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High Uintas Bookshelf

A High Uintas Bookshelf

In this column we’ll list 2-4 interesting articles, books or the like that have caught our attention. They aren’t necessarily recent or recently read-- sort of a random compilation. Within a year, hopefully, we’ll have an established and detailed reading list. It won’t be complete without your additions. Please send suggestions and a descriptive sentence or two.

This month's reviews are by HUPC members Brenda Schussman of Eden, Utah and HUPC coordinator Dick Carter

The Secret Knowledge of Water. Craig Childs. Sasquatch Books. 2000 B.S.

Craig Childs draws the reader deep into the deserts of the southwest as he describes how water defines our desert communities. As he walks and studies the desert, he reveals through twelve insightful essays the human and natural history of this extraordinary landscape.
Whether it is through tracing part of his journey as he maps water holes "that stand out like emeralds in the sand" for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, explaining how aquatic-desert organisms survive either long periods of drought or flash floods, or searching for the source of a waterfall in the Grand Canyon, Childs describes how in the desert water is simultaneously rare and powerful.
As readers, we come to understand how the desert is shaped by both aridity and flood. Childsí essays are part natural history writing and part adventure story. His writing is a captivating read.

Environmental Ethics. Summer 2005. "Wolf Stories: Reflections on Science, Ethics and Epistemology. Bob Jickling and Paul C. Paquet. D.C.

While focusing on the controversial (what an understatement!), systematic, government-sponsored killing of Yukon wolves in the name of protecting big game species, this paper is really about how we develop attitudes and language about the value of wildness and how that language blinds us from seeing what is really happening and from a broad ethical evaluation of our wildlife management techniques. It is played on daily right here in Utah with wildlife managers in the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources unable to see ecologically and ethically as their management bias for big game and hunting revenues simply force a wildlife management story that is not broad or biological but is narrow and recreational. It is a story we told during the heady days of the Utah Wildlife Manifesto back in the late 80s and early 90s and again needs to be told and vitalized.

Journal of Land, Resources, & Environmental Law. Vol. 25, No. 1, 2005. U of U. College of Law. University of Utah. D.C.

This issue deals with wilderness using the primary speakers at the Wallace Stegner Center Symposium on Wilderness: Preserving Nature in a Political World, 2004 April. Included are notable essays on the politics of wilderness from John Leshy, University of California Hastings College of the Law; why wilderness matters from Max Oelshlaeger, author of The Idea of Wilderness; recreational use of wilderness by Liz Close, Director of Wilderness, Recreation and Heritage Resources, Region IV, USFS; and wilderness and biodiversity by Susan Harrison, University of California, Davis, Dept. of Environmental Science and Policy.
Portions of each of these essays harbor depth, others are broad and simple. Liz Close's essay is particularly troubling as she correctly notes wilderness and recreation are not synonymous, but are often inappropriately managed in that manner. She closes with the thought that no more wilderness needs to be designated for wilderness recreation purposesenough exists now, she arguesand notes wilderness for other purposes still has importance, knowing full well her own agency consistently dismisses wilderness designation for broad ecological purposes. Just look at the Wasatch-Cache National Forest plan revision!

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