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One Woman's Journey to the Wild in Yellowstone Country
Before the 1970s the United States Forest Service employed few women. During the 1960s and 70s new environmental and fair employment laws meant that the Forest Service began to hire talented women in professional careers. For the first time women began working as wildlife biologists, geologists, soil scientists, and fisheries biologists for the U.S. Forest Service. A Hunger for High Country is the story of one of these women.
Set in the national forests surrounding Yellowstone National Park, A Hunger for High Country is part memoir and part profile of a time and place. Susan Marsh finds her background and values often place her at odds with the agency she works for, and what was supposed to be her dream job in Montana ends in sorrow and frustration after a six-year-long struggle to fit in. Humbled by her failures, and the part she played in her own downfall, she begins again in the mountains of western Wyoming where she finds refuge and inspiration in nature.
Susan Marsh shares with us not only a vivid portrait of what being a professional woman in a land management agency was like during this time period, but also of the Forest Service itself. Encounters with wolves and grizzly bears, outlaws and renegade lawmen, and moments of beauty inspired by wonder in wild country become the scenes through which Marsh’s palpable appreciation for nature are fully rendered on the page.
A Hunger for High Country will appeal to anyone interested in the Forest Service, wild land conservation, Yellowstone, and a woman’s experiences in the West.
Voices and Images from Sherman Institute
The first collection of writings and images focused on an off-reservation Indian boarding school, The Indian School on Magnolia Avenue shares the fascinating story of this flagship institution, featuring the voices of American Indian students.
In 1902, the federal government opened Sherman Institute in Riverside, California, to transform American Indian students into productive farmers, carpenters, homemakers, nurses, cooks, and seamstresses. Indian students helped build the school and worked daily at Sherman; teachers provided vocational education and placed them in employment through the Outing Program.
Contributors to The Indian School on Magnolia Avenue have drawn on documents held at the Sherman Indian Museum to explore topics such as the building of Sherman, the school’s Mission architecture, the nursing program, the Special Five-Year Navajo Program, the Sherman cemetery, and a photo essay depicting life at the school.
Despite the fact that Indian boarding schools—with their agenda of cultural genocide— prevented students from speaking their languages, singing their songs, and practicing their religions, most students learned to read, write, and speak English, and most survived to benefit themselves and contribute to the well-being of Indian people.
Scholars and general readers in the fields of Native American studies, history, education, public policy, and historical photography will find The Indian School on Magnolia Avenue an indispensable volume.
The Jewish Oregon Story traces the history of diverse Jewish Oregonians and their communities during a period of dramatic change. Drawing on archival sources, including a collection of over 500 oral histories, the book explores how Jewish Oregonians both contributed to and were shaped by the “Oregon Story,” a political shift that fueled Oregon’s—and particularly Portland’s—emerging reputation for progressivism and sustainability. Six chapters examine a community grappling with, and increasingly embracing, change -- from the dramatic national shifts in women’s roles and inter-group relations, to local issues such as the razing of the historic South Portland Jewish neighborhood. An original community musical frames the creation of a new Portland Jewish identity, emerging out of the ashes of South Portland and tapping ethnic expression as an antidote to suburbanization and assimilation. A peek behind the scenes exposes the crucial role of women’s voluntarism, and traces the impact of women entering the workforce and winning acceptance as equals in organizational and ritual life. Chapters on involvement in liberal politics and advocacy for Israel explore communal engagement that reflected national trends, but, beginning in the 1980s, were increasingly shaped by emerging local progressivism. A final chapter charts recent shifts in Oregon Jewish geography, demographics, and organizational life, exploring the rebirth of smaller communities and the embrace of post-denominational Jewry, spirituality, and an ethos of environmentalism and inclusion. The Jewish Oregon Story will appeal to readers of American, Western, and Oregon Jewish history, particularly those interested in questions of ethnicity and identity. Drawing on extensive archival sources and recent scholarship, the book will engage both academic audiences and general readers.
An Unlikely Explorer in Territorial Alaska
When Penelope Easton, a young, vigorous, sensible WWII veteran with a Masters in Public Health Nutrition, embarked on a journey to Territorial Alaska to serve as the dietary consultant for the Alaskan Health Department, she could not anticipate the deplorable health-related conditions that she would find. The author observed the effects of measles and tuberculosis epidemics, educational philosophies that opted to teach Native children only in English, a scarcity of imported food supplies, and the derision of native foodways.
Fascinated by the foods of indigenous Alaskans, such as muktuk, strips of whale skin and blubber, she took every opportunity to learn about Native Alaskan peoples and their food cultures. As she gained knowledge, Penelope Easton identified the need for public health personnel to know and appreciate the dietary traditions and adaptations of the region and became an advocate for preserving native food customs.
Learning to Like Muktuk draws on her detailed field reports, photographs, letters, and other documents, some of which may be the only remaining descriptions of native Alaskan foodways from the period between the end of WWII and statehood.
Easton describes helping hospitals and children's homes with food procurement and service, preparing regional nutritional information materials, and working with public health nurses conducting classes for adults and school children. Threaded through the narrative are stories of her adventures: a tumultuous flight through a glacial storm and spending the night on the frozen tundra, traveling with a daredevil bush pilot, and witnessing the harvest of a whale carcass.
Penelope Easton’s memoirs convey a new perspective on the interactions of Native and non-Native groups at a critical point in Alaska’s history. Learning to Like Muktuk will enthrall readers interested in public health, indigenous foods, and the hazards of exploring the Territory.
David G. James and David Nunnallee present the life histories of the entire butterfly fauna of a geographic region in exceptional and riveting detail for the first time in North America in Life Histories of Cascadia Butterflies.
Virtually all of the 158 butterfly species occurring in southern British Columbia, Washington, northern Idaho, and northern Oregon are included in the book. Color photographs of each stage of life—egg, every larval instar, pupa, adult—accompany information on the biology, ecology, and rearing of each species.
Life Histories of Cascadia Butterflies will appeal to naturalists, hikers, amateur entomologists, butterfly gardeners, conservationists, students, and general readers of natural history. For scientists and dedicated lepidopterists, the book provides an unparalleled resource on the natural history of immature stages of butterflies in the Pacific Northwest—and beyond, as many of Cascadia’s butterflies occur in other parts of North America as well as Europe and Asia.
Coming of Age on the Klamath
When Louise Wagenknecht’s family arrived in the remote logging town of Happy Camp in 1962, a boundless optimism reigned. Whites and Indians worked together in the woods and the lumber mills of northern California’s Klamath country. Logging and lumber mills, it seemed, would hold communities together forever.
But that booming prosperity would come to an end. Looking back on her teenage years spent along the Klamath River, Louise Wagenknecht recounts a vanishing way of life. She explores the dynamics of family relationships and the contradictions of being female in a western logging town in the 1960s. And she paints an evocative portrait of the landscape and her relationship with it.
Light on the Devils is a readable and elegant memoir of place. It will appeal to general readers interested in the Pacific Northwest, personal memoir, history, and natural history.