Book Spotlight: Recent Books by GWS Members

Are you a GWS member who has published a book (or a chapter in a book) recently? Here’s how you can get it in the spotlight.

An American Family in World War II
Edited by Ralph L. Minker, Sandra O’Connell, and Harry Butowsky
Word Association Publishers, 2005
$24.95 paper

On the morning of December 7, 1941, life for families across America was forever changed by events over which they had no control, but were to witness and play a part. An American Family in World War II is the story of one of those families — told largely in their own words. When Ralph “Lee” Minker Jr. entered U.S. Army Air Cadet training in 1943, he began a correspondence with his parents and two teenage sisters; letters that describe the rigors of pilot training and ultimately his life at “this air base I call home,” as he flew 37 combat missions over Nazi Germany. The letters from the family members to Minker bring a vibrant reality to the home front — rationing, bond drives, and the daily tension of war — through the people who lived it.

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The Antiquities Act: A Century of American Archaeology, Historic Preservation, and Nature Conservation
Edited by David Harmon, Francis P. McManamon, and Dwight T. Pitcaithley
University of Arizona, 2006
326 pages -- $45.00 cloth, $19.95 paper

A comprehensive review of one of the most important US conservation laws. As the title suggests, the Antiquities Act is remarkable for cutting across cultural and natural resource concerns. This collection covers the historical development of the Act, its implications for various disciplines, and future horizons. A complete list of all national monuments created under the Act is included as an appendix.

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Building San Francisco’s Parks, 1850–1930
Terence Young
Johns Hopkins University Press, 2004
280 pages -- $45.00 cloth only

This book traces the history of San Francisco's park system, from the earliest city plans, which made no provision for a public park, through the private garden movement of the 1850s and 1860, Frederick Law Olmsted's early involvement in developing a comprehensive parks plan, the design and construction of Golden Gate Park, and finally to the expansion of green space in the first third of the twentieth century. Young documents this history in terms of the four social ideals that guided America's urban park advocates and planners in this period: public health, prosperity, social coherence, and democratic equality.

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Communities and Forests: Where People Meet the Land
Edited by Robert G. Lee and Donald R. Field
Oregon State University Press, 2005
310 pp. -- $29.95 paper

This volume focuses on the integration of communities into decision-making about forests. It considers the connection between forests and communities from a variety of perspectives, including environmental history, natural resource sociology, and forest policy, to show that forests are as much a social institution as they are a biological resource.

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Conservation Across Borders: Biodiversity in an Interdependent World
Charles C. Chester
Island Press, 2006
262 pp. -- $29.95 paper; $60 cloth

Conservation Across Borders presents a broad overview of the history of transboundary conservation efforts. Through detailed examinations of two initiatives, the International Sonoran Desert Alliance (ISDA) and the Yellowstone to Yukon Initiative (Y2Y), the book helps readers understand the benefits and challenges of landscape-scale protection. In addition to discussing general concepts and the specific experience of ISDA and Y2Y, the author considers the emerging concept of “conservation effectiveness” and offers a comparative analysis of the two projects. The book ends with a discussion of the complex relationships among civil society, governments, and international borders.

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Cumberland Island National Seashore: A History of Conservation Conflict
Lary M. Dilsaver
University of Virginia Press, 2004
323 pp. -- $35.00 cloth

First a history of the establishment, management, and conservation issues of the site, Cumberland Island National Seashore also serves as a revealing look at the ongoing national battle between ecosystem preservation, historic conservation, and lingering private use in the park system. Dilsaver uses the island as an example of the difficulty of converting privately owned lands into public space. The fate of the island has galvanized national environmental groups, the descendants of powerful families, historic preservation organizations, and African American heritage societies.

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Earth Repair: A Transatlantic History of Environmental Restoration
Marcus Hall
University of Virginia Press, 2005
310 pp. -- $35.00 cloth

Just as the restoration of Michelangelo’s Last Judgment sparked enormous controversy in the art world, so are environmental restorationists intensely divided when it comes to finding ways to rehabilitate damaged ecosystems. The same question confronts artistic and environmental restorationists: Which systems need restoring, and to what states should they be restored? Earth Repair explores the answer to this question while offering an alternative to the usual narrative of humans disrupting and spoiling the earth.

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David E. Newsome, David N. Cole and Jeffrey L. Marion, Environmental impacts associated with recreational horse riding.
Jeffrey L. Marion and Yu-Fai Leung, Environmentally sustainable trail management.
Yu-Fai Leung and Jeffrey L. Marion, Managing impacts of campsites.
David N. Cole, Impacts of hiking and camping on soils and vegetation: a review.

Chapters in Environmental Impacts of Tourism
Edited by Ralf Buckley
CABI Publishing, 2004
389 pp. -- $110 cloth

All forms of tourism have impacts on the natural environment. The impacts of ecotourism tend to be concentrated in areas of highest conservation value, hence the need to manage and minimize these. The book considers impacts of particular activities, such as hiking and camping, off-road vehicles, and recreational boats, and impacts specific to certain ecosystems (e.g. marine environments, polar coasts, mountain environments). It incorporates reviews of better-studied impacts by well-known experts; and case studies of recent research and less well-known issues.

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Fire in California's Ecosystems
Edited by Neil G. Sugihara, Jan W. van Wagtendonk, Jo Ann Fites-Kaufman, Kevin E. Shaffer, Andrea E. Thode
University of California Press, 2006
596 pp. -- $75 cloth

Written by many of the foremost authorities on the subject, this comprehensive volume is the first to synthesize our knowledge of the science, ecology, and management of fire in California. Part I includes an historical overview of fire, vegetation, and climate in California; overviews of fire as a physical and ecological process; and reviews the interactions between fire and the physical, plant, and animal components of the environment. Part II explores the history and ecology of fire in each of California's nine bioregions. Part III examines fire management in California, including both Native American and post-European settlement; discusses current issues related to fire policy and management, including air quality, watershed management, invasive plant species, native species, and fuel management; and considers the future of fire management.

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The Full Value of Parks: From Economics to the Intangible
Edited by David Harmon and Allen D. Putney
Rowman & Littlefield, 2003
347 pp. -- $34.95 paper, $75.00 cloth

This book, prepared as a contribution to the 2003 World Parks Congress, is the first comprehensive review of the intangible (non-material) values associated with parks and protected areas: cultural, spiritual, scientific, recreational, aesthetic values, among others. A global cast of authors contributed. “[A] valuable addition to any library supporting ecology programs and a good resource for ecologists, economists, geographers, and others studying parks and protected lands ... an anchor point for discussions in economics, religion, geography, ecology, and public policy.... Highly recommended.” (Choice, April 2004)

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Gem of the Adirondacks: Star Lake, Benson Mines, and the Global Economy
Russell J Hall
Lighthall Books, 2005
194 pp. -- $15.95 paperback

Gem of the Adirondacks tells the story of the Benson Mines and the effects of the growth of iron mining and its ultimate abandonment on Star Lake and surrounding communities. The author worked in the Benson Mines plant for several intervals between 1961 and 1966. His extensive research has been supplemented by access to some unique photographs and documentary material.

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History of the Central Brooks Range: Gaunt Beauty, Tenuous Life

William E. Brown

University of Alaska Press , 200 8

pp. -- $45 cloth, $24.95 paperback

The History of the Central Brooks Range uses rare primary sources in order to provide a chronological examination and history of the Koyukuk region -- including anthropological descriptions of the Native groups that make the Central Brooks Range and its surroundings their home. The history of early exploration, mining, and the Klondike all overflow into the story of the Koyukuk region and its rich cultural heritage, and Brown provides a fascinating history of the extraordinary ways of survival employed by pioneers in this rugged northern land.

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Keeping Faith with Nature: Ecosystems, Democracy, and America’s Public Lands
Robert B. Keiter
Yale University Press, 2003
434 pp. -- $28 cloth

The book examines the historical, scientific, political, legal, and institutional developments that are changing management priorities and policies on the public lands – developments that compel us to view these lands as an integrated ecological entity and a key biodiversity stronghold. It includes chapters on the emergence of ecosystem management principles, new preservation challenges, and collaborative conservation initiatives. Arguing that we must integrate the new imperatives of ecosystem science with our devolutionary political tendencies, the book outlines a coherent new approach to natural resource policy for the 21st century.

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Last Great Wilderness: The Campaign to Establish the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
Roger Kaye
University of Alaska Press, 2006
312 pp. -- $29.95 cloth

In the early 1950s, three decades before the battle over oil development in the Arctic Refuge began, a group of visionary conservationists launched a campaign to protect northeast Alaska as an archetypal wilderness. Last Great Wilderness examines the interwoven set of tangible and intangible values—cultural, spiritual, and symbolic as well as wildlife, ecological, and recreational values that underpinned the campaign. As it traces the beginnings of a landmark conservation unit of unprecedented size and purpose, the story that unfolds chronicles the evolution of the wilderness concept during a pivotal period of American environmental history.

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Managing Mountain Protected Areas: Challenges and Responses for the 21st Century
Edited by David Harmon and Graeme L. Worboys
Andromeda Editrice, 2004
426 pp. -- 78 Euros (about $94), paper

Managing Mountain Protected Areas presents experience from around the world on a diverse set of issues related to the special circumstances of managing PAs in mountainous areas. Among the subjects are landscape-level inititatives, corridors, transboundary PAs, biodiversity, partnerships, wilderness, recreation, visitor impacts, and financing, among others. The book originated in a workshop held in South Africa’s Drakensberg mountains in conjunction the 2003 World Parks Congress.

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Managing Protected Areas: A Global Guide
Edited by Michael Lockwood, Graeme L. Worboys, and Ashish Kothari
Earthscan, 2007
802 pages -- GBP 44.96 (about $91), paper

The most comprehensive park management book ever written, Managing Protected Areas is a massive compilation of best practices from around the world. It is the work of IUCN's World Commission on Protected Areas, a worldwide voluntary network of park professionals. Dozens of figures, tables, and text boxes augment chapters that range from biodiversity protection to the intangible values and benefits of parks.

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The Maya Tropical Forest: People, Parks, and Ancient Cities
James D. Nations
University of Texas Press, 2006
352 pp. -- $60 cloth, $22.95 paper

The Maya Tropical Forest, which occupies the lowlands of southern Mexico, Guatemala, and Belize, is the closest tropical rainforest to the United States. Writing for both park visitors and conservationists, James Nations presents a natural history that profiles the forest’s significant animals and plants, then describes the Maya peoples, national parks, and major archaeological sites in Mexico, Guatemala, and Belize. Drawing on more than twenty-five years of conservation work in the Maya Tropical Forest, Nations tells first-hand stories of the creation of national parks and other protected areas to safeguard the region's natural resources and archaeological heritage.

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Mission 66: Modernism and the National Park Dilemma
Ethan Carr
University of Massachusetts Press, 2007
424 pp. -- $38.95 cloth

In the years following World War II, Americans visited the national parks in unprecedented numbers, yet Congress held funding at prewar levels and park conditions steadily declined. To address the problem, in 1956 a ten-year, billion-dollar initiative titled “Mission 66” was launched, timed to be completed in 1966, the fiftieth anniversary of the National Park Service. Mission 66 was controversial at the time, and it continues to incite debate over the policies it represented. Carr’s book examines the significance of the Mission 66 program and
explores the influence of midcentury modernism on landscape design and park planning.

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Myth and History in the Creation of Yellowstone National Park
Paul Schullery and Lee Whittlesey
University of Nebraska Press, 2003
125 pp. -- $22.00 cloth

Yellowstone National Park, a global icon of conservation and natural beauty, was born at the most improbable of times: the American Gilded Age, when altruism seemed extinct and society’s vision seemed focused on only greed and growth. Perhaps that is why the park’s “creation myth” portrayed a few saintlike pioneer conservationists laboring to set aside this unique wilderness against all odds. In fact, the establishment of Yellowstone was the result of complex social, scientific, economic, and aesthetic forces. “This trim little book dissects the creation myth of America’s premier National Park and in doing so raises important questions about the relationship between history and public memory.” (New Mexico Historical Review)

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National Parks and Protected Areas: Approaches for Balancing Social, Economic and Ecological Values
Tony Prato and Dan Fagre
Blackwell, 2005
446 pp. -- $130.99 (hardback)

National Parks and Protected Areas: Approaches for Balancing Social, Economic and Ecological Values is peerless in its unified treatment of the issues surrounding the "new direction" being taken to cope with the internal and external forces impinging on protected areas. From decision-making for planning and management to the principles of ecology and economics, this text examines the analytical methods, information technologies, and planning and management problems associated with protected areas. Protected area managers, as well as students in undergraduate and graduate courses in natural resource management, will appreciate this highly readable book.

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Parks and Carrying Capacity: Commons Without Tragedy
Robert E. Manning
Island Press, 2007
313 pp. -- $70 cloth, $35 paper

“This book is a valuable contribution to a literature calling for increased science-based knowledge about the long-term management and sustainability of critical biophysical and social values for parks and other protected areas. Manning offers a range of practical, easy-to-understand case studies from applied research and resource management that addresses the question, At what point must managers intervene to prevent unacceptable environmental and social impacts by visitors? Policy makers, managers, planners, researchers, teachers, and students interested in the controversy over park protection and preservation versus use will benefit greatly from this provocative volume.” — David W. Lime

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Protected Area Management: Principles and Practice
(2nd ed.)
Edited by Graeme L. Worboys, Michael Lockwood, and Terry De Lacy
Oxford University Press (Australia), 2005
641 pp. -- AUD$99.95 (US$72.95) paper

Protected Area Management: Principles and Practice examines the multi-disciplinary task of managing protected areas. This second edition of this authoritative text has been updated, expanded, and includes new Australian and international case studies. Part A explains the environmental, social, political and historical context of management; Part B examines in depth the main principles and practices of management, including obtaining and managing information; planning; administration; economics; natural heritage; cultural heritage; incidents; tourism and visitor management, indigenous peoples and protected areas, and managing for the future; and, Part C is a state-by-state summary of protected areas.

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The Protected Landscape Approach: Linking Nature, Culture, and Community
Edited by Jessica Brown, Nora Mitchell, and Michael Beresford
IUCN, 2005
268 pp. -- $29.00 paper

The traditional patterns of land use that have created many of the world’s cultural landscapes contribute to biodiversity, support ecological processes, provide important environmental services, and have proven sustainable over the centuries. Protected landscapes can serve as living models of sustainable use of land and resources, and offer important lessons for sustainable development. This book presents examples of these landscapes and the diverse strategies
needed to maintain this essential relationship between people and the land.

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Reconstructing Conservation: Finding Common Ground
Edited by Ben A. Minteer and Robert E. Manning
Island Press, 2003
334 pp. -- $27.50 paper, $55.00 cloth

In the 1990s, influenced by the deconstructionist movement in literary theory and trends toward revisionist history, a cadre of academics and historians began raising provocative questions about ideas of wilderness and the commitments and strategies of the contemporary environmental movement. While these critiques challenged some cherished and widely held beliefs -- and raised the hackles of many in the environmental community -- they also stimulated an important and potentially transformative debate about the conceptual foundations of environmentalism. Reconstructing Conservation makes a vital contribution to that debate, bringing together 23 leading scholars and practitioners to examine the classical conservation tradition and its value to contemporary environmentalism.

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Sustaining Rocky Mountain Landscapes: Science, Policy, and Management for the Crown of the Continent Ecosystem
Edited by Tony Prato and Dan Fagre
Resources for the Future, 2007
310 pp. -- $90 cloth, $42 paper

The first systematic, multidisciplinary assessment of the "Crown of the Continent Ecosystem," an area covering northwestern Montana, southwestern Alberta, and southeastern British Columbia, and whose centerpiece is a complex of wildlands that includes Waterton-Glacier. As the economic base shifts from resource extraction to tourism and residential growth, new policies for managing growth and economic transformation are required. Contributors to this book offer a variety of perspectives and proposed solutions.

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This Last Treasure: Alaska National Parklands
William E. Brown
Alaska Natural History Association, 2005
192 pp. -- $40.00 cloth, $24.95 paper

Originally published in 1982 to celebrate the new and expanded national parks in Alaska, this re-release is in honor of the 25th anniversary of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA). Each of Alaska’s national parks is described and augmented through excerpts and quotes about the natural and cultural heritage of the park. President Jimmy Carter contributed a preface for the 2005 release in honor of the historic land conservation act that bears his signature. With fresh photographs and a new elegant design complimenting William Brown's lyrical writing, this book is a keepsake for anyone who loves Alaska’s national parks.

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Jan W. van Wagtendonk, Fire ecology of the Sierra Nevada: Forests born to burn

Chapter in Wildfire: A Century of Failed Forest Policy
Edited by George Weurthner
Island Press, 2006
322 pp. --  $75 cloth, $45 paper (abbreviated version)

More than 25 leading thinkers in the field of fire ecology provide in-depth analyses, critiques, and compelling solutions for how we live with fire in our society. Using examples such as the epic Yellowstone fires of 1988, the ever-present southern California fires, and the Northwest's Biscuit Fire of 2002, the book examines the ecology of these landscapes and the policies and practices that affected them and continue to affect them, such as fire suppression, prescribed burns, salvage logging, and land-use planning. Overall, the book aims to promote the restoration of fire to the landscape and to encourage its natural behavior so it can resume its role as a major ecological process.

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Wildland Recreation Policy: An Introduction (2nd ed.)
J. Douglas Wellman and Dennis B. Propst
Krieger Publishing, 2004
374 pp. -- $58.50 cloth, $49.50 paper

In terms of size and diversity, America's publicly-owned wildlands have few worldwide rivals.  These places reflect the values of the people who create, use, manage and support them. As such, America's wildlands are dynamic socio-biological systems that evolve and change in response to human needs, societal values and political forces. Wildland Recreation Policy is not only about how our system of wildlands came to be, but also the political process by which we decide how these places should and should not be used. Our intent is to build a knowledge structure for creating responsive agencies and policies, the cornerstones of conflict resolution in wildland recreation.

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The Yellowstone Wolf: A Guide and Sourcebook
Paul Schullery, ed.
University of Oklahoma Press, 2003
376 pp. -- $12.95 paper

Highly regarded but often misunderstood, the wolf has as many friends as enemies, and its reintroduction into Yellowstone National Park has sparked both fascination and controversy. This comprehensive reference documents the prehistory, management, and nature of the Yellowstone wolf. Historian-naturalist Paul Schullery has assembled the voices of explorers, naturalists, park officials, tourists, lawmakers, and modern researchers to tell the story of what may be the most famous wolf population in the world. All royalties from sales of this book go to Yellowstone’s wolf recovery project.

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How to get your book (or book chapter) into the Book Spotlight

The Book Spotlight features recent books, or chapters contributed to edited volumes, that have been published by current GWS members. It’s a free benefit to GWS members, and a great way to get the word out about your book.

Interested? Here's what we'll need from you in an email:

1. The full title of the book with the name(s) of the author(s) and/or editor(s). If you are submitting a chapter in a book, also include the title of the chapter and the names of your chapter co-authors, if any.
2. The name of the publisher.
3. The date of the publication.
4. The number of pages in the book.
5. The price of the book (give both hardcover and paperback prices).
6. A blurb (no more than 100 words or so) describing the book (or your chapter, if applicable). Do NOT include price or ordering information in the blurb. You can include review language if you like.
7. A web link to a page where people can order the book. This can be a link to the publisher's on-line catalogue, to an on-line bookstore such as, or to any other website where people can order the book.
8. Attach to the email a digital image of the book's cover, preferably in JPG format. (This is required -- we want the Book Spotlight to resemble a publisher's catalogue.)

Please send your email to We look forward to putting your work in the spotlight!