Suggested Reading List
After the Fires: The Ecology of Change in Yellowstone National Park
Author: Linda Wallace, Editor
Description: The ravaging fires of 1988 caused many scientists to predict long-term devastation which did not come to pass. This scientific summary by wildlife biologists, ecosystem and forest scientists and landscape ecologists discusses the many things that changed and did not change in the Yellowstone area. Realize the role of fire in the ecosystem and the resiliency of nature.
High-mountain Two-manner: A Montana smokejumper recalls hitting the silk and the books in his college years
Author: Frank Fowler
Description: Related through letters written to his mother a half-century ago, blending past and present, the author describes his smokejumping years and the joy of working in the back-country amid the beauty of wild country. With roots in the east, a young man journeys west to attend college in Missoula, Montana and work summers for the Forest Service - three as a smokejumper - when the program was in its adolescence. Straight forward, inspirational and filled with love for the outdoors.
Splendid Was the Trail
Author: Kenneth D. Swan
Description: History/memoir illustrated by author's photographs document an important era in the history of the West, providing a detailed look at life and work in an isolated, sparsely populated region during the formative years of the US Forest Service. The author's career began with the Northern Region in 1911 when lands were mostly roadless and employees traveled long distances by horseback with a pack string. Lugging a 30-pound camera, he carefully took black-and-white photographs of remote places he visited; needless to say, he was transferred into the Forest Service's Information and Education Branch when it was established in the 1920s. He became an integral part of the development of the Camera Point program where he toured the Northern Region giving lectures, illustrated by his photographs, on forest conservation. These outreach opportunities revealed the unique beauty of remote, wild areas in Montana, Idaho and the Dakotas and captured the face of public lands, revealing its wildness and the value of conservation to the American public. KD Swan retired in 1947; 'his work had become art that transcended the mere recording of a place in time and today, a century later, his photographs still engage and entrance viewers and tell a resounding story about public lands in the west.' His photographs were used not only to illustrate a great variety of Forest Service publications - many of which he also authored - but also appeared in publications including National Geographic, The New York Times and The Christian Science Monitor. A collection of his work is now housed in the National Archive in Washington D.C.
Breaking New Ground
Author: Gifford Pinchot
Description: Autobiography of Gifford Pinchot, founder and first chief of the Forest Service. Here is the courage and vision of a man who, under President Theodore Roosevelt, founded our country's conservation policy - "the greatest good for the greatest number over the longest time" - by wresting the forests from economic special interests to bring them under management for multiple and long-range use. Editors introduce this commemorative edition by tracing the evolution of Pinchot's career in the context of his personal life and the social and environmental issues of his time.
Last Child in the Woods: saving our children from nature-deficit disorder
Author: Richard Louv
Description: Nature deficit disorder or how today's kids are increasingly disconnected from the natural world. Children learn science from nature and nature nurtures their creativity. The author argues for an awareness of and appreciation for the natural world for today's kids. Nature needs its children; where else will its future stewards come from?
The Forest Service and the Greatest Good: A Centennial History
Author: James Lewis
Description: Beginning with its roots in the 1800s to today, America's largest and oldest federal land management agency has interpreted for the "greatest good." First there was timber, grazing and watershed protection, later recreation, wildlife and wilderness and then ecosystem management. Documented here is the establishment of the National Forest System and subsequent conservation policies and the numerous men and women who address natural resource management conflicts on our 193 million acres of federal land.
Empire of Shadows: The Epic Story of Yellowstone National Park
Author: George Black
Description: Consider the history of the exploration of Yellowstone National Park through this "historical account of the origins of America's majestic national landmark." The author's well-documented history is a realistic look at people and political and economic factors; his book is sectioned into Pathfinders, Civilizers, Soldiers, Explorers and Tourists. "He casts Yellowstone's creation as the culmination of three interwoven strands of history - the passion for exploration, the violence of the Indian Wars and the 'civilizing' of the frontier and charts its course through the lives of those who sought to lay bare its mysteries."
Roadside Geology of Yellowstone Country
Author: William Fritz & Robert Thomas
Description: Updated, classic roadside geology book for the Yellowstone Region explains current geological theories.
Scorched Earth: How the Fires of Yellowstone Changed America
Author: Rocky Barker
Description: The Yellowstone fires brought to the forefront longstanding conflict over whether federal land management should go with immediate fire suppression procedures or the ‘let it burn’ philosophy. The author, who experienced the Yellowstone fires of 1988 as an environmental reporter there, reviews US wildlands fire history by highlighting wildlands fire management. Discussion of this history and the history of federal lands management considers how these policies shaped the protection of public lands in the US today. Further explained are the details behind the creation of Yellowstone National Park and the role the US Army played in ‘protecting Yellowstone and shaping public lands in the West.’