Book and Author Notes: it’s healing time on Earth
Wilderness Alps – Conservation and Conflict in Washington’s North Cascades, by Harvey Manning. Foreword by David R. Brower; edited by Ken Wilcox for the North Cascades Conservation Council. Northwest Wild Books, Bellingham, WA. 2007, $24.95.
Harvey Manning had already made out well professionally in writing books and articles about the outdoors of the Northwest, and particularly the North Cascades, when he became imbued with the idea there was more to it all. And thus he devoted his energy, talent and the rest of his life, until his death last year, to protecting the wilderness Alps that he held dear.
In these pages Harvey traces the travails of the North Cascades Conservation Council from its founding in 1957 through establishment of North Cascades National Park in 1968 to our own day with the abundant issues that still prevail.
Wilderness Alps is not written as an academic historian might have done it. It is lively, human in dimension, and clearly prejudiced. The power of the book comes from pure passion and principle, from being there and caring deeply. So Harvey can be tough on politicians and public agencies, as evident in these snippets:
“Bill Lester [before his untimely death in May 1996] exemplified the Park Service backcountry ranger who nourishes the Park Service flame even as frontcountry superiors and politicians at the nation’s uppermost level work mindlessly to stomp it out…”
Park Service Director George Hartzog’s notion of wilderness: “as one of sitting on the veranda of a chalet, cold martini in hand, smoking his cigar, and watching the sun set behind a picture postcard.”
David Brower, Harvey’s collaborator in saving the Cascades (as well as leading the way at many other places in this country) wrote the foreword to an earlier version of the book before his death in 2000. It includes these immortal lines: “Dream a bit about what will happen if instead of trashing still more, we determine that it’s healing time on Earth, and we’re not going to make birdwatchers irate any more.”
Appalachian living, earth-friendly, user-friendly
Healing Appalachia – Sustainable Living Through Appropriate Technology, by Al Fritsch and Paul Gallimore. University Press of Kentucky, 2007. $35.
The authors have worked for years to study and spread the gospel of simplicity in food preservation, land use, shelter and transportation. Consequently their book is earth-friendly, user-friendly, practical and detailed in showing the benefits of solar photovoltaics, solar water heating, organic gardening and orcharding.
Healing Appalachia contains valuable wisdom derived from the ways of early mountaineers who made many mistakes but managed to do more with less in “the back of beyond.” The principles still work in the Appalachian highlands, and elsewhere as well.
“FROME’S ESSAYS SHED A LIGHT
Created by The Authors Guild
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