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Adventures in the Wild
Tales from Biologists of the Natural State
Joy Trauth
University of Arkansas Press, 2008
The true tales in this collection will take readers from the chicken houses of Arkansas to the caves of Venezuela and Mexico to the coast of Alaska. These fifteen adventures range from amusing to life threatening. Some are filled with suspense and danger in exotic places, while others document more routine but important biological field and lab work. Meet the roommate with the rash that wouldn't go away, a friendly bull, some blind cave fish, killer whales, drug smugglers, and hairy roots that are used to produce new medicines. Read about researchers crawling through rotten-egg-smelling muck in search of an elusive mosquitofish, diving into the cold black water of the White River in search of mussels, flying with bush pilots in Alaska, and working with David Attenborough in Arkansas. Here are teachers and researchers, biologists all, all from one university, real people who get their feet wet and their hands dirty in the pursuit of knowledge.
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All the Wild and Lonely Places
Journeys In A Desert Landscape
Lawrence Hogue
Island Press, 2000
"All the wild and lonely places, the mountain springs are called now. They were not lonely or wild places in the past days. They were the homes of my people." --Chief Francisco Patencio, the Cahuilla of Palm Springs The Anza-Borrego Desert on California's southern border is a remote and harsh landscape, what author Lawrence Hogue calls "a land of dreams and nightmares, where the waking world meets the fantastic shapes and bent forms of imagination." In a country so sere and rugged, it's easy to imagine that no one has ever set foot there -- a wilderness waiting to be explored. Yet for thousands of years, the land was home to the Cahuilla and Kumeyaay Indians, who, far from being the "noble savages" of European imagination, served as active caretakers of the land that sustained them, changing it in countless ways and adapting it to their own needs as they adapted to it.In All the Wild and Lonely Places, Lawrence Hogue offers a thoughtful and evocative portrait of Anza-Borrego and of the people who have lived there, both original inhabitants and Spanish and American newcomers -- soldiers, Forty-Niners, cowboys, canal-builders, naturalists, recreationists, and restorationists. We follow along with the author on a series of excursions into the desert, each time learning more about the region's history and why it calls into question deeply held beliefs about "untouched" nature. And we join him in considering the implications of those revelations for how we think about the land that surrounds us, and how we use and care for that land."We could persist in seeing the desert as an emptiness, a place hostile to humans, a pristine wilderness," Hogue writes. "But it's better to see this as a place where ancient peoples tried to make their homes, and succeeded. We can learn from what they did here, and use that knowledge to reinvigorate our concept of wildness. Humans are part of nature; it's still nature, even when we change it."
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Animals' Best Friends
Putting Compassion to Work for Animals in Captivity and in the Wild
Barbara J. King
University of Chicago Press, 2021
“King’s Animals’ Best Friends is the most comprehensive exploration I’ve read of the complex relationship between the human and nonhuman, full of great insights and practical information.”—Jeff VanderMeer, New York Times Book Review, “By the Book”

Finalist for the 2021 Siskiyou Prize for New Environmental Literature

As people come to understand more about animals’ inner lives—the intricacies of their thoughts and the emotions that are expressed every day by whales and cows, octopus and mice, even bees—we feel a growing compassion, a desire to better their lives. But how do we translate this compassion into helping other creatures, both those that are and are not our pets? Bringing together the latest science with heartfelt storytelling, Animals’ Best Friends reveals the opportunities we have in everyday life to help animals in our homes, in the wild, in zoos, and in science labs, as well as those considered to be food.

Barbara J. King, an expert on animal cognition and emotion, guides us on a journey both animal and deeply human. We meet cows living relaxed lives in an animal sanctuary—and cows with plastic portals in their sides at a university research station. We observe bison free-roaming at Yellowstone National Park and chimpanzees confined to zoos. We learn with King how to negotiate vegetarian preferences in omnivore restaurants. We experience the touch of a giant Pacific octopus tasting King’s skin with one of his long, neuron-rich arms. We reflect on animal testing as King shares her own experience as the survivor of a particularly nasty cancer. And in a moment all too familiar to many of us, we recover from a close encounter with two spiders in the home.

This is a book not of shaming and limitation, but of uplift and expansion. Throughout this journey, King makes no claims of personal perfection. Though an animal expert, she is just like the rest of us: on a journey still, learning each day how to be better, and do better, for animals. But as Animals’ Best Friends makes clear, challenging choices can bring deep rewards. By turning compassion into action on behalf of animals, we not only improve animals’ lives—we also immeasurably enrich our own.
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At the Edge of the Wild
Harriet Ritvo
Harvard University Press

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Barren, Wild, and Worthless
Living in the Chihuahuan Desert
Susan J. Tweit
University of Arizona Press, 2003
Appearing barren and most definitely wild, the Chihuahuan Desert of northern Mexico and the southwestern United States may look worthless to some, but for Susan Tweit it is an inspiration. In this collection of seven elegant personal essays, she explores undiscovered facets of this seemingly hostile environment. With eloquence, passion, and insight, she describes and reflects on the relationship between the land, history, and people and makes this underappreciated region less barren for those who would share her journeys.
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Between Urban and Wild
Reflections from Colorado
Andrea M. Jones
University of Iowa Press, 2013
In her calm, carefully reasoned perspective on place, Andrea Jones focuses on the familiar details of country life balanced by the larger responsibilities that come with living outside an urban boundary. Neither an environmental manifesto nor a prodevelopment defense, Between Urban and Wild operates partly on a practical level, partly on a naturalist’s level. Jones reflects on life in two homes in the Colorado Rockies, first in Fourmile Canyon in the foothills west of Boulder, then near Cap Rock Ridge in central Colorado. Whether negotiating territory with a mountain lion, balancing her observations of the predatory nature of pygmy owls against her desire to protect a nest of nuthatches, working to reduce her property’s vulnerability to wildfire while staying alert to its inherent risks during fire season, or decoding the distinct personalities of her horses, she advances the tradition of nature writing by acknowledging the effects of sprawl on a beloved landscape.

Although not intended as a manual for landowners, Between Urban and Wild nonetheless offers useful and engaging perspectives on the realities of settling and living in a partially wild environment. Throughout her ongoing journey of being home, Jones’s close observations of the land and its native inhabitants are paired with the suggestion that even small landholders can act to protect the health of their properties. Her brief meditations capture and honor the subtleties of the natural world while illuminating the importance of working to safeguard it.

Probing the contradictions of a lifestyle that burdens the health of the land that she loves, Jones’s writing is permeated by her gentle, earnest conviction that living at the urban-wild interface requires us to set aside self-interest, consider compromise, and adjust our expectations and habits—to accommodate our surroundings rather than force them to accommodate us.
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Big, Wild, and Connected
Part 1: From the Florida Peninsula to the Coastal Plain
John Davis
Island Press, 2013

This E-ssential is a three-part series that covers John Davis's epic journey from Florida to Maine. In 2011, with support from the Wildlands Network, Davis traveled 7,600 miles in 10 months from Florida to Maine by foot, bicycle, skis, and canoe/kayak. His extensive travels were motivated by wanting to answer the question “Is it possible in the twenty-first century to identify and protect a continental-long wildlife corridor that could help to protect eastern nature into the future?”

John paints a vivid picture of the physical challenges of the trek, such as climbing the highest point in South Carolina with a heavily loaded bike and trying to consume the 8,000 calories per day he needed to fuel himself for the journey. As readers adventure with Davis, they will also share his evolving understanding of what it would take to implement an Eastern Wildway.

Eastern wildlife, both seen and unseen, from Florida panthers to North Carolina’s red wolves to the ghosts of cougars farther north, are the real focus of this adventure as John explores how such wildness can coexist with human development in the most populated regions of the United States. The science and conservation of large-scale connectivity are brought to life by his travels—offering unique insights into the challenges and opportunities for creating an Eastern Wildway. This is a must-read for enthusiasts of hiking narratives, as well as professionals and students interested in issues related to large-scale connectivity. Compelling photographs and other graphics complement John’s fascinating story.


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Big, Wild, and Connected
Part 2: From the Central Appalachians to the Catskill Mountains
John Davis
Island Press, 2013
This E-ssential is a three-part series that covers John Davis's epic journey from Florida to Maine. In 2011, with support from the Wildlands Network, Davis traveled 7,600 miles in 10 months from Florida to Maine by foot, bicycle, skis, and canoe/kayak. His extensive travels were motivated by wanting to answer the question “Is it possible in the twenty-first century to identify and protect a continental-long wildlife corridor that could help to protect eastern nature into the future?”

John paints a vivid picture of the physical challenges of the trek, such as climbing the highest point in South Carolina with a heavily loaded bike and trying to consume the 8,000 calories per day he needed to fuel himself for the journey. As readers adventure with Davis, they will also share his evolving understanding of what it would take to implement an Eastern Wildway.

Eastern wildlife, both seen and unseen, from Florida panthers to North Carolina’s red wolves to the ghosts of cougars farther north, are the real focus of this adventure as John explores how such wildness can coexist with human development in the most populated regions of the United States. The science and conservation of large-scale connectivity are brought to life by his travels—offering unique insights into the challenges and opportunities for creating an Eastern Wildway. This is a must-read for enthusiasts of hiking narratives, as well as professionals and students interested in issues related to large-scale connectivity. Compelling photographs and other graphics complement John’s fascinating story.
[more]

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Big, Wild, and Connected
Part 3: From the Adirondack Mountains to the Gaspé Peninsula
John Davis
Island Press, 2013
This E-ssential is a three-part series that covers John Davis's epic journey from Florida to Maine. In 2011, with support from the Wildlands Network, Davis traveled 7,600 miles in 10 months from Florida to Maine by foot, bicycle, skis, and canoe/kayak. His extensive traveles were motivated by wanting to answer the question “Is it possible in the twenty-first century to identify and protect a continental-long wildlife corridor that could help to protect eastern nature into the future?”

John paints a vivid picture of the physical challenges of the trek, such as climbing the highest point in South Carolina with a heavily loaded bike and trying to consume the 8,000 calories per day he needed to fuel himself for the journey. As readers adventure with Davis, they will also share his evolving understanding of what it would take to implement an Eastern Wildway.

Eastern wildlife, both seen and unseen, from Florida panthers to North Carolina’s red wolves to the ghosts of cougars farther north, are the real focus of this adventure as John explores how such wildness can coexist with human development in the most populated regions of the United States. The science and conservation of large-scale connectivity are brought to life by his travels—offering unique insights into the challenges and opportunities for creating an Eastern Wildway. This is a must-read for enthusiasts of hiking narratives, as well as professionals and students interested in issues related to large-scale connectivity. Compelling photographs and other graphics complement John’s fascinating story.
[more]

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Big, Wild, and Connected
Scouting an Eastern Wildway from the Everglades to Quebec
John Davis
Island Press, 2015
In 2011, adventurer and conservationist John Davis walked, cycled, skied, canoed, and kayaked on an epic 10-month, 7,600-mile journey that took him from the keys of Florida to a remote seashore in northeastern Quebec. Davis was motivated by a dream: to see a continent-long corridor conserved for wildlife in the eastern United States, especially for the large carnivores so critical to the health of the land.
In Big, Wild, and Connected, we travel the Eastern Wildway with Davis, viscerally experiencing the challenges large carnivores, with their need for vast territories, face in an ongoing search for food, water, shelter, and mates. On his self-propelled journey, Davis explores the wetlands, forests, and peaks that are the last strongholds for wildlife in the East. This includes strategically important segments of disturbed landscapes, from longleaf pine savanna in the Florida Panhandle to road-latticed woods of Pennsylvania. Despite the challenges, Davis argues that creation of an Eastern Wildway is within our reach and would serve as a powerful symbol of our natural and cultural heritage.
Big, Wild, and Connected reveals Eastern landscapes through wild eyes, a reminder that, for the creatures with which we share the land, movement is as essential to life as air, water, and food. Davis’ journey shows that a big, wild, and connected network of untamed places is the surest way to ensure wildlife survival through the coming centuries.
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Bringing Home the Wild
A Riparian Garden in a Southwest City
Juliet C. Stromberg
University of Arizona Press, 2023
When living in a large sprawling city, one may feel disconnected and adrift. Finding ways to belong and have positive effects is challenging. In Bringing Home the Wild, botanist Juliet C. Stromberg demonstrates how ecologically guided gardening develops a sense of place, restores connections to nature, and brings joy and meaning to our lives.

This book follows a two-decade journey in ecologically guided gardening on a four-acre irrigated parcel in Phoenix, Arizona, from the perspective of a retired botanist and her science historian partner. Through humor and playful use of language, Bringing Home the Wild not only introduces the plants who are feeding them, buffering the climate, and elevating their moods but also acknowledges the animals and fungi who are pollinating the plants and recycling the waste. Some of the plants featured are indigenous to the American Southwest, while others are part of the biocultural heritage of the cityscape. This book makes the case for valuing inclusive biodiversity and for respectful interactions with all wild creatures, regardless of their historical origin.

As author and partner learn to cohabit with the plants who feed them, calm them, entertain them, and protect them from the increasing heat, their desire to live sustainably, ethically, and close to the land becomes even stronger, revealing the importance of observing, appreciating, and learning from the ecosystems of which we are a part.
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Church in the Wild
Evangelicals in Antebellum America
Brett Malcolm Grainger
Harvard University Press, 2019

A religious studies scholar argues that in antebellum America, evangelicals, not Transcendentalists, connected ordinary Americans with their spiritual roots in the natural world.

We have long credited Emerson and his fellow Transcendentalists with revolutionizing religious life in America and introducing a new appreciation of nature. Breaking with Protestant orthodoxy, these New Englanders claimed that God could be found not in church but in forest, fields, and streams. Their spiritual nonconformity had thrilling implications but never traveled far beyond their circle. In this essential reconsideration of American faith in the years leading up to the Civil War, Brett Malcolm Grainger argues that it was not the Transcendentalists but the evangelical revivalists who transformed the everyday religious life of Americans and spiritualized the natural environment.

Evangelical Christianity won believers from the rural South to the industrial North: this was the true popular religion of the antebellum years. Revivalists went to the woods not to free themselves from the constraints of Christianity but to renew their ties to God. Evangelical Christianity provided a sense of enchantment for those alienated by a rapidly industrializing world. In forested camp meetings and riverside baptisms, in private contemplation and public water cures, in electrotherapy and mesmerism, American evangelicals communed with nature, God, and one another. A distinctive spirituality emerged pairing personal piety with a mystical relation to nature.

As Church in the Wild reveals, the revivalist attitude toward nature and the material world, which echoed that of Catholicism, spread like wildfire among Christians of all backgrounds during the years leading up to the Civil War.

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Ex Situ Plant Conservation
Supporting Species Survival In The Wild
Edited by Edward O. Guerrant Jr., Kayri Havens, and Mike Maunder; Foreword by Peter H. Raven ; Society for Ecological Restoration International Center for Plant Conservation
Island Press, 2004

Faced with widespread and devastating loss of biodiversity in wild habitats, scientists have developed innovative strategies for studying and protecting targeted plant and animal species in "off-site" facilities such as botanic gardens and zoos. Such ex situ work is an increasingly important component of conservation and restoration efforts.

Ex Situ Plant Conservation, edited by Edward O. Guerrant Jr., Kayri Havens, and Mike Maunder, is the first book to address integrated plant conservation strategies and to examine the scientific, technical, and strategic bases of the ex situ approach. The book examines where and how ex situ investment can best support in situ conservation. Ex Situ Plant Conservation outlines the role, value, and limits of ex situ conservation as well as updating best management practices for the field, and is an invaluable resource for plant conservation practitioners at botanic gardens, zoos, and other conservation organizations; students and faculty in conservation biology and related fields; managers of protected areas and other public and private lands; and policymakers and members of the international community concerned with species conservation.

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Governing the Wild
Ecotours of Power
Stephanie Rutherford
University of Minnesota Press, 2011

Take four emblematic American scenes: the Hall of Biodiversity at the American Museum of Natural History in New York; Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park in Orlando; an ecotour of Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks; the film An Inconvenient Truth. Other than expressing a common interest in the environment, they seem quite dissimilar.

And yet, as Governing the Wild makes clear, these sites are all manifestations of green governmentality, each seeking to define and regulate our understanding, experience, and treatment of nature. Stephanie Rutherford shows how the museum presents a scientized assessment of global nature under threat; the Animal Kingdom demonstrates that a corporation can successfully organize a biopolitical project; the ecotour, operating as a school for a natural aesthetic sensibility, provides a visual grammar of pristine national nature; and the film offers a toehold on a moral way of encountering nature. But one very powerful force unites the disparate “truths” of nature produced through these sites, and that, Rutherford tells us, is their debt to nature’s commodification.

Rutherford’s analysis reveals how each site integrates nature, power, and profit to make the buying and selling of nature critical to our understanding and rescuing of it. The combination, she argues, renders other ways of encountering nature—particularly more radically environmental ways—unthinkable.

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Honest Horses
Wild Horses In The Great Basin
Paula Morin
University of Nevada Press, 2006

Horses have been part of the American West since the first Spanish explorers brought their European-bred steeds onto the new continent. Soon thereafter, some of these animals, lost or abandoned by their owners or captured by indigenous peoples, became the foundation of the great herds of mustangs (from the Spanish mesteño, stray) that still roam the West. These feral horses are inextricably intertwined with the culture, economy, and mythology of the West. The current situation of the mustangs as vigorous competitors for the scanty resources of the West’s drought-parched rangelands has put them at the center of passionate controversies about their purpose, place, and future on the open range. Photographer/oral historian Paula Morin has interviewed sixty-two people who know these horses best: ranchers, horse breeders and trainers, Native Americans, veterinarians, wild horse advocates, mustangers, range scientists, cowboy poets, western historians, wildlife experts, animal behaviorists, and agents of the federal Bureau of Land Management. The result is the most comprehensive, impartial examination yet of the history and impact of wild mustangs in the Great Basin. Morin elicits from her interviewees a range of expertise, insight, and candid opinion about the nature of horses, ranching, and the western environment. Honest Horses brings us the voices of authentic westerners, people who live intimately with horses and the land, who share their experiences and love of the mustangs, and who understand how precariously all life exists in Great Basin.

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A Hunger for High Country
One Woman’s Journey to the Wild in Yellowstone Country
Susan Marsh
Oregon State University Press, 2014

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Keeping the Wild
Against the Domestication of Earth
George Wuerthner, Eileen Crist, and Tom Butler
Island Press, 2014
Is it time to embrace the so-called “Anthropocene”—the age of human dominion—and to abandon tried-and-true conservation tools such as parks and wilderness areas? Is the future of Earth to be fully domesticated, an engineered global garden managed by technocrats to serve humanity? The schism between advocates of rewilding and those who accept and even celebrate a “post-wild” world is arguably the hottest intellectual battle in contemporary conservation.

In Keeping the Wild, a group of prominent scientists, writers, and conservation activists responds to the Anthropocene-boosters who claim that wild nature is no more (or in any case not much worth caring about), that human-caused extinction is acceptable, and that “novel ecosystems” are an adequate replacement for natural landscapes. With rhetorical fists swinging, the book’s contributors argue that these “new environmentalists” embody the hubris of the managerial mindset and offer a conservation strategy that will fail to protect life in all its buzzing, blossoming diversity.

With essays from Eileen Crist, David Ehrenfeld, Dave Foreman, Lisi Krall, Harvey Locke, Curt Meine, Kathleen Dean Moore, Michael Soulé, Terry Tempest Williams and other leading thinkers, Keeping the Wild provides an introduction to this important debate, a critique of the Anthropocene boosters’ attack on traditional conservation, and unapologetic advocacy for wild nature.

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Messages from the Wild
An Almanac of Suburban Natural and Unnatural History
By Frederick R. Gehlbach
University of Texas Press, 2002

Seeking a closer connection with nature than the manicured lawns of suburbia, naturalist Fred Gehlbach and his family built a house on the edge of a wooded ravine in Central Texas in the mid-1960s. On daily walks over the hills, creek hollows, and fields of the ravine, Gehlbach has observed the cycles of weather and seasons, the annual migrations of birds, and the life cycles of animals and plants that also live in the ravine.

In this book, Gehlbach draws on thirty-five years of journal entries to present a composite, day-by-day almanac of the life cycles of this semiwild natural island in the midst of urban Texas. Recording such events as the hatching of Eastern screech owl chicks, the emergence of June bugs, and the first freeze of November, he reminds us of nature's daily, monthly, and annual cycles, from which humans are becoming ever more detached in our unnatural urban environments. The long span of the almanac also allows Gehlbach to track how local and even global developments have affected the ravine, from scars left by sewer construction to an increase in frost-free days probably linked to global warming.

This long-term record of natural cycles provides one of only two such baseline data sets for North America. At the same time, the book is an eloquent account of one keen observer's daily interactions with his wild and human neighbors and of the lessons in connectedness and the "play of life" that they teach.

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The Nature of Fear
Survival Lessons from the Wild
Daniel T. Blumstein
Harvard University Press, 2020

An Open Letters Review Best Book of the Year

A leading expert in animal behavior takes us into the wild to better understand and manage our fears.

Fear, honed by millions of years of natural selection, kept our ancestors alive. Whether by slithering away, curling up in a ball, or standing still in the presence of a predator, humans and other animals have evolved complex behaviors in order to survive the hazards the world presents. But, despite our evolutionary endurance, we still have much to learn about how to manage our response to danger.

For more than thirty years, Daniel Blumstein has been studying animals’ fear responses. His observations lead to a firm conclusion: fear preserves security, but at great cost. A foraging flock of birds expends valuable energy by quickly taking flight when a raptor appears. And though the birds might successfully escape, they leave their food source behind. Giant clams protect their valuable tissue by retracting their mantles and closing their shells when a shadow passes overhead, but then they are unable to photosynthesize, losing the capacity to grow. Among humans, fear is often an understandable and justifiable response to sources of threat, but it can exact a high toll on health and productivity.

Delving into the evolutionary origins and ecological contexts of fear across species, The Nature of Fear considers what we can learn from our fellow animals—from successes and failures. By observing how animals leverage alarm to their advantage, we can develop new strategies for facing risks without panic.

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New Way Of The Wilderness
The Classic Guide to Survival in the Wild
Calvin Rutstrum
University of Minnesota Press, 2000

The complete resource on backcountry camping from a legendary wilderness expert.

In this classic guide, first published in the late 1950s, Rutstrum covers the key elements of a successful camping trip: the proper way to build a raft, chop down a tree, construct a campsite, cook over a campfire, find a way through the woods, and much more. Drawing upon his vast experience in all kinds of weather, Rutstrum provides essential knowledge for every camper, in a lightweight volume perfect for the backpack.

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Notations Of The Wild
Ecology Poetry Wallace Stevens
Gyorgyi Voros
University of Iowa Press, 1997
In the summer of 1903, just before he turned twenty-four, Wallace Stevens joined a six-week hunting expedition to the wilderness of British Columbia. The adventure profoundly influenced his conceptions of language and silence, his symbolic geography, and his sensibilities toward wild nature as nonhuman “other.” The rugged western mountains came to represent that promontory of experience—“green's green apogee”—against which Stevens would measure the reality of all his later perceptions and conceptions and by which he would judge the purpose and value of works of the human imagination. Notations of the Wild views his poetry as a radical reimagining of the nature/culture dialectic and a reinstatement of its forgotten term—Nature.

Gyorgyi Voros focuses on three governing metaphors in Stevens' poems—Nature as house, Nature as body, and Nature as self. She argues that Stevens' youthful wilderness experience yielded his primary subject—the relationship between human beings and nonhuman nature—and that it spurred his shift from a romantic to a phenomenological understanding of nature. Most important, it prompted him to reject his culture's narrow humanism in favor of a singular vision that in today's terms would he deemed ecological.
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Pilgrims To The Wild
John P O'Grady
University of Utah Press, 1993

Pilgrims to the Wild is a survey of American writers who have responded to their encounters with the natural world. Ranging in its treatment from Thoreau’s important but neglected essay, 'Walking,' to the exuberant letters of the young artist Everett Ruess (who disappeared in the Escalante canyonlands), this is a broadly based exploration that brings to bear Eastern and Western classical philosophy, as well as contemporary critical theory, on a distinctive tradition of American Writing—those works concerned with the human relationship to the nonhuman world.

In addition to offering a fresh interpretation of classic authors such a Thoreau and Muir, this book introduces readers to the less widely known but equally fascinating writers Clarence King and Mary Austin.

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Place of the Wild
A Wildlands Anthology
Edited by David Clarke Burks
Island Press, 1994

Where and what is the place of the wild? Is the goal of preserving biodiversity across the landscape of North America compatible with contemporary Western culture?

Place of the Wild brings together original essays from an exceptional array of contemporary writers and activists to present in a single volume the most current thinking on the relationship between humans and wilderness. A common thread running through the volume is the conviction that everyone concerned with the natural world -- academics and activists, philosophers and poets -- must join forces to re-establish cultural narratives and shared visions that sustain life on this planet.

The contributors apply the insights of conservation biology to the importance of wilderness in the 21st century, raising questions and stimulating thought. The volume begins with a series of personal narratives that present portraits of wildlands and humans. Following those narratives are more-analytical discourses that examine conceptions and perceptions of the wild, and of the place of humanity in it. The concluding section features clear and resonant activist voices that consider the importance of wildlands, and what can be done to reconcile the needs of wilderness with the needs of human culture.

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Power in the Wild
The Subtle and Not-So-Subtle Ways Animals Strive for Control over Others
Lee Alan Dugatkin
University of Chicago Press, 2022
From the shell wars of hermit crabs to little blue penguins spying on potential rivals, power struggles in the animal kingdom are as diverse as they are fascinating, and this book illuminates their surprising range and connections.
 
The quest for power in animals is so much richer, so much more nuanced than who wins what knock-down, drag-out fight. Indeed, power struggles among animals often look more like an opera than a boxing match. Tracing the path to power for over thirty different species on six continents, writer and behavioral ecologist Lee Alan Dugatkin takes us on a journey around the globe, shepherded by leading researchers who have discovered that in everything from hyenas to dolphins, bonobos to field mice, cichlid fish to cuttlefish, copperhead snakes to ravens, and meerkats to mongooses, power revolves around spying, deception, manipulation, forming and breaking up alliances, complex assessments of potential opponents, building social networks, and more. Power pervades every aspect of the social life of animals: what they eat, where they eat, where they live, whom they mate with, how many offspring they produce, whom they join forces with, and whom they work to depose. In some species, power can even change an animal’s sex. Nor are humans invulnerable to this magnificently intricate melodrama: Dugatkin’s tales of the researchers studying power in animals are full of unexpected pitfalls, twists and turns, serendipity, and the pure joy of scientific discovery.
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Protecting the Wild
Parks and Wilderness, the Foundation for Conservation
George Wuerthner, Eileen Crist, and Tom Butler
Island Press, 2015
Protected natural areas have historically been the primary tool of conservationists to conserve land and wildlife. These parks and reserves are set apart to forever remain in contrast to those places where human activities, technologies, and developments prevail. But even as the biodiversity crisis accelerates, a growing number of voices are suggesting that protected areas are passé. Conservation, they argue, should instead focus on lands managed for human use—working landscapes—and abandon the goal of preventing human-caused extinctions in favor of maintaining ecosystem services to support people. If such arguments take hold, we risk losing support for the unique qualities and values of wild, undeveloped nature.

Protecting the Wild offers a spirited argument for the robust protection of the natural world. In it, experts from five continents reaffirm that parks, wilderness areas, and other reserves are an indispensable—albeit insufficient—means to sustain species, subspecies, key habitats, ecological processes, and evolutionary potential. Using case studies from around the globe, they present evidence that terrestrial and marine protected areas are crucial for biodiversity and human well-being alike, vital to countering anthropogenic extinctions and climate change.

A companion volume to Keeping the Wild: Against the Domestication of Earth, Protecting the Wild provides a necessary addition to the conversation about the future of conservation in the so-called Anthropocene, one that will be useful for academics, policymakers, and conservation practitioners at all levels, from local land trusts to international NGOs.
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Purshia
The Wild And Bitter Roses
James A. Young
University of Nevada Press, 2002

A useful and complete summary of all the scientific information available on one of the most significant plant species in the western and intermountain regions. Among the plant species of the great Basin rangeland, the Purshia—ancient members of the rose family evolved to survive the aridity and temperature extremes of this harsh region—are one of the most important. This book-length study of this key plant species provides a comprehensive examination of the biology and ecology of the species and region.

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Recalling the Wild
Naturalism and the Closing of the American West
Lawlor, Mary
Rutgers University Press, 2000

Ever since the first interactions between Europeans and Native Americans, the “West” has served as a site of complex geographical, social and cultural transformation. American literature is defined, in part, by the central symbols derived from these points of contact. By the end of the nineteenth century, the Western frontier was declared “closed,” a demise solidified by Frederick Jackson Turner’s influential essay “The Significance of the Frontier in American History (1893). At the same time, “naturalism” was popularized by the writings of Frank Norris, Stephen Crane, Jack London, Willa Cather, and the photographs of Edward Curtis. Though very different artists, they were united by their common attraction to the mythic American West.

As she investigates the interactions of representations of the West, Lawlor effortlessly melds literary studies, American studies, and history. She traces the cultural conception of the American West through its incarnations in the “westernism” of Daniel Boone and James Fenimore Cooper and the romanticism of the expansive frontier they helped formulate. Simultaneously, however, the influence of evolutionism and the styles of French naturalism began to challenge this romantic idiom. This naturalistic discourse constructed the West as a strictly material place, picturing a limited and often limiting geography that portrayed regional identity as the product of material “forces” rather than of individualistic enterprise.

With subtle, probing language, Lawlor explains how literary and artistic devices helped shape the idea of the American West and the changing landscape of the continent at the turn of the last century.

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Reimagining a Place for the Wild
Leslie Miller, Louise Excell, and Christopher Smart
University of Utah Press, 2018

Reimagining a Place for the Wild contains a diverse collection of personal stories that describe encounters with the remaining wild creatures of the American West and critical essays that reveal wildlife’s essential place in western landscapes. Gleaned from historians, journalists, biologists, ranchers, artists, philosophers, teachers, and conservationists, these narratives expose the complex challenges faced by wild animals and those devoted to understanding them. Whether discussing keystone species like grizzly bears and gray wolves or microfauna swimming the thermal depths of geysers, these accounts reflect the authors’ expertise as well as their wonder and respect for wild nature. The writers do more than inform our sensibilities; their narratives examine both humanity’s conduct and its capacity for empathy toward other life. A selection of photos and paintings punctuates the volume.

This collection sprang from the Reimagine Western Landscapes Symposium held at the University of Utah’s Taft-Nicholson Environmental Humanities Education Center in Centennial Valley, Montana. These testaments join a chorus of voices seeking improved relations with the western wild in the twenty-first century.

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Return of the Wild
The Future Of Our National Lands
Edited by Ted Kerasote
Island Press, 2001
As individuals and as a nation we believe that if we recycle and buy fuel-efficient cars we have done our part to protect the environment. Yet an important element is missing. If we don't conserve the still-undeveloped places of the earth, human life will be disconnected from its fellow animals and torn from its roots. Humans will still exist, but as Ted Kerasote explains in his insightful introduction, "we'll be like potted trees in the foyers of great skyscrapers -- alone and not part of a wider forest."Our efforts to recycle and conserve energy must be augmented with advocacy for the protection of wild spaces, and Return of the Wild is an important underpinning for that endeavor: a guide through the issues of the day, a history, a forum for debate, a source of information. Sponsored by the Pew Wilderness Center, the book brings together leading thinkers and writers to examine why nature in its most untrammeled state is vitally important to all of us; what currently threatens wild country; and what can be done not merely to conserve more of it, but also to return it to our lives and consciousness.Contributors including Vine Deloria, Jr., Chris Madson, Mike Matz, Richard Nelson, Thomas M. Power, Michael Soule, Jack Turner, and Florence Williams consider a wide range of topics relating to wildlands, and explore the varied economic, spiritual, and ecological justifications for preserving wilderness areas. The book also features a completely new four-color mapping of the remaining roadless areas on federal lands, as well as the National Wilderness Preservation System, now measuring 106 million acres, in which much of this roadless land could one day be included.This first annual edition is both an inspiring and thoughtful introduction to wilderness subjects for the general public and an invaluable reference for legislators, the media, and conservation organizations. It is an essential new contribution to wilderness preservation efforts.
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Rodeo
An Anthropologist Looks at the Wild and the Tame
Elizabeth Atwood Lawrence
University of Chicago Press, 1984
Rodeo people call their sport "more a way of life than a way to make a living." Rodeo is, in fact, a rite that not only expresses a way of life but perpetuates it, reaffirming in a ritual contest between man and animal the values of American ranching society. Elizabeth Atwood Lawrence uses an interpretive approach to analyze rodeo as a symbolic pageant that reenacts the "winning of the West" and as a stylized expression of frontier attitudes toward man and nature. Rodeo constestants are the modern counterparts of the rugged and individualistic cowboys, and the ethos they inherited is marked by ambivalence: they admire the wild and the free yet desire to tame and conquer.

Based on extensive field work and drawing on comparative materials from other stock-tending societies, Rodeo is a major contribution to an understanding of the role of performance in society, the culturally constructed view of man's place in nature, and the structure and meaning of social relationships and their representations.
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Romancing the Wild
Cultural Dimensions of Ecotourism
Robert Fletcher
Duke University Press, 2014
The worldwide development of ecotourism—including adventures such as mountain climbing and whitewater rafting, as well as more pedestrian pursuits such as birdwatching—has been extensively studied, but until now little attention has been paid to why vacationers choose to take part in what are often physically and emotionally strenuous endeavors. Drawing on ethnographic research and his own experiences working as an ecotour guide throughout the United States and Latin America, Robert Fletcher argues that participation in rigorous outdoor activities resonates with the particular cultural values of the white, upper-middle-class Westerners who are the majority of ecotourists. Navigating 13,000-foot mountain peaks or treacherous river rapids demands deferral of gratification, perseverance through suffering, and a willingness to assume risks in pursuit of continuous progress. In this way, characteristics originally cultivated for professional success have been transferred to the leisure realm at a moment when traditional avenues for achievement in the public sphere seem largely exhausted. At the same time, ecotourism provides a temporary escape from the ostensible ills of modern society by offering a transcendent "wilderness" experience that contrasts with the indoor, sedentary, mental labor characteristically performed by white-collar workers.
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State of the Wild
A Global Portrait of Wildlife, Wildlands, and Oceans
Wildlife Conservation Society
Island Press, 2005

In wild places where nature thrives, humanity prospers; our well-being is inextricably linked with that of the planet's web of life. In fact, one could argue that the state of the world can be measured by the state of the wild.

But how do we gauge the state of earth's wildlife, wildlands, and oceans? State of the Wild is a new series that brings together some of the world's most renowned conservationists and writers-George Schaller, Alan Rabinowitz, Sylvia Earle, Rick Bass, Bill McKibben, Tom Lovejoy, and many others-to assess wildlife and wilderness, and to provide insights into how humans can become better stewards of the wild.

This new series combines evocative writings with a fascinating tour of news highlights and vital statistics from around the world. One-third of each volume will focus on a topic of particular concern to conservationists working to protect wildlife and our last wild places. This 2006 edition explores the impacts of hunting and the wildlife trade through a range of essays: Ted Kerasote traces the history of hunting in North America; Carl Safina, Eric Gilman, and Wallace J. Nichols quantify the toll taken by commercial fishing on seabirds, turtles, and other marine species; James Compton and Samuel K. H. Lee explore the global reach of the wildlife trade for traditional Asian medicine.

Contributors also examine other pivotal conservation issues, from the reasons why one in eight of the world's birds are endangered, to the impacts of global climate change, to the complexity of conserving seals, flamingos, zebras, and other wide-ranging species. The book's closing essay, "The Relative Wild," considers what exactly it means for a place to be "wild," where even the most remote corners of the planet have been altered by human activities.

Uniquely structured with magazine-like features up front, conservation news in the middle, and essay contributions from eminent authors and biologists throughout, this landmark series is an essential addition to any environmental bookshelf.

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The Tame and the Wild
People and Animals after 1492
Marcy Norton
Harvard University Press, 2023

A dramatic new interpretation of the encounter between Europe and the Americas that reveals the crucial role of animals in the shaping of the modern world.

When the men and women of the island of Guanahani first made contact with Christopher Columbus and his crew on October 12, 1492, the cultural differences between the two groups were vaster than the oceans that had separated them. There is perhaps no better demonstration than the divide in their respective ways of relating to animals. In The Tame and the Wild, Marcy Norton tells a new history of the colonization of the Americas, one that places wildlife and livestock at the center of the story. She reveals that the encounters between European and Native American beliefs about animal life transformed societies on both sides of the Atlantic.

Europeans’ strategies and motives for conquest were inseparable from the horses that carried them in military campaigns and the dogs they deployed to terrorize Native peoples. Even more crucial were the sheep, cattle, pigs, and chickens whose flesh became food and whose skins became valuable commodities. Yet as central as the domestication of animals was to European plans in the Americas, Native peoples’ own practices around animals proved just as crucial in shaping the world after 1492. Cultures throughout the Caribbean, Amazonia, and Mexico were deeply invested in familiarization: the practice of capturing wild animals—not only parrots and monkeys but even tapir, deer, and manatee—and turning some of them into “companion species.” These taming practices not only influenced the way Indigenous people responded to human and nonhuman intruders but also transformed European culture itself, paving the way for both zoological science and the modern pet.

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Thinking like a Parrot
Perspectives from the Wild
Alan B. Bond and Judy Diamond
University of Chicago Press, 2019
From two experts on wild parrot cognition, a close look at the intelligence, social behavior, and conservation of these widely threatened birds.

People form enduring emotional bonds with other animal species, such as dogs, cats, and horses. For the most part, these are domesticated animals, with one notable exception: many people form close and supportive relationships with parrots, even though these amusing and curious birds remain thoroughly wild creatures. What enables this unique group of animals to form social bonds with people, and what does this mean for their survival?

In Thinking like a Parrot, Alan B. Bond and Judy Diamond look beyond much of the standard work on captive parrots to the mischievous, inquisitive, and astonishingly vocal parrots of the wild. Focusing on the psychology and ecology of wild parrots, Bond and Diamond document their distinctive social behavior, sophisticated cognition, and extraordinary vocal abilities. Also included are short vignettes—field notes on the natural history and behavior of both rare and widely distributed species, from the neotropical crimson-fronted parakeet to New Zealand’s flightless, ground-dwelling kākāpō. This composite approach makes clear that the behavior of captive parrots is grounded in the birds’ wild ecology and evolution, revealing that parrots’ ability to bond with people is an evolutionary accident, a by-product of the intense sociality and flexible behavior that characterize their lives.

Despite their adaptability and intelligence, however, nearly all large parrot species are rare, threatened, or endangered. To successfully manage and restore these wild populations, Bond and Diamond argue, we must develop a fuller understanding of their biology and the complex set of ecological and behavioral traits that has led to their vulnerability. Spanning the global distribution of parrot species, Thinking like a Parrot is rich with surprising insights into parrot intelligence, flexibility, and—even in the face of threats—resilience.
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Tramp
Or the Art of Living a Wild and Poetic Life
Tomas Espedal
Seagull Books, 2010
A lyrical travelogue charting Tomas Espedal’s journeys to and ruminations around the world, from his native Norway to Istanbul and beyond.
 
“Why travel?” asks Tomas Espedal in Tramp, “Why not just stay at home, in your room, in your house, in the place you like better than any other, your own place. The familiar house, the requisite rooms in which we have gathered the things we need, a good bed, a desk, a whole pile of books. The windows giving on to the sea and the garden with its apple trees and holly hedge, a beautiful garden, growing wild.”
 
The first step in any trip or journey is always a footstep—the brave or curious act of putting one foot in front of the other and stepping out of the house onto the sidewalk below. Here, Espedal contemplates what this ambulatory mode of travel has meant for great artists and thinkers, including Rousseau, Kant, Hazlitt, Thoreau, Rimbaud, Whitman, Giacometti, and Robert Louis Stevenson. In the process, he confronts his own inability to write from a fixed abode and his refusal to banish the temptation to become permanently itinerant.
 
Lyrical and rebellious, immediate and sensuous, Tramp conveys Espedal’s own need to explore on foot—in places as diverse as Wales and Turkey—and offers us the excitement and adventure of being a companion on his fascinating and intriguing travels.
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Wild and Scenic Rivers of America
Tim Palmer
Island Press, 1993

The National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act is one of the most important natural areas protection programs ever established at the federal level. It has resulted in the creation of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System -- a rich American legacy that includes many of our finest waterways. This book is the definitive resource on the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System. Topics covered include:

  • the importance of protecting river ecosystems
  • state and local protection systems
  • the history of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System
  • descriptions of each of the major rivers in the system
  • how and why rivers are chosen for inclusion
  • river management
  • continuing threats to rivers
  • what can be done to make the system more effective and more inclusive
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Wilderness Route Finder
The Classic Guide to Finding Your Way in the Wild
Calvin Rutstrum
University of Minnesota Press, 2000

An indispensable resource for navigating the wild.

In the days before cell phones and global positioning systems, knowing how to find your own way in the wilderness was a vitally important skill. The Wilderness Route Finder, first published in 1967, was the popular resource for anyone venturing into the woods who wanted to find their way out again. Now this essential book is available once more in a handy paperback edition.

As more and more people seek to simplify their wilderness experiences and return to traditional camping methods, Rutstrum’s simple, straightforward, and dependable methods can be appreciated anew. Rutstrum focuses on the tried-and-true techniques that have served wilderness travelers for generations: how to use a map, a compass, a sextant, and the sun and stars. He explains why we sometimes get lost and what we should do when we are. This is a valuable traveling companion for anyone wishing to hunt, fish, explore, camp, or simply walk through unfamiliar territory.
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The World and the Wild
Expanding Wilderness Conservation Beyond its American Roots
Edited by David Rothenberg and Marta Ulvaeus
University of Arizona Press, 2001
Can nature be restored to a pristine state through deliberate action? Must the preservation of wilderness always subordinate the interests of humans to those of other species? Can indigenous peoples be entrusted with the guardianship of their own wild resources? This collection of international writings tackles tough questions like these as it expands wilderness conservation beyond its American roots. One of the first anthologies to consider wilderness as a global issue, it takes a stand against the notion that wilderness is a northern colonialist conceit and is irrelevant to the plans of third world countries. Contributions from all over the planet— Nepal, Borneo, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Papua New Guinea, Kenya, South Africa, India, and the United States— show instead that wilderness has an important place in the environmental thought and policy of any nation, industrial or developing. The World and the Wild boldly advances the idea that our concept of wilderness must expand to take in new vistas. It breaks fresh ground in global environmentalism and is essential reading for anyone concerned with development issues related to conservation. Contents
Foreword: Whither World Wilderness? / Vance G. Martin
Introduction: Wilderness in the Rest of the World / David Rothenberg
How Can Four Trees Make a Jungle? / Pramod Parajuli
The Unpaintable West / Zeese Papanikolas
Restoring Wilderness or Reclaiming Forests? / Sahotra Sarkar
For Indian Wilderness / Philip Cafaro and Monish Verma
In the Dust of Kilimanjaro / David Western
Why Conservation in the Tropics Is Failing / John Terborgh
"Trouble in Paradise": An Exchange / David Western and John Terborgh
Zulu History / Ian Player
Bruno Manser and the Penan / William W. Bevis
Roads Where There Have Long Been Trails / Kathleen Harrison
Volcano Dreams / Tom Vanderbilt
Recycled Rain Forest Myths / Antonio Carlos Diegues
The Park of Ten Thousand Waterfalls / Dan Imhoff
Mapping the Wild / Edward A. Whitesell
Earth Jazz / Evan Eisenberg
They Trampled on Our Taboos / Damien Arabagali
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