Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

IN BRIEF

Nonfiction

July 18, 1993|CHRIS GOODRICH

WALKING DOWN THE WILD: A Journey Through the Yellowstone Rockies by Gary Ferguson (Simon & Schuster: $20; 204 pp.). It's been called, for a decade and more, the "sagebrush rebellion"--the ongoing protest among ranchers, farmers and businessmen over government's generally hands-off stewardship of its vast land holdings. Gary Ferguson, a Montana resident and writer of hiking guides, refers only occasionally to the sagebrush rebellion in this book, but it's clearly a major impetus behind his decision to embark on a 500-mile trek roughly circling two national parks, Yellowstone and Grand Teton. What he finds is joy and danger: joy in natural springs, frigid mountain mornings and chance trail encounters with two- and four-footed beasts, and danger in the guise of grizzly bears, thin ice and rapacious human development. It's the last thing, of course, that proves most frightening, for commercial interests threaten everything else: Entering Targhee National Forest from Yellowstone seems to Ferguson like stepping from the Louvre into a junkyard, the park perfectly defined by the clear-cut lumbering up to its border. Ferguson is not a poetic writer but he adeptly blends local history with personal experience, biology with politics, to produce a complex portrait of the Yellowstone ecosystem.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|