front cover of Salmon and Acorns Feed Our People
Salmon and Acorns Feed Our People
Colonialism, Nature, and Social Action
Kari Marie Norgaard
Rutgers University Press, 2019
Finalist for the 2020 C. Wright Mills Award from the Society for the Study of Social Problems

Since time before memory, large numbers of salmon have made their way up and down the Klamath River. Indigenous management enabled the ecological abundance that formed the basis of capitalist wealth across North America. These activities on the landscape continue today, although they are often the site of intense political struggle. Not only has the magnitude of Native American genocide been of remarkable little sociological focus, the fact that this genocide has been coupled with a reorganization of the natural world represents a substantial theoretical void. Whereas much attention has (rightfully) focused on the structuring of capitalism, racism and patriarchy, few sociologists have attended to the ongoing process of North American colonialism. Salmon and Acorns Feed Our People draws upon nearly two decades of examples and insight from Karuk experiences on the Klamath River to illustrate how the ecological dynamics of settler-colonialism are essential for theorizing gender, race and social power today. 
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Salmon is Everything
Community-Based Theatre in the Klamath Watershed
Theresa May with Susanne Burcell, Kathleen McCovey, and Jean O'Hara
Oregon State University Press, 2018
After a devastating fish kill on the Klamath River, tribal members and theatre artist Theresa May developed a play to give voice to the central spiritual and cultural role of salmon in tribal life. Salmon Is Everything presents the script of that play, along with essays by artists and collaborators that illuminate the process of creating and performing theatre on Native and environmental issues.

Salmon Is Everything simultaneously illuminates the logistics of a crisis in the third largest watershed in the Pacific Northwest—the premature death of more than 30,000 salmon on the Lower Klamath River in 2002—and documents what happened when one community decided to use art to amplify the experiences of its members. The fish kill had unprecedented impact throughout the watershed, and for many tribal communities it signified an ongoing loss of traditional cultural practices. But in the political and ecological upheaval that followed, the role of salmon in tribal life went largely unacknowledged, which inspired the collaboration between May and members of the Yurok, Hoopa Valley, and Karuk tribes, as well as farmers, ranchers, and others invested in the Klamath watershed.

Salmon is Everything will appeal to readers interested in the environmental and cultural history of the Pacific Northwest and the ecological and civil challenges its communities face. For artists and activists, it’s a useful case study. Salmon is Everything offers a unique interdisciplinary resource for high school and college level courses in environmental studies, Native American studies, and theatre arts education.

New materials in this second edition include additional essays by Native faculty and actors, an updated introduction by the author, minor textual corrections throughout, and a new online resource guide.
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front cover of Salmon Is Everything
Salmon Is Everything
Community-Based Theatre in the Klamath Watershed
Theresa May with Susanne Burcell, Kathleen McCovey, and Jean O'Hara
Oregon State University Press, 2014
After a devastating fish kill on the Klamath River, tribal members and theatre artist Theresa May developed a play to give voice to the central spiritual and cultural role of salmon in tribal life. Salmon Is Everything presents the script of that play, along with essays by artists and collaborators that illuminate the process of creating and performing theatre on Native and environmental issues.

Salmon Is Everything simultaneously illuminates the logistics of a crisis in the third largest watershed in the Pacific Northwest—the premature death of more than 30,000 salmon on the Lower Klamath River in 2002—and documents what happened when one community decided to use art to amplify the experiences of its members. The fish kill had unprecedented impact throughout the watershed, and for many tribal communities it signified an ongoing loss of traditional cultural practices. But in the political and ecological upheaval that followed, the role of salmon in tribal life went largely unacknowledged, which inspired the collaboration between May and members of the Yurok, Hoopa Valley, and Karuk tribes, as well as farmers, ranchers, and others invested in the Klamath watershed.

Salmon is Everything will appeal to readers interested in the environmental and cultural history of the Pacific Northwest and the ecological and civil challenges its communities face. For artists and activists, it’s a useful case study. Salmon is Everything offers a unique interdisciplinary resource for high school and college level courses in environmental studies, Native American studies, and theatre arts education.
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front cover of Salmon, People, and Place
Salmon, People, and Place
A Biologist's Search for Salmon Recovery
Jim Lichatowich
Oregon State University Press, 2013
Each year wild Pacific salmon leave their oceanic feeding grounds and swim hundreds of miles back to their home rivers. The salmon’s annual return is a place-defining event in the Pacific Northwest, with immense ecological, economic, and social significance. However, despite massive spending, efforts to significantly alter the endangered status of salmon have failed.

In Salmon, People, and Place, acclaimed fisheries biologist Jim Lichatowich eloquently exposes the misconceptions underlying salmon management and recovery programs that have fueled the catastrophic decline in Northwest salmon populations for more than a century. These programs will continue to fail, he suggests, so long as they regard salmon as products and ignore their essential relationship with their habitat.

But Lichatowich offers hope. In Salmon, People, and Place he presents a concrete plan for salmon recovery, one based on the myriad lessons learned from past mistakes. What is needed to successfully restore salmon, Lichatowich states, is an acute commitment to healing the relationships among salmon, people, and place.

A significant contribution to the literature on Pacific salmon, Salmon, People, and Place: A Biologist’s Search for Salmon Recovery is an essential read for anyone concerned about the fate of this Pacific Northwest icon.
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front cover of The Same River Twice
The Same River Twice
A Boatman's Journey Home
Michael Burke
University of Arizona Press, 2006
In the summer of 1991 Michael Burke, an experienced river guide, embarks on a three-week journey down a series of remote rivers in British Columbia. Leaving behind his pregnant wife, he embraces the perils of a voyage with a companion he barely knows in a raft that may not weather the trip. He attempts to reconcile the shifting fates of his life—his transition from river guide to husband, father, and academic. At the same time, he hopes to explore his connection to a distant relative, Sid Barrington, who was a champion “swiftwater pilot of the North” in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

As Burke contemplates what he and Sid may have had in common, he meditates on the changing meaning of rivers, and the impossibility of fully recovering the past. In clear and graceful prose, Burke blends Sid’s colorful history with his own uncommon journey. He also reflects upon the quick currents of time and the fierce passion he shares with Sid for the life of river running in Alaska and the west. Unlike most river-running books that often describe waterways in the lower forty-eight states, The Same River Twice introduces readers to rough, austere, and unfamiliar rivers in the northern wilderness. Burke has an intimate understanding of these remote, free-flowing rivers. He effectively captures the thrill of moving water, the spirit of rivers and river canyons, and the life of river guides. This insightful memoir brings readers into a confluence of rivers, where past and present merge, revealing the power of wilderness and the truth about changing course.
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Same River Twice
The Politics of Dam Removal and River Restoration
Peter Brewitt
Oregon State University Press, 2019
Dam removal was not a realistic option in the twentieth century, and people who suggested it were dismissed as radical dreamers. Over the past twenty years, dam removal has become increasingly common, with dozens of removals now taking place each year nationwide.

How did this happen? Same River Twice answers this question by telling the stories of three major Northwestern dam removals – the politics, people, hopes, and fears that shaped three rivers and their communities. Brewitt begins each story with the dam’s construction, shows how its critics gained power, details the conflicts and controversies of removal, and explores the aftermath as the river re-established itself.

Each dam removal offers a unique case study. On the Elwha and Rogue Rivers, dam removal was a multi-decade political brawl; on the Sandy River it was swift and amicable. A key controversy in every case was the loss of the recreational lake created by the dam. Local communities loved their lakes and felt that they were natural, public spaces rather than industrial creations. They fought dam removal with passion and ingenuity. To be successful, dam removal advocates had to learn to weld together mega-coalitions that embraced most interest groups and moved forward together.

While the dams profiled here are all in the Pacific Northwest, dam removal is a national and international phenomenon, and Brewitt’s findings apply everywhere. Written for both a scholarly and a general audience, Same River Twice presents invaluable case studies for scholars of environmental politics, wildlife and public land professionals, environmental activists, and anyone interested in the intersection of politics, public policy, and dam removal.
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front cover of Saving Grand Canyon
Saving Grand Canyon
Dams, Deals, and a Noble Myth
Byron E. Pearson
University of Nevada Press, 2019
2020 Winner of the Southwest Book Awards
2020 Spur Awards Finalist Contemporary Nonfiction, Western Writers of America 


The Grand Canyon has been saved from dams three times in the last century. Unthinkable as it may seem today, many people promoted damming the Colorado River in the canyon during the early twentieth century as the most feasible solution to the water and power needs of the Pacific Southwest. These efforts reached their climax during the 1960s when the federal government tried to build two massive hydroelectric dams in the Grand Canyon. Although not located within the Grand Canyon National Park or Monument, they would have flooded lengthy, unprotected reaches of the canyon and along thirteen miles of the park boundary.

Saving Grand Canyon tells the remarkable true story of the attempts to build dams in one of America’s most spectacular natural wonders. Based on twenty-five years of research, this fascinating ride through history chronicles a hundred years of Colorado River water development, demonstrates how the National Environmental Policy Act came to be, and challenges the myth that the Sierra Club saved the Grand Canyon. It also shows how the Sierra Club parlayed public perception as the canyon’s savior into the leadership of the modern environmental movement after the National Environmental Policy Act became law.

The tale of the Sierra Club stopping the dams has become so entrenched—and so embellished—that many historians, popular writers, and filmmakers have ignored the documented historical record. This epic story puts the events from 1963–1968 into the broader context of Colorado River water development and debunks fifty years of Colorado River and Grand Canyon myths.
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front cover of Searching Out the Headwaters
Searching Out the Headwaters
Change And Rediscovery In Western Water Policy
Sarah F. Bates, David H. Getches, Lawrence J. MacDonnell, and Charles F. Wilkinson; Natural Resources Law Center
Island Press, 1993

To the uninitiated, water policy seems a complicated, hypertechnical, and incomprehensible subject: a tangle of engineering jargon and legalese surrounding a complex, delicate, and interrelated structure. Decisions concerning the public's waters involve scant public participation, and in such a context, reform seems risky at best.

Searching Out the Headwaters addresses that precarious situation by providing a thorough and straightforward analysis of western water use and the outmoded rules that govern it. The authors begin by tracing the history and evolution of the uses of western water. They describe the demographic and economic changes now occurring in the region, and identify the many communities of interest involved in all water-use issues. After an examination of the central precepts of current water policy, along with their original rationale and subsequent evolution, they consider the reform movement that has recently begun to emerge. In the end, the authors articulate the foundations for a water policy that can meet the needs of the new West and discuss the various means for effectively implementing such a policy, including market economics, regulation, the broad-based use of scientific knowledge, and open and full public participation.

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front cover of The Shenandoah
The Shenandoah
Julia Davis
West Virginia University Press, 2011
In 1945, West Virginia author Julia Davis penned The Shenandoah as part of the Rivers of America Series, a landmark collection of books written by literary figures over a period of thirty years. In this classic reprint, now with an introduction by Christopher Camuto, Davis tells the history of the Shenandoah Valley and River, drawing on her own research and the experiences of ancestors who settled and lived in the area. Her book provides a poetic vision of both the river and the valley, preserving a fragment of America’s landscape.
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front cover of The Snake River
The Snake River
Window To The West
Tim Palmer
Island Press, 1991

Tim Palmer weaves natural history into a comprehensive account of the complex problems that plague natural resource management throughout the West, as well as the practical solutions that are available.

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front cover of Southern Rivers
Southern Rivers
Restoring America's Freshwater Biodiversity
R. Scot Duncan
University of Alabama Press, 2024
Explores the Southeast’s imperiled river systems and solutions for preserving them in the face of habitat loss, climate change, and extinction
 
Southern Rivers, by award-winning nature writer and biologist R. Scot Duncan, is a thoroughly crafted exploration of the perilous state of the Southeast’s rivers and the urgent need to safeguard their vitality. The region’s rivers are the epicenter of North American freshwater biodiversity and are the top global hotspot for important aquatic animals including mussels, turtles, snails, crayfish, and fish, many of which have made important contributions to southern life and culture.

Centuries of commercial development have impaired the region’s river systems, sacrificing biodiversity and compromising the rivers’ ability to provide resources essential to human life: drinking water, waste disposal, irrigation, navigation, recreation, power production, and more. Now, increased heat and drought caused by climate change are lowering water levels. As such threats increase, it may seem necessary to choose between nature conservation and human needs, but Duncan persuasively demonstrates that this is a false choice. Conservation enhances human life.

In the same engaging voice of an expert friend that won over thousands of readers of his earlier book, Southern Wonder: Alabama’s Surprising Biodiversity, Duncan explains the task of managing southeastern rivers and how river water quality affects the daily lives of the millions who hold these historic waterways dear. He shows how managing rivers wisely can meet the needs of biodiversity and humanity both. With Americans increasingly anxious about the onset of climate change and the accelerating extinction crisis, Southern Rivers illuminates actionable solutions.
 
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front cover of Speaking for the River
Speaking for the River
Confronting Pollution on the Willamette, 1920s-1970s
James V. Hillegas-Elting
Oregon State University Press, 2018
Since the late 1960s, Oregon has been at the forefront of environmental protection in the United States. The state generally, and Portland in particular, continue to have strong “green” credentials well into the twenty-first century. Within this forty year period of progress, however, the health of the Willamette River has been a consistent blot on the record. Willamette River water pollution has not gone away—the problem has, in fact, gotten much more complex. James Hillegas-Elting’s book, Speaking for the River, provides a historical look at this dilemma.

Willamette River cleanup efforts between 1926 and 1975 centered on a struggle between abatement advocates and the two primary polluters in the watershed, the City of Portland and the pulp and paper industry. Beginning in 1926, clean streams advocates created ad hoc groups of public health experts, sanitary engineers, conservationists, sportsmen, and others to pressure Portland officials and industry representatives to cease polluting the river. By the late 1960s, these grassroots initiatives found political footholds at the state level. As governor between 1967 and 1975, Tom McCall took the issue of environmental protection personally, providing the charisma and leadership that was needed to finally make substantive progress toward cleaning the Willamette.

Speaking for the River is the first book to describe the historical roots of Willamette River pollution, providing important context for understanding the political, fiscal, and technological antecedents to the present-day conundrum. Hillegas-Elting’s contribution to the academic literature on environmental and urban history in Oregon will be welcomed by policy makers, environmentalists, and concerned citizens alike.
 
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front cover of A Story of Six Rivers
A Story of Six Rivers
History, Culture and Ecology
Peter Coates
Reaktion Books, 2013
Many of the world’s major cities sprang up on the banks of rivers. Used for water, food, irrigation, transportation, and power, rivers sustain life and connect the world together, but most of us think of them simply as waterways that must be crossed on the way to another place. Using four European and two North American rivers as examples, A Story of Six Rivers considers the place of rivers in our world and emphasizes the inextricable links between history, culture, and ecology.
 
Peter Coates explores six rivers, chosen as examples of the types of rivers found on the planet: the Danube, the second-longest river in Europe; the Spree, which flows through Berlin; the Po, which cuts eastward across northern Italy; the Mersey in northwest England; the Yukon, which runs through Canada and Alaska; and the Los Angeles in California. Creating a series of river biographies, Coates gives voice to each of these bodies of water, exploring how rivers nurture us, provide cultural and economic opportunities, and pose threats to our everyday lives. He challenges recent narratives that paint rivers as the victims of abuse, pollution, and damage at the hands of humans, focusing on change rather than devastation. Describing how humans and rivers form a symbiotic—and sometimes mutually destructive—relationship, Coates argues that rivers illustrate the limits of human authority and that their capacity to inspire us is as strong as our ability to pollute them.
 
An intimate portrait of the way these bodies of water inform our lives, A Story of Six Rivers will make us reconsider the streams and tributaries we traverse each day.
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front cover of Streams and Rivers of Minnesota
Streams and Rivers of Minnesota
Thomas Waters
University of Minnesota Press, 1980


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