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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.

Because the lynx is undergoing review to determine whether it should be listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act (see summary in this issue and HUPC’s September ‘98 Alert on Lynx), it is appropriate to list a brief, but comprehensive report dealing with Wild Bunch-lynx, wolverine, marten and fisher: The Scientific Basis for Conserving Forest Carnivores, American Marten, Fisher, Lynx, and Wolverine in the Western United States. US Forest Service General Technical Report RM-254, Rocky Mountain Forest/Range Experiment Station, Ft. Collins, CO.

The River Why? David James Duncan. Bantam Books, 1983. Few books make people laugh out loud! The River Why does. I’ve read it a number of times because there is so much to it and interestingly it is a book that folks often admit to having read aloud to their partner. In the end it is about connections to real landscapes, real rivers. It is not abstract at all. It is about the pull of what is around the next river bend and how important all life is:

Chuang Tzu could count to ten thousand. One day he strolled along the dam of the Hao River with his friend, Hui Tzu. Chuang Tzu said, "See how the minnows come out and dart where they please! That’s what fish really enjoy!"

Hui Tzu said, "You are not a fish. How do you know what fish enjoy?"

Chuang Tzu said, "You are not I. How do you know I don’t know what fish enjoy/"

Hui Tzu said, "I am not you, so I certainly do not know what you know. On the other hand, you are not a fish, so you do not know what fish enjoy!"

Chuang Tzu said, "Let’s go back to our original question, please. You asked me how I know what fish enjoy-- so you already knew I knew when you asked the question! I know it by standing here beside the Hao."

The Others, Paul Shepherd. Island Press, 1996. In the last issue HUPC member David Kirby briefly reviewed a number of Shepherd’s earlier books. There is no doubt Paul Shepherd is one of the most evocative and insightful writers dealing with the profound and deep conservation issues. The Others, How Animals Made us Human, was completed shortly before Shepherd died. It is essential and challenging reading. It is not a book that you can read in one or two sittings. The path of this book is often bumpy and most of us find it challenging to some set of our daily style of living and beliefs. That is why it is so important.

At one point Shepherd writes, "Ancient peoples believed themselves to be participants in the rising of the sun and changes of the seasons. If that seems like a quaint fancy now, perhaps it is because of a lapse of participatory understanding of the sense of our own lives as corresponding to and part of the larger events of the universe, an understanding informed by the ambassadorial presence of other species."


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