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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.

Ghost Bears. Exploring the Biodiversity Crisis. R. Edward Grumbine. Island Press. 1992.
Saving Nature’s legacy. Protecting and Restoring Biodiversity. Reed Noss and Allen Y. Cooperrider. Island Press. 1994. Both of these books are important for a broad understanding of the discussions swirling around ecosystem management and biodiversity. While they approach many of the ecological issues and principles so important to understand living systems, they do it both skillfully and clearly for the non-biologist as well. Both Noss and Grumbine have been out in front for decades urging, pleading and warning that land management must change dramatically both in style and in tone. Grumbine’s book, Ghost Bears, looks more closely at the laws, policies and regulations guiding public land management and the changing paradigm from the traditional resource (multiple use and sustained yield) management to ecosystem (ecolog-ical/ landscape/system) management. He does so with his typically strong ethical bent. It is a wonderful and crisply written bit of prose.

Saving Nature’s Legacy takes a sharper look at the ecological principles as they pertain to managing forests, rangelands wildlife and aquatic systems. Noss has always been a proponent of creating a system of reserves so it is no surprise that his book spends considerable time on the general principles of designing reserve networks. While the ecological principles are general in nature, this is a powerful and credible book about conservation.

"Mammalian Extinctions in Western North American Parks: A Land-Bridge Island Perspective."Nature 325:430-432.
"Extinction of Mammal Populations on Western North American National Parks." Conservation Biology, June 1995. These are but two of many powerful specific applications of many of the principles focused on in a general fashion by Noss and Grumbine. Bill Newmark’s 1987 synopsis in Nature of his 1986 University of Michigan Ph.D. and numerous subsequent papers have led the contemporary ecological discussion. Newmark’s work was so profound and humbling that David Quammen wrote an article in 1988 entitled "Newmark’s Warning." The job ahead of us in protecting wildlife and wildness is startling. But hope exists in the very meaning of life and Newmark’s Warning must be heeded.

Dick Carter


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