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Shadows on the Klamath: A Woman in the Woods
by Louise Wagenknecht
Oregon State University Press, 2021
eISBN: 978-0-87071-157-2 | Paper: 978-0-87071-156-5
Library of Congress Classification SD129.W335A3 2021
Dewey Decimal Classification 634.9092

In 1973, Louise Wagenknecht was just another college graduate, but unlike many, she wanted to go home, back to the Klamath Mountains where she was raised. When a job offer from the Klamath National Forest gave her that chance, she jumped at it. She landed in the logging town of Happy Camp, where she’d spent part of her childhood, as chronicled in her previous memoirs, White Poplar, Black Locust and Light on the Devils.

With Shadows on the Klamath, Louise Wagenknecht completes her trilogy about life in remote northwestern California. In this new work, she recounts her years in the Forest Service, starting as a clerical worker on the Klamath National Forest before moving to a field position where she did everything from planting trees to fighting fires.  

Her story is about a Forest Service in transition, as forest management practices began to shift. Not least among these changes was the presence of women in the ranks—a change that many in the Forest Service resisted. Wagenknecht blends the personal and professional to describe land management in the West and the people who do it—their friendships, rivalries, and rural communities.

Anyone with an interest in the Klamath-Siskiyou region, or the history of women in natural resource agencies, or the many issues associated with industrial forestry, should read this book for its valuable firsthand perspective. General readers interested in the rural West and personal memoir will also be richly rewarded.


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