Spring 2024 Wilderness Book Club Pick

First and Wildest: The Gila Wilderness at 100

Edited by Elizabeth Hightower Allen

For our spring book club pick we’ve chosen First and Wildest: The Gila Wilderness at 100 in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the establishment of America’s first wilderness area. In the summer of 1922, Aldo Leopold traveled on horseback up into the headwaters of New Mexico’s Gila River and proposed to his bosses at the Forest Service that 500,000 acres of that rough country be set aside as roadless wilderness. Thus was born America’s first—the world’s first—designated wilderness. A century later, writer–activists, including Indigenous voices, come together to celebrate this vast, rugged landscape, the Yellowstone of the Southwest. Contributors include Michael P. Berman, Philip Connors, Martha Schumann Cooper, Beto O’Rourke, Martin Heinrich, Pam Houston, Priyanka Kumar, Laura Paskus, Sharman Apt Russell, Jakob Sedig, Leeanna T. Torres, and JJ Amaworo Wilson.

Submit your thoughts to share with the book club by June 24!


Winter 2024 Wilderness Book Club Pick

 Two in the Far North by Margaret Murie

Our winter book club pick is Two in the Far North– perfect for a cozy winter read, it is a Northern classic and beloved favorite chronicling the incredible story of Margaret “Mardy” Murie, called the Grandmother of the Conservation Movement. At the age of nine, Margaret Murie moved from Seattle to Fairbanks, not realizing the trajectory life would take her from there. This moving testimonial to the preservation of the Arctic wilderness comes straight from her heart as she writes about growing up in Fairbanks, becoming the first woman graduate of the University of Alaska, and meeting-and then marrying-noted biologist Olaus J. Murie. From adventures of traversing over thin ice with dog sleds, camping in woods surrounded by bears, caribou, and other wildlife, to canoeing in streams with geese nearby, and more, Murie embraced nature as a close neighbor and dedicated her life to advocating for wilderness protection and conservation.

Submit your thoughts to share with the book club by March 24th!


Fall 2023 Wilderness Book Club Pick

The Wolverine Way by Douglas H. Chadwick

Glutton, demon of destruction, symbol of slaughter, mightiest of wilderness villains.

The wolverine comes marked with a reputation based on myth and fancy. Yet this enigmatic animal is more complex than the legends that surround it. With a shrinking wilderness and global warming, the future of the wolverine is uncertain. The Wolverine Way reveals the natural history of this species and the forces that threaten its future, engagingly told by Douglas Chadwick, who volunteered with the Glacier Wolverine Project . This five-year study in Glacier National Park- which involved dealing with blizzards, grizzlies, sheer mountain walls, and other daily challenges to survival- uncovered key missing information about the wolverine’s habitat, social structure and reproduction habits. The wolverine, according to Chadwick, is the land equivalent of the polar bear in regards to the impacts of global warming. The plight of the wolverine adds urgency to the call for wildlife corridors to connect existing habitat as proposed by the Freedom to Roam coalition.

Submit your thoughts to share with the book club by December 18th!