In September, WSU Press published a new book, To Think Like a Mountain: Environmental Challenges in the American West, by GEAS newsletter editor Niels S. Nokkentved. I just finished the book and highly recommend it to anyone interested in a fuller understanding of critically-important environmental issues currently affecting life in the West. Subjects covered include the greater sage grouse and its habitat; the introduction of wolves; logging, drilling, and mining; salmon, dams, and the failed promise or fish hatcheries; fire and Forest Service policies; overgrazing; the loss of beavers; and much more.

What is especially good about this book is that you get a complete, well-researched, and fascinating chronology of each issue instead of a few biased sound-bites, as we so often get in the media these days. By the end of each chapter you have a real understanding of the issues involved. And as you continue, you'll begin to see how many of these issues are interwoven, one affecting the other.

As a life-long environmentalist with an education in wildlife biology, I was surprised how much I learned in each chapter and I'm sure I'll refer to this book many times in the future. Nokkentved's goal is to help you "think like a mountain," a term coined by famed biologist Aldo Leopold in his classic volume, Sand County Almanac. Thinking like a mountain means taking the long-term view, rather than simply exploiting resources for short-term gains. This evidence-based book clearly shows how we profit most, collectively and individually, when we think long-term and work within the balance of nature.

Nokkentved spent 20 years as a newspaper reporter and eight years as a writer, photographer, and editor for the Idaho Department of Fish & Game. He has won awards from the Associated Press, Society of Professional Journalists, and a C.B. Blethen award for distinguished investigative journalism. To Think Like a Mountain is available from WSU Press at https://wsupress.wsu.edu/product/to-think-like-a-mountain/ and from Amazon.

--Crista Worthy

Crista Worthy writes about aviation, travel, wildlife, and the environment from her home in Hidden Springs, Idaho.


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