon runs, but they are also tasked with promoting harvest (i.e., fishing), which can work, by definition, against recovery.
In sum, the salmon recovery issue is a classic example of the difficulties of effectively addressing wicked problems. Scientists engaged in salmon recovery issues tend to depict the policy debate as a scientific or ecological challenge, and the "solutions" they offer are usually focused on aspects of salmon ecology (Naiman et al. 2012). Even though there is an extensive scientific literature about salmon (Quinn 2005, Lackey et al. 2006a), experience thus far suggests that the future of wild salmon will largely be determined almost entirely by factors outside the scope of science (Williams et al. 1999, Montgomery 2003, Lackey et al. 2006b). More specifically, to effect a long-term reversal of the downward trajectory of wild salmon, a broad, interdependent, and complex suite of important public policy questions must be considered and effectively dealt with to successfully recover wild salmon to significant, sustainable levels:
  • Hydroelectric energy. How costly and reliable does society want energy to be, given that wild salmon ultimately are affected by providing the relatively cheap, carbon-free, and reliable energy produced by hydropower?
  • Land use. Where will people be able to live, how much living space will they be permitted, what activities will they be able to do on their own land, and what personal choices will they have in deciding how land is used?
  • Property rights. Will the acceptable use of private land be altered, and who or what institutions will decide what constitutes acceptable use?
  • Food cost and choice. Will food continue to be subsidized by taxpayers (e.g., publicly funded irrigation, crop subsidies), or will the price of food be determined solely by a  free market?
  • Economic opportunities. How will high-paying jobs be created and sustained for present and subsequent generations?
  • Individual freedoms. Which, if any, personal rights or behavioral choices will be compromised or sacrificed if society is genuinely committed to restoring wild salmon?
  • Evolving priorities. Is society willing to continue substituting hatchery-produced salmon for wild salmon, and, if so, will the ESA permit this?
  • Political realities. Will society support modifying the ESA such that salmon recovery expenditures can be shifted to those watersheds offering the best chance of success?
  • Cultural legacies. Which individuals, and groups, if any, will be granted the right to fish, and who or what institutions will decide?
  • Indian treaties. Will treaties between the United States and various tribes-- guaranteeing Native American fishing rights and comanagement (with US states) of salmon stocks, and negotiated more than 150 years ago-- be modified to reflect today's dramatically different biological, economic, and demographic realities?
  • Population policy. -- What, if anything, will society do to influence or control the level of human population in California, Oregon, Washington, and Idaho, or indeed the United States as a whole?
  • Ecological realities. Given likely future conditions (i.e., an apparently warming climate), what wild salmon recovery goals are biologicall realistic?
  • Budgetary realities. Will the fact that the annual cost of sustaining hatchery and wild salmon runs in California, Oregon, Washington, and Idaho exceeds the overall commerical market value of the harvest eventually mean that such a level of budgetary expenditure will become less politically viable?
These are all key policy questions germane to the public debate over wild salmon recovery policy, and they highlight how scientific information, while at some level relevant and necessary, is clearly not at the crux of the policy debate. In short, scientists can provide useful technical insight and ecological reality checks to help the public and decision-makers answer these policy questions, but science is only one input among many (Policansky 1998, Scarce 2000, National Research Council 2012). 

July 10th, 2017

Barbara Mahoney, author of The Salem Clique: Oregon's Founding Brothers, joins us today with an introduction to her book and an excerpt taken from Chapter One, "Bring all your guns to bear and reach Oregon."


Politics in the Oregon Territory was dominated by a group of young men known to their contemporaries and to historians as the Salem Clique. Members organized the territory's Democratic party. They served in legislative, executive and judicial offices. They were the major impetus for Oregon's pursuit to statehood, key members of its constitutional convention, and a powerful influence in keeping Oregon in the Union when the Civil War broke out. Their story is also the story of the newspapers of the era, in particular the Salem Oregon Statesman and the Portland Oregonian. The absence of a detailed study of the Clique and [my] interest in Oregon's history led [me] to research and write The Salem Clique: Oregon's Founding Brothers.


Chapter One: "Bring all your guns to bear and reach Oregon"

In February 1846, the Oregon Territory reached another important milestone when members of the Oregon City Pioneer Lyceum and Literary Club formed the Oregon Printing Association in order to found the Oregon Spectator. The first newspaper west of the Missouri River, preceding the first in California by seven months, was published in four pages twice a month. Its editors made their intentions clear: "It will be our object to give foreign as well as internal news. Our means of obtaining news at present are limited. But as the country improves, facilities for obtaining news will improve. Our columns will be open for the reception of literary productions, and all scientific gentlemen are invited to contribute to enable us to give as much general information as possible." The caveat about the difficulty of obtaining news of distant events reflected the isolation of the Oregon country, which through the 1850s had neither direct cross country telegraph nor rail connections. That isolation made many, both in Oregon and in the East, continue to question whether it could ever be a real part of the United States.

Few "scientific gentlemen" responded to the Spectator's invitation. The newspaper consisted largely of commentary and advertising. It championed economic development and the construction of roads and railroads. Its first editor was W. G. T'Vault, a lawyer and an officer of the Oregon Printing Association. While the association had early disavowed the newspaper's use "by any party for the purpose of propagating sectarian principles or doctrines, nor for the discussion of exclusive party politics," T'Vault printed his own political opinions and was soon dismissed. Two other men, H. A. G. Lee and James Fleming, took charge for a few months until the editor's post was passed to George Curry. Originally from Philadelphia and only twenty-six years old, Curry had just arrived in Oregon after a short time as editor of a newspaper in Saint Louis. He took the Spectator position with a disclaimer about his lack of experience along with an expression of his pride in being the editor of the only paper in the Oregon country. Curry pledged that the paper would have a "consistent American tone" and would promote "temperance, morality, science and intelligence." But less than two years later, he too was dismissed, an outcome he attributed to his resistance to Governor Abernethy's demand that the paper serve his own partisan interests.

Abernethy's concerns about his political future were certainly heightened by Curry's role in efforts to get Congress to pass legislation formally establishing the Oregon Territory. If Oregon became an official Territory, its governor would be appointed by the president of the United States, rather than elected by the people. Abernethy was well aware that it was highly unlikely that the president would appoint him to the office. Despite his opposition, an organized campaign gained strength within the Oregon country. But its supporters found winning congressional support for territorial status for Oregon a challenging process. The Organic Act's provision against slavery provoked the opposition of southerners who feared that it would set a precedent for other Territories including the recently acquired Texas. After considerable argument, the House of Representatives passed the Oregon bill on January 16, 1847, by a 133-35 majority, only to have it tabled in the Senate. When word of the standstill reached the territory, the pressure from Oregon heightened. George Curry was one of three signers of a Petition to Congress formulated by a convention of delegates from throughout the Territory and dated October 2, 1847. Proclaiming the desperate need for an effective government, it appealed to Congress for "magnanimity and justice." The petitioners lamented the reality that "we, a small, distant, and poor community of few citizens in Oregon, shall be the sole, solitary victims of our country's neglect and injustice-- it was this that pierced our heart.... Our forefathers complained that they were oppressed by the mother country, and they had a just right to complain. We do not complain of oppression, but of neglect. Even the tyrant has his moments of relaxation and kindness, but neglect never wears a smile."

Before the petition could arrive in Washington, the House sent a second bill to the Senate. Senator Calhoun led the opposition, convinced that if Congress outlawed slavery in Oregon it was declaring slavery wrong, and claiming the right to address that wrong anywhere in the country. In his argument, he rejected the cardinal premise of the Declaration of Indepence, that all men are created equal, and instead asserted that "All men are not created. Only two, a man and a woman, were created, and one of these was pronounced subordinate to the other.... Instead of liberty and equality being born with men, and instead of all men and classes being entitled to them, they are high prizes to be won-- rewards bestowed on moral and mental development."

Senator Thomas Hart Benton of Missouri, who had also vigorously supported the Buchanan-Pakenham Treaty, parted company with Calhoun on the Territory issue. Such was his advocacy that Jesse Applegate acclaimed him as "the one who had more influence in the matter of securing this country to the US than all other men put together." An enthusiastic expansionist, Benton was knowledgeable about the Oregon country and concerned about the wellbeing of the settlers in light of Native American hostility. In his view, a territorial government afforded the best defense. Although he represented a slave state, he dismissed that issue in the case of Oregon which he thought poorly suited to slavery.

On August 13, 1848, after months of argument and legislative maneuvers, the Senate finally passed the bill by a narrow margin and sent it to President Polk who signed it despite Calhoun's pleas for a veto. The law directed that a territorial government be formed with members of the executive and judicial branches chosen by the president of the United States. The territorial legislature, elected by white, male, adult settlers, was made up of a nine-member council with three-year terms and an eighteen-member assembly serving one-year terms. The legislature was to hold annual sessions. Also to be elected by the people was the delegate to Congress who would represent the Territory in Congress although he would not have the right to vote on measures before that body. The organization of the Territory's government had hardly gotten underway when word arrived of the discovery of gold in California. As many as two-thirds of the able-bodied men left Oregon for the mines. The absence of so many men frightened the remaining settlers who saw themselves as more vulnerable to Native American attacks. They also feared that "reckless, vicious and abandoned men" would come to Oregon and that their presence would constitute yet another threat to the Territory's peace and stability. The solution to both hazards, proposed in the columns of the Oregon Spectator, was that "the importation into, and manufacture and sale of intoxicating drinks in Oregon, should be prohibited by law, and that such a law would contribute more to the rapid, permanent, and healthful settlement of the country than any other conceivable statute." No such law was passed, but sentiment in favor of the temperance movement remained strong throughout the territorial period and beyond.


June 27th, 2017

Michael Helquist, author of Marie Equi: Radical Politics and Outlaw Passions, is joining us today in celebration of Pride Month. His biography of this little-known woman received the 2016 American Library Association Stonewall Honor Book Award. Marie Equi was one of the first women physicians in the West. She received a medal from the US Army for her help to San Francisco earthquake victims in 1906. Throughout her career, she leveraged her professional status to fight for women's suffrage, workers' rights, fair pay, and reproductive rights. She was eventually imprisoned in San Quentin for her protest of World War I.

To get better acquainted with Michael Helquist and Marie Equi, make sure to check out his website.


Powerful Stuff: Reading Your Book for a Live Audience

Actor and author Jeffrey Tambor recently exalted the effect of authors reading their books out loud in a bookstore. "It's theater," he remarked in a New York Times interview of May 18, 2017. "Different venues-- same goal-- as E.m. Forster wrote, 'Connect! ... Only connect.'"

The connection between author and readers can be powerful and transformative. I've presented my biography of the early woman physician and political radical Marie Equi for dozens of gatherings. Each time I feel that I'm performing with the words, phrases and rhythms that survived a steady stream of revisions.

I get an extra charge from knowing I'm presenting the life of a remarkable but little-known woman. Audiences often allow me privileged access to their own inner lives-- their appreciation for my protagonist or their disinterest, their sharing a laugh with the person next to them or their close following of the obstacles my character encountered. Sometimes I witness eyes widening, smiles broadening, and heads nodding with affirmation.

Often the Q and A is the best part of an author event. This is a time when the connection between author and reader becomes more immediate, spontaneous, and personal. I can embellish my story-telling, and I gain insight into what intrigued listeners. I often wait for a question never before asked. At my most recent reading in an Oakland, California bookstore, an older woman inquired how I felt as a man writing the biography of a woman and why I was drawn to do so. This was the question I expected to be asked at an author event sooner or later.

I explained that Marie Equi did not leave extensive journals-- or they were discarded by others soon after her death. I would have relied heavily on those to understand her experiences as an individual and as a woman. Instead, I wrote about what she did and what was known about her beliefs and thoughts. I avoided inserting my thoughts of how she "must have" felt. And I came to believe that Equi's actions revealed much about what was important to her. I also disclosed more about myself, how I identified with Equi's outsider status and her overcoming many obstacles.

Interactions like these with listeners and readers make the theatrical connection more intimate and powerful, and I look forward to more.

June 7th, 2017

On June 4, Kirk Johnson wrote a piece in the New York Times spotlightling Oregon's racialist recent past in the wake of the fatal stabbing May 26 of two men on a Portland Max train. The victims of that attack were stabbed when they defended two teenage girls, one black and one muslim, from hate speech. R. Gregory Nokes, author of Breaking Chains: Slavery on Trial in Oregon, offers a bit of historical context in today's blog post.



The New York Times has suggested that the harassment on a Max train of two persons of color, and the stabbing of three good Samaritans, two of whom died, was a legacy of the racial prejudice and animosity that prevailed in Oregon’s early history.

While that might strike some Oregonians as a stretch, the racism that scarred Oregon’s history is an uncomfortable fact. Beginning in 1844, Oregon had exclusion laws on its books banning African Americans from the region for most of its early history. An exclusion clause was written into Oregon’s Constitution, and not removed until 1926. The laws were generally not enforced, but they served to discourage African Americans from emigrating to the region. This explains, in part, why there are so few people of color in Oregon.

Oregon had a history of sundown laws, red-lining of residential neighborhoods, and accommodations and restaurants closed to blacks well into the mid-20th century.

Slavery, although not legal, was tolerated in Oregon until the Civil War, and Oregon actually voted in 1857 on whether it should be a slave state, although the proposal was defeated. While Oregon sided with the north during the Civil War, there was considerable pro-South sentiment in the state, reflected in how the Legislature dealt with the amendments that resulted from the war. The Legislature promptly ratified both the Thirteenth Amendment banning slavery and the Fourteenth Amendment granting citizenship and equal rights to African Americans. But the Legislature rescinded its ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment, and didn’t re-ratify it until 1973. The lawmakers declined even to consider the 15th Amendment granting voting rights to African Americans, and didn’t actually approve it until 1959. The votes were symbolic, of course, as by this time blacks had citizenship and voting rights under federal law.

For more on the early Oregonians’ attitude toward blacks, Chinese and other people of color, including the 1852 trial that was the only slavery trial held in Oregon, see my award-winning book, Breaking Chains: Slavery on Trial in the Oregon Territory, published by Oregon State University Press in 2013.

R. Gregory Nokes, June 7, 2017

June 1st, 2017

Brian Doyle - photo by Hob Osterlund

Brian Doyle
November 6, 1956 - May 27, 2017

It is with tremendous sadness that we say goodbye to Brian Doyle, who died on Saturday, May 27, of a malignant brain tumor at age 60. OSU Press was privileged to publish four of Brian's books, each remarkable in its own right, but surely none more memorable than his debut novel, Mink River (2010). In prose and in person, Brian Doyle was unfailingly compassionate, generous, and kind. He was a tireless champion of the Press and a treasured friend to the Oregon literary community. We mourn the books he would have written had he lived longer, and we deeply mourn the man who brought so much light and joy to our work.

Brian Doyle - photo by Tom Booth

Please consider making a contribution to the Brian and Mary Doyle Family Fund. Proceeds will be used to help retire the mortgage on the family home.

Read The Oregonian’s tribute

Read Oregon Public Broadcasting’s tribute

Read additional tributes on the Mink River Facebook page


(photo at top right by Hob Osterlund. Photo at left by Tom Booth.)



May 24th, 2017

Simo Laakkonen, Richard P. Tucker, and Timo Vuorisalo are the editors and compilers of the many essays that make up this spring's The Long Shadows, the first book of its kind to explore the environmental history of World War II with comprehensive global perspectives. Each essay represents the best studies among varying fields and countries, with contributions throughout Europe, America, Asia, and Africa. The book is comprised of four parts. The first part is an introduction and holistic overview of the war; the second examines and analyzes the environmental and social impact felt from the war; the third focuses on resource extraction; the final part offers conclusions and hypotheses. Today, readers will have an inside look at an excerpt from Part 1: Introduction; Chapter 1: The Long Shadows.


Excerpt from Chapter 1: The Long Shadows
By Simo Laakkonen, Richard P. Tucker, and Timo Vuorisalo


Warfare has a history as long as humans have lived in organized societies. In Europe alone, by one author's calculation, 5,800 wars were fought prior to World War II. Although World War II was exceptional owing to its scope and destructiveness, it is part of the historical phase in the development of modern warfare. In modern industrial warfare, communication, transportation, armament and other stockpiling and supply, and military operations themselves rely on technological-scientific product development, industrially manufactured products, and societies' economic production capacity. In industrial wars, new types of weapons-- rapid-load firearms and explosives-- have led to massive casualties in open battlefields. These unsustainable casualties, for their part, have forced the troops to break up, dig into the surrounding terrain, and build defensive devices. Because of the resulting cycle of armament, the victory in encounters between mass armies was to a large extent decided by their comparative industrial-economic production capacities. Industrial warfare on a devastating scale began during the American Civil War (1861–65), the first war whose environmental history has been studied intensively.

Industrial warfare reached Europe during the same years, in the Crimean, Austro-Prussian, and above all the Franco-Prussian War (1870–71), in which Prussia's success was achieved by total warfare, the mobilization of all the country's material and immaterial resources to the service of war. This process began to spread worldwide in the last decades of the century, as the industrial powers and local elites finally crushed native resistance-- for example, in southern Chile (the Mapuche), the Great Plains (the Lakota and other tribes), British South Africa (the Matabele), and New Zealand (the Maori)-- and competed with each other for control of African and Southeast Asian colonies and their natural resources. Yet there are few studies of the environmental history of warfare in Europe and colonialism prior to World War I. The complex environmental legacy of World War I is only now being address in any focused way. This is the case also with the Spanish Civil War and Japan's attack on the Chinese mainland in the 1930s.

Research interest in the environmental impacts of wars and even peacetime military operations was aroused by the radioactive fallout from the nuclear testing of the 1950s and 1960s, in the wake of the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In the 1960s and early 1970s, the world's first televised war brought to screens the deforestation that the United States caused in Vietnam with bulldozers and herbicides. Concern for the environmental changes resulting from war arose again during the Gulf War (1990–91), when images of hundreds of oil wells ignited by the Iraqi Armed Forces were broadcast around the globe. In the late 1990s, all of Europe watched, hearts chilled by both the environmental and human toll, as the Balkans slid into civil war. The US-led allied assault on Iraq in 2003 was the first war preceded by discussions of its probable environmental consequences, even if studies conducted during the war itself could only be fragmentary. Wars fought in the developing countries of Africa, Latin America, and Asia have also shined a media spotlight on the ravages of oil drilling, deforestation, mining, and poaching of endangered animals such as the mountain gorilla. Many were "resource wars," fought over control of valuable natural resources and the riches that came from extracting and exporting them. There has been much discussion on the relationship between natural resources and wars, but the historical perspective has been insufficient.

Because of the dearth of research, in practice, all wars fought throughout history continue to be "unknown wars" from the environmental perspective, and the people who have worked on behalf of the environment during wartime conditions remain "unknown soldiers." Yet throughout the industrial era, many participants who were caught in conflicts paid written attention to the environmental effects of war. If scholars have neglected the relationship between war and its imprint on nature, soldiers and civilians have not. Diary entries, newspaper articles, reports, photographs, newsreels, films, and works of art demonstrate that both soldiers and civilians consciously observed war time destruction in their immediate vicinities as well as in the natural world. For instance, soldiers monitored birds, installed nest boxes, reared fledglings, and even reported on birds' singing activity during military operations. Apparently war did not prevent people from observing, enjoying, and loving nature; rather the contrary.

How has contemporary scholarship answered this challenge of environmentally "unknown" wars? World War II encompassed economic, social, and cultural dimensions. There is a vast literature on those dimensions of the conflagration. The environmental consequences and legacies of modern wars are only beginning to be studied systematically. As research in environmental history has focused on peacetime developments, until recently neither war nor wartime had been considered a prominent subject of environmentally themed study. The environmental history of wars has thus ended up in an academic no-man's-land between two traditions of historical research: the history of war and environmental history.

In recent years, approaches to research on the history of war have expanded appreciably, but even so, the environmental consequences of mass violence have remained largely unexamined. Military historiography and geography have long and carefully analyzed the environmental settings of conflict in the course of strategic planning. The environmental impact dimension has been studied only obliquely or fragmentarily, but nature conservationists have paid some attention to the importance of warfare in transport of potentially harmful species or substances between regions.

Broad examinations of the interplay between war and the environment through history have been conducted primarily in the United States, Germany, and Finland. The full range of industrial warfare has been addressed in two pioneering collections. There are not enough relevant studies on wars, even recent ones, to form a comprehensive picture of their environmental effects. And the deeper we travel into history, the less we know about these effects. This also holds for World War II; a few articles have been published about its environmental history, and some books have touched on the period. There is no global environmental history of World War II, however, though the political and military history of World World II has been massively chronicled. This book is the first work that strives to open global perspectives specifically on the environmental history of that global war.

The magnitude and long geopolitical shadow of World War II are obvious reasons to study its environmental history. The industrialization of warfare came to a climax in World War II, which has a unique status among the wars of the world. It engulfed 1.7 billion people, three-quarters of the world's population. The war was waged on almost all continents and in the polar, temperate, and tropical climate zones. It was the world's most destructive war, claiming fifty to seventy million lives. In addition, the war injured hundreds of millions of people and innumerable other living creatures. The worldwide cost of World War II is estimated at about $1 trillion, making it in its day the most expensive war by far. World War II changed the political map of the globe. It also propelled the human race into the Atomic Age.





May 16th, 2017

Co-author of The Only Woman in the Room, Pat McCord Amacher joins us today to follow up on Gail Wells' reflections on the challenges they met while attempting to immortalize Oregon lawyer and politician, Norma Paulus. Amacher offers the perspective of a non-native Oregonian while sharing the strategies she and Gail Wells used to document, present, and preserve the extraordinary life and achievements of Paulus.


Unlike Gail Wells, who had enjoyed a lifelong submersion in Oregon history, I'm not from around here. When she told me about the Norma Paulus project in 2013, I had made a little progress toward shrinking the massive gaps in my spotty knowledge of the state by writing a biography with Gail of an Oregon timber family. I realized after researching the family's sawmilling history that I seemed to be evolving as an Oregonian, no longer merely a Midwestern transplant, among multitudes of others from "back East," who raised her kids here and learned about the Oregon Trail from their elementary-school curriculum. I finally felt settled. This epiphany both surprised and pleased me, adding greatly to the pleasure I gleaned from working with Gail, a fine writer as well as an informed citizen. When Gail offered me the chance to work with her again, on Norma's book, I viewed the forging of another building block in my cultural literacy as one of the job's loveliest perks.

So we began, slowly at first. After reading the oral histories taken with Norma by Linda Brody and Clark Hansen, Gail and I set about building the context for the story Norma told. We were allowed free access to her voluminous archived papers at Willamette University, and accepted eagerly, perusing boxes of documents and minutiae, from news clippings to greeting cards to notes passed on the floor of the House, while the hours flew by. Each time we had a library day, Gail and I marveled at how we loved the task, and not only for the color and confirmation the precious boxes afforded to the narrative. Norma's papers provided a veritable parade of illustrations for her oral history that greatly enriched it, inching us ever closer to a grasp on the complex portrait we were hoping to create.

We enjoyed a similar experience on our "field trips" to the Oregon Historical Society, where we plundered the Norma Paulus Papers, scribbling notes and ordering photocopies of the widely-varied clippings and correspondence gathered there. Another dimension of Norma's story was disclosed throughout the extensive audiotapes from Russell Sadler's interviews, both one-on-one with Norma and with a number of key players from her chronology. Then we talked to the players and her family members themselves, when we could, revealing yet another layer of our subject and sharpening its clarity. Lastly, we conducted good old-fashioned research with secondary resources, a task all the more rewarding as the final step in the construction of Norma's story-- her book. Holding it in my hands now, I feel Norma Paulus has given me a wondrous gift, and one I never dreamed of when I arrived in my strange new home: the opportunity to study Oregon history virtually at the knee of a great Oregonian, who lived it and spent most of her life creating it. I could have found no finer guide to follow.

May 11th, 2017

Author Gail Wells joins us today to reflect on her and Pat McCord Amacher's work to help tell the story of Norma Paulus, the first woman to be elected to state-wide office in Oregon. The Only Woman in the Room provides an unprecedented look into Paulus's life and work-- a career in public service that spanned nearly 30 years-- with lively anecdotes that will appeal to everyone from historians to everday citizens.


When Jennifer Viviano called me in the spring of 2013 and asked me to collaborate on a biography of her mother-in-law, Norma Paulus, I eagerly accepted. I admired Norma, and that would have been reason enough. I also relished the prospect of another tour through that brief, bright time in Oregon politics, the mid-1960s through the mid-'70s, when Governor Tom McCall and a forward-thinking legislature seemed to be moving our state into a new era of equality, prosperity and environmental health.

I came of age in Oregon during those years, a bookish, idealistic high-school girl. I'd revisited the territory four decades later when I collaborated with Betty Roberts on her autobiography, With Grit and By Grace (also part of OSU Press's Women and Politics in the Pacific Northwest series).

Betty was a Democrat and Norma is a Republican, but they were sisters across the aisle-- key members of a feisty legislative women's caucus that helped pass landmark laws that ensured women's and consumers' rights and established an enduring (so far) land-use planning system. They were women I looked up to. I was grateful to be invited into their world long enough to help each tell her story.

I discovered, however, that telling Norma's story presented a distinct challenge. She had recorded many hours of oral history, and there were boxes and boxes of documents-- newspaper clippings, floor notes from her time in the legislature, campaign memos, transcripts of speeches, meeting minutes, and other materials. But she had not written a manuscript, and by the time Pat and I got to work she was in poor health and was unable to sit for any more interviews.

So, with her and her family's blessing, we reconstituted her story from the oral history and other materials, augmenting these with interviews of friends and family members. We did not try to "be" Norma; we didn't feel comfortable ghosting ourselves in a false first-person narrative. So we told the story in the third person, using our own words, but always striving to infuse the storytelling with Norma's spirit.

With all due modesty, we think it's a terrific story. Norma gets the credit for that, of course. She was certainly a pioneer for women in public life, but she is also a complex and extraordinarily interesting person. We did our best to let Norma's light shine through the simple, prescribed contours of "role model."

April 26th, 2017

On Monday night at the Oregon Book Awards, Jarold Ramsey was honored with the C. E. S. Wood Distinguished Writer Award, presented to an Oregon author in recognition of an enduring, substantial literary career.

OSU Press has been fortunate to have a long and fruitful history with Jerry Ramsey, stretching across three decades. In 1990, he encouraged us to reissue Nehalem Tillamook Tales, for which he wrote a new Introduction. He co-edited The Stories We Tell, an award-winning anthology of Oregon folk literature. A move back to his family ranch north of Madras in 2000 inspired the essay collection New Era: Reflections on the Human and Natural History of Central Oregon. Next year, OSU Press will publish a companion volume of essays entitled Words Marked by a Place. Ramsey was introduced at the ceremony by Portland poet Armin Tolentino, who has graciously allowed us to share his remarks.


Armin Tolentino (left) with Jarold Ramsey. (Photograph: Laura Stanfill)

Armin Tolentino (left) with Jarold Ramsey (photograph by Laura Stanfill)


* * *


Here from the start, from our first of days, look:
I have carved our lives in secret on this stick
of mountain mahogany the length of your arms
outstretched, the wood clear red, so hard and rare.
It is time to touch and handle what we know we share.


So says the speaker in Jarold Ramsey’s poem, “The Tally Stick,” and how fitting that today we get to celebrate this year’s C. E. S. Wood Distinguished Writer Award as a sort of tally stick for Jarold’s lifetime of devotion to literature. His is a career that has been notched over and over, and not just with his own work, but with the words of those who have collectively shaped our literary landscape.

Jarold Ramsey, at any given moment is a poet, essayist, scholar, editor, mentor, mountain climber, letter writer, and, according to rumors, connoisseur of mail order novelty products such as joy buzzers and itching powder.

Though he was on loan to Upstate New York for 35 years as a beloved English Professor at the University of Rochester, his heart has always belonged to central Oregon, and it was inevitable that he’d find his way back. His poetry is steeped in this landscape; it is an echo and benediction through the canyons.

But for many it is his meticulous work compiling and editing American Indian literature for which we are most grateful. The seminal collection Coyote Was Going There and its companion book of essays Reading the Fire are both considered foundational to any scholarship on Northwest folklore, but more importantly, emphasized theses stories as art, not trinket or bauble, but a manifestation of human creativity to be valued as much as any literature we teach to our kids and return to in times of celebration and grief.

One story in the collection, called the Sun-Box from the Warm Springs tribe, describes how Crow smashed Eagle’s sun box, thus releasing light into the world. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say Jarold had a major part in doing the same for Northwest Indian literature, freeing it from archives of university basements to be living art with us all today. After all, Jarold helped ensure that any discussion of American Literature is by definition incomplete if it doesn’t include American Indian Literature.

Please help me in welcoming to the stage our 2017 C. E. S. Wood Distinguished Writer, Jarold Ramsey!

Armin Tolentino, April 24, 2017

April 18th, 2017

In honor of Earth Week, here are some books from OSU Press that celebrate the environment. The first Earth Day was on April 22, 1970, activating 20 million people to participate. The Earth Day Network has since grown to include 50,000 partners in almost 195 countries, helping to build an environmental democracy. Working through education, consumer campaigns, and public policy, The Earth Day Network hopes to further diversify their movement for change.




Accidental Gravity by Bernard Quetchenbach


Quetchenbach leads readers through a series of essays, covering his move from upstate New York to the western United States. Quetchenbach chronicles his journey from the urban and suburban to the wild lands of Yellowstone National Park. The first half of the essay collection focuses on his time in urban areas, such as New York. In the second half of his collection of essays, Quetchenbach explores the current environmental issues threatening the Greater Yellowstone area-- wildfire, invasive species, and the constant flow and increase of tourists-- in the context of climate change and other present day pressures.



Asserting Native Resilience by Zoltán Grossman and Alan Parker


The indigenous nations are at the forefront of today's climate crisis, with their cultures and economies among some of the most vulnerable to climate-related catastrophes. Native peoples are working toward a response to this crisis that serves as a model for both Native and non-Native communities. Many of these Native American nations in the Pacific Northwest, First Nations in Canada, and Indigenous peoples around the Pacific Rim have already faced the consequences of droughts, flooding, reducing glaciers and snowmelts, seasonal shifts in winds and storms, and changes in species on the land and in the ocean. Using their tools of resilience, they have been enabled to respond to these environmental changes and protect the habitats of salmon and other culturally vital species. They are strengthening their defenses to give support to their communities, mitigate their losses, and to adapt where possible.


Boundary Layer by Kem Luther


When referring to atmospheric science, a boundary layer is the band of air nearest to the ground. This boundary layer is teeming with lichens, mosses, ferns, fungi, and other diminutive plants in the Pacific Northwest. Kem Luther takes readers through a journey of discovery as he explores the life that thrives there and introducing these life forms to readers and scientists alike. Along a windswept beach, readers are shown how the violent crash of sea and land creates the home of some of the world's most endangered plants, including the nearly-extinct pink sand-verbena. Through Luther's luminous prose, readers are told what these boundaries have to say, not only about the in-between places of nature, but of the borders that lie between species and ecosystems, culture and nature, and science and the humanities.

Building a Better Nest by Evelyn Searle Hess


For fifteen years, Evelyn Hess and her husband David lived in a tent and trailer. They had no electricity, no running water, and were situated on twenty acres of wild land along the Oregon Coast Range. When the decision came to build a house, they knew it would have to respect the lessons of simple living that they learned from their camping life. Evelyn Hess chronicles the adventures of the construction of their home while seeking a model for sustainable living, not only for the home, but beyond its walls. Many questions arise throughout the process, centering around the idea of a better nest. What makes it better? Better for whom? It isn't merely just purchasing the latest recycled floors, but participating in cooperative work in employment, research, activism, and in life.



Collared by Aimee Lyn Eaton


"Just as the humans involved in the wolf debate deserve to be seen as individuals, not stereotypes, so do the wolves. They are not the boogeyman, or storybook monsters aiming to prey upon the young and old. They aren't cuddly pets or religious icons. They are Canis lupus Wolves." -- an excerpt from the introduction

Aimee Lyn Eaton brings readers to the front lines as they follow her through the meeting rooms in the state capitol to ranching communities in the rural northeast corner of the state. Through her in-depth research, on-the-ground inquiry, and field interviews, Eaton shares the story of how the wolves returned to Oregon and the repurcussions of their presence in the state.


Diary of a Citizen Scientist by Sharman Apt Russell


Hundreds of thousands of volunteers are monitoring climate change, tracking bird migration patterns, finding stardust for NASA, and excavating mastodons. With the number of citizen scientists alone, along with new technology, research conduction is being reshaped. Through this timely exploration of this phenomenon, nature writer Sharman Apt Russel allows readers to join her yearlong study of a little-known species, the Western red-bellied tiger beetle. Through her humorous and lyrical voice, she dives into her persistent and joyful tracking of the insect she refers to as "charismatic," "elegant," and "fierce." However, she must negotiate the realities of climate change in her journey patrolling the Gila River in Southwest Mexico, even as she celebrates the beauty of the still-wild and rural landscape.

Escaping into Nature by John F. Reiger


John Reiger, wildlife conservationalist and environmental historian, recalls the outdoor adventures that readied him as a young man for the practices of the great sportsmen-conservationists of the past, with a particular focus on George Bird Grinnell, Theodore Roosevelt, and Aldo Leopold. Finding solace in nature, Reiger entered the outdoors as an escape from the psychological abuse within his family. He soon found himself intrigued by the study and pursuit of insects, fishes, and birds to be exciting in themselves. Through this process of discovery, he found that it was only by participating in the life and death of other creatures that one can learn to truly value the natural world, be a part of it, and be inspired to work for its conservation.




Finding the RiverFinding the River by Jeff Crane (2011)

In 1992 landmark federal legislation called for the removal of two dams from the Elwha River to restore salmon runs. Jeff Crane dives into the debate over development and ecological preservation, presenting a long-term environmental and human history of the river as well as a unique look at river reconstruction. Finding the River: An Environmental History of the Elwha examines the ways that different communities—from the Lower Elwha Klallam Indians to current-day residents—have used the river and its resources, giving close attention to the harnessing of the Elwha for hydroelectric production and the resulting decline of its fisheries. Crane describes efforts begun in the 1980s to remove the dams and restore the salmon. He explores the rise of a river restoration movement in the late twentieth century and the roles that free-flowing rivers could play in preserving salmon as climate change presents another set of threats to these endangered fish.


For the Love of Rivers by Kurt D. Fausch


Winner of the Sigurd Olson Nature Writing Award, For the Love of Rivers draws readers over the reflective surface of streams in order to view and ponder what was beneath, and how they work. Fausch uses his years of experience as a field biologist to explain the underlying science that connected these aquatic ecosystems to their neighboring forests and the organisms found there-- including humans. Fausch introduces readers to the work of Shigeru Nakano who was a pioneering river ecologist who served as an inspiration to other scientists around the world with his innovative research on stream-forest connections. For the Love of Rivers is more than a book about stream ecology. It is a celebration of life and its connectivity, pondering the bigger questions. Why are rivers important to humans, and why is it our nature to want to be near them? What can we do now to ensure the future of these essential ecosystems?


A Guide to Freshwater Fishes of Oregon by Douglas F. Markle


Douglas F. Markle provides one of the first comprehensive and authoritative guides to the native and non-native fishes found in Oregon. Identification aids and images for most of the 137 known species and subspecies are provided, while larval and juvenile stages and hybrids are also illustrated in some groups. Many Oregon fishes are difficult to identify due to their great diversity, size, or a lack of study. Making use of established naming conventions while also highlighting apparent biological diversity, this compromise between the accepted nomenclature and a system reflecting the true biodiversity of Oregon's fishes are reflected in the delicate balance between scientific communication and the organism's place in nature.


Hiking from Portland to the Coast by James D. Thayer


Hiking from Portland to the Coast is a guidebook for both the experienced and casual hikers, exploring many trails and logging roads that crisscross the northern portion of Oregon's Coast Range. Each of the 30 trails included in this guide are accompanied by a "backstory" which serve to highlight the rich histories of Native Americans, white settlers, loggers, and railroad operators.





A Hunger for High Country by Susan Marsh


Very few women were employed by the United States Forest Service before the 1970's. However, during the new environmental and fair employment laws in the 60's and 70's, the Forest Service began to hire women in professional careers. For the first time, women worked as wildlife biologists, geologists, fishery biologists, and soil scientists for the U.S. Forest Service. A Hunger for High Country is a memoir of one of those women. Susan Marsh found herself in the national forests surrounding Yellowstone National Park. Serving also as a partial profile of a time and place, Marsh's book details the frustrations and failures of what was supposed to be her dream job and her story of a new beginning in the mountains of western Wyoming, finding solace and inspiration in nature.


Keeping Oregon Green by Derek R. Larson


Derek R. Larson provides a new history of the accomplishments of Oregon's environmental era: the revitalization of the polluted Willamette River, the Beach Bill that preserved public access to the entire coastline, the Bottle Bill that set the national standard for reducing roadside litter, and the nation's first comprehensive land use zoning law. Along with these case studies, the often forgotten tale of what would have been Oregon's second National Park is included, which was intended to preserve the Oregon Dunes as one of the nation's first National Seashores. From archival research and source materials, ranging from the literary, to the poetic, to congressional hearings, this compelling study is deeply rooted in the culture, economic, and political history of the Pacific Northwest.


Leaded by Michael C. Mix


Michael C. Mix provides a timely and deeply-researched account of one of the largest environmental disasters in western United States history. Mix examines the origins, evolution, and causes of the harmful environmental and human health effects caused by mining operations in Idaho's Coeur d'Alene Mining District-- the "Silver Valley"-- from 1885 to 1981. Industrial mining caused severe damage to area waterways and lands from releases of sulfur gases, lead, and other toxic metals in the first half of the twentieth century. In 1917, human health effects were brought to the forefront when Bunker Hill workers suffered from lead poisoning. However, despite these obvious devastations, the influence of the mine and lead industries in the state and federal politics, and scientific uncertainties about the effects of pollution, there were no effective federal laws regulating the mining and smelting industries until th 1970's. After the closure of these facilities, the area left behind was classified as the largest Superfund site in the United States.

Living Off the Pacific Ocean Floor by George Moskovita


Captain George Moskovita offers readers a highly personal and often humorous look at the career of a commerical fisherman. After graduating from high school in Bellingham at the age of 16, Moskovita took his life to the sea. He found himself crabbing in Alaska, seining for sardines off of California, and for tuna off of Mexico, and catching soupfin sharks for their livers-- served as a vital source of Vitamin A during World War II. After coming to Astoria, Oregon, in 1939, he became a pioneer of the Oregon ocean perch fishery. In his sixty year plus career, Moskovita watched the fishery he had helped build become devastated by foreign factory processing ships. He bought, repaired, traded, and sank more boats than what most fishermen would work in their lifetime. This memoir provides a unique glimpse of Pacific maritime life in the 20th century, small-town coastal life after World War II, and the early days of fishery development in Oregon.


The Long Shadows by Simo Laakkonen, Richard P. Tucker, and Timo Vuorisalo


Laakkonen, Tucker, and Vuorisalo-- and multiple contributors-- offer the first book-length work to offer global perspectives on the environmental effects and history of World War II. Based on long-term research, the articles selected give the best available studies in different fields and countries, with contributions touching on Europe, America, Asia, and Africa, this book has a truly global approach. The Long Shadows considers and contemplates the profound and lasting impacts left on global environments by World War II, including polar, temperate, and tropical ecological zones. Divided into three sections, the first gives an introduction and overview of the War. The second section examines the social and environmental impacts, and the third focuses solely on the history and legacy of resource extraction. In a fourth and final section, the authors offer conclusions and hypotheses.


Meander Scars by Abby Phillips Metzger


Abby Phillips Metzger provides personal stories that recount a forgotten Oregon river, the Willamette, as it had existed before white settlement. Bearing the scars of development and degradation accompanying human settlement, the rich network of channels and sloughs are now long gone. However, through canoe trips and intimate explorations from the river, Metzger discovers glints of resilience: a beaver trolling through a slough, native fish in quiet backwaters, and strong currents that carry undertones of the wild Willamette. Through the tales of farmers and scientists alike, Metzger is led to ask whether that which has been scarred can fully heal, and whether a disjointed river can be whole again.



A Naturalist's Guide to the Hidden World of Pacific Northwest Dunes by George Poinar Jr.


Ranging from northern California to British Columbia, coastal dunes and beaches provide unique habitats for plants, animals, and insects. In what may seem to be a barren landscape, hikers and beach walkers will discover the teeming metropolis of life with this guide.  Exposing the small, almost blind weevils that live under the driftwood and slowly degrade the wood, these beach hoppers leap up at every step and flee from vicious rove beetles, dune ants, and dive-bomber wasps. Taking a focus on the associations between dune plants and other life forms, this book includes over 600 full-color photographs and comprehensive data for biologists studying dune ecology.



The Next Tsunami by Bonnie Henderson


On a March evening of 1964, ten-year-old Tom Horning woke up near midnight to find his yard had transformed. A tsunami, triggered by Alaska's momentous Good Friday earthquake, had wreaked havoc in his Seaside, Oregon home. It was considered the Pacific Northwest coast's first-ever tsunami. However, 20 years passed before geologists discovered that it was not Seaside's first, or worst, tsunami. In fact, massive tsunamis have been shown to have struck the Pacific coast every few hundred years, not triggered by distant tremors, but by huge quakes no more than one hundred miles off the coast. Due to advances in technology, scientists have been able to pinpoint the last megathrust earthquake on the Pacific Northwest's coast, coming in at 9 p.m., January 26, 1700, with a magnitude 9.0. This is one of the largest quakes the world has ever known. When the next one strikes, whether it be tomorrow or a hundred years from now, the tsunami it generates will most likely be the most devastating natural disaster in the history of the United States.


Public Lands, Public Debates by Char Miller


"Watching democracy at work can be bewildering, even frustrating, but the only way individuals and organizations can sift through the often messy business of public deliberation is to deliberate..." -- excerpt from the introduction.
The subject of historic struggle and contemporary dispute, public lands in the United States are dearly treasured places. Environmental historian Char Miller explores the history of conservation thinking and the development of a government with stewardship as its mission. Within 19 essays, Miller uses the U.S. Forest Service as a gauge of the broader debates that have engaged Americans since the late nineteenth century. He examines critical moments of public and private negotiation to help explain the tensions that shaped the administration of public lands in the United States.


Ricky's Atlas by Judith L. Li


Serving as a sequel to Ellie's Log: Exploring the Forest Where the Great Tree Fell, Ricky Zamora brings his love of map-making and his extraordinary curiosity to the arid landscapes east of the Cascade Mountains. Upon arrival, he encounters a thunderstorm that leaves his family and neighbors scrambling to deal with a wildfire that had been sparked by lightning. Ricky and his friend Ellie begin to see how plants, animals, and people must adjust to life with wildfires. Color pen-and-ink drawings vividly illustrate the plants, animals, and events encountered in Ricky's summer adventure. Teeming with actual historical, physical, and ecological data about the region, upper-elementary school kids will enjoy the mixture of the factual and the fictional.


Rivers of Oregon by Tim Palmer


Award-winning author and photographer, Tim Palmer, brings together over 140 photos and evocative, informative text capturing the life, beauty, and magic of Oregon's remarkable array of waterways. The book's texts work to address the nature and ecology of these flowing waters, as well as the joy it brings to travel in these waters and the historic saga of Oregon's commitment to preserve, protect, and restore the best of their state for future generations. Readers will travel with Palmer through the underwater views of riparian forests, from distant mountain summits, and on the seat of a kayak. This photographic journey enables readers to gain different perspectives on the many features that provide us with water, life, and with scenes that would leave us deeply impoverished if we were to lose them.


Toward a Natural Forest by Jim Furnish


In 1965, Jim Furnish joined the U.S. Forest Service. Filled with enthusiasm, naivete, and pride for such an accomplished legacy, he could not have been prepared for the crisis that would rock the agency to its foundations, as an environmental movement questioned the Forest Service's legacy and legitimacy. The agency tumbled through a wave of lawsuits from environmental groups in the late 20th Century-- a time most recognized by the spotted owl controversy that shut down logging in public forests in the Pacific Northwest. Caught between the powerful timber industry that had been having its way with the national forests for decades and organized environmentalists who believed these lands had been abused and deserved better care, the agency was brought to its knees. This book gives an insider's view on this tumultuous time, presenting tales of evolution within the agency's and author's environmental consciousness.


Through a Green Lens by Robert Michael Pyle


At an early age, Robert Michael Pyle discovered that he had a greater affinity with words than he did with numbers. Despite this affinity, Pyle was not moved to write until a powerful experience in the summer of 1965, bringing his pen to paper with his passion for the natural world, leading to his first heartfelt essay. This began a devotion to natural history, nature conservation, and language-- and how they all meet in the literature of the land. Arranged by decade, Through a Green Lens provides samplings of Pyle's work over fifty years. This book is acute and uncommonly attuned to the physical world, giving readers a remarkable window into the natural setting of our life and time.



A Week in Yellowstone's Thorofare by Michael J. Yochim


The most remote place in the country, outside of Alaska, is found in a region of Yellowstone National Park, ironically named the Thorofare for its deep history as a route traversed by fur trappers. Set within a week-long expedition taken by the author and his three friends in 2014, A Week in Yellowstone's Thorofare is a history and celebration of this still-wild place. Through first-person accounts of park rangers, archival documents, and Yochim's own experiences, readers are able to dive into what makes wildness seperate from wilderness. Demonstrating the importance of wild places, this book chronicles the struggles through which it has remained protected from visitors today.





Wild in the Willamette by Lorraine Anderson and Abby Phillips Metzger


Oregon's Willamette Valley boasts rich opportunities for outdoor recreation that are often overlooked. Wild in the Willamette is a guidebook to the natural treasures found in the valley, extending far beyond the I-5 corridor. Anderson and Metzger incorporate natural history sidebars and essays by notable local authors to connect people to the best hiking, biking, and paddling the mid-Valley offers. From families with young children, day hikers, long-distance backpackers, kayakers, canoeists, bird watchers, to cyclists, there is something out there for everyone of every skill level. Wild in the Willamette comes equipped with illustrated maps and keys to the many attractions in the area. It serves as an essential guide to the natural wonders of Oregon's mid-Willamette Valley.



Where the Wind Dreams of Staying by Eric Dieterle


Eric Dieterle captures the emotional storms of a boy, and a man, hoping to find meaning in a place, or a place with meaning in this powerful memoir. Dieterle's journey brings him from the plateaus of eastern Washington and through the landscapes of seven other states, ending in the shadow of the San Francisco peaks in northern Arizona. Through a series of essays, Dieterle's struggles with depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and failed relationships are tightly bound to the surrounding landscapes, ecosystems, and ecologies so that a person and place become lost in one another.


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