Wyoming's unsung wilderness heroes

  • Ahead of Their Time

  Wyoming’s wilderness culture has its heroes, but unlike the cowboys who get so much play in the state, they are largely unknown. In Ahead of Their Time, a new book covering four decades of the Wyoming wilderness movement, editors Broughton Coburn and Leila Bruno try to remedy that by asking writers to choose a wilderness warrior, collect oral interviews, old photos, testimonies, diaries and more, and then write about him or her. The resulting essays make an unusual book, not only because they are about so many different people, but because they are penned by so many different writers.

The variety of writing styles and visions will please some readers and bother others, but if nothing else, it serves as a reminder that the battle to save wilderness is fought on many fronts, that anyone can fight for wilderness, and that ultimately, wilderness belongs to everyone. As Chris Madsen of the state’s Game and Fish Department rightly points out in the preface, preserving wilderness "is no more ‘elitist’ than preserving the Declaration of Independence or the battlefield at Gettysburg."

Some of the book’s subjects seem almost glamorous; their photos and stories suggest an endless parade of good friends and good times. But other accounts reveal that fighting the good fight can take a heavy toll. Todd Wilkinson writes about High Country News founder Tom Bell, who at one point sacrificed everything for the West and for wilderness: longtime friends, his beloved family ranch, good standing in his hometown. Met with indifference and outgunned by lobbyists, Bell despaired. He nearly surrendered. The fact that he didn’t is an inspiration to Wilkinson — and inspiring the next generation of wilderness heroes is really the point of the book.

Ahead of Their Time: Wyoming Voices for Wilderness
Edited by Broughton Coburn and Leila Bruno, 220 pages, softcover, $14.95: Wyoming Wilderness Association, 2004.

High Country News Classifieds
  • DEVELOPMENT & COMMUNICATION SPECIALIST
    Idaho Walk Bike Alliance seeks a lover of bicycling, walking, and all modes of active transportation who willingly puts the car in the garage and...
  • COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR
    Friends of Inyo - the Communications Director is a full-time permanent position that reports to the Executive Director and utilizes communication strategies and production skills...
  • INDIGENOUS AFFAIRS EDITOR
    High Country News seeks an editor to oversee the work of our award-winning Indigenous Affairs Desk. This individual will lead a team of passionate journalists...
  • HIKING TO THE EDGE:
    Confronting Cancer in Rocky Mountain National Park. Poetry and photos on survival thinking. E-book and paperback available at Amazon.com.
  • OPERATIONS MANAGER
    Founded in 1936, the National Wildlife Federation has grown into America's largest and most trusted grassroots conservation organization with 53 state/territorial affiliates and more than...
  • IPLC RIGHTS AND EQUITY PROGRAM ASSOCIATE
    A LITTLE ABOUT US Founded in 1951, the Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR FUTURE WEST
    Future West seeks an executive director to lead this dynamic organization into the future. Based in Bozeman, MT this well-respected nonprofit provides communities in the...
  • PART-TIME EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    Mitchell Museum of the American Indian Location: Evanston, IL Salary Range: $45,000 @ 24 hours per week. send resume: [email protected]g www.mitchellmuseum.org
  • COMMUNICATIONS LEAD
    Southeast Alaska Conservation Council is hiring! Who We Are: The Southeast Alaska Conservation Council (SEACC) is a small grassroots nonprofit based out of Juneau, Alaska,...
  • SENIOR POLICY ADVISOR
    Since 1989, The Nature Conservancy in Alaska has been doing work you can believe in protecting the lands and waters that all life depends on....
  • OUTDOOR PROGRAM - ASSISTANT DIRECTOR
    St. Lawrence University seeks to fill the position of Assistant Director in the Outdoor Program. To view the complete position description, including minimum qualifications required,...
  • PUBLIC LANDS DIRECTOR
    Job Announcement Conserve Southwest Utah is seeking a dedicated advocate for conservation and public lands Public Lands Director a "make a difference" position Conserve Southwest...
  • FOR SALE
    Yellowstone Llamas Successful Yellowstone NP concession Flexible packages
  • DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT & MARKETING
    Grand Staircase Escalante Partners is seeking a full-time Director of Development & Marketing. This is a senior position responsible for the development of all marketing...
  • LEGAL DIRECTOR
    The Legal Director will work closely with the Executive Director in cultivating a renewed vision at NMELC that integrates diversity, equity, and justice. Black, Indigenous,...
  • VICE PRESIDENT, LANDSCAPE CONSERVATION
    The Vice President for Landscape Conservation leads Defenders' work to promote landscape-scale wildlife conservation, focusing on four program areas: federal public lands management; private lands...
  • WE'RE LOOKING FOR LEADERS!
    As we celebrate 50 years of great Western journalism, High Country News is looking for a few new board members to help set a course...
  • WIND RIVER WRITERS AND PHOTOGRAPHERS RETREAT BY THE NATIONAL BIGHORN SHEEP CENTER
    Enhance your writing or photography skills with world-class instructors in the beautiful Wind River Mountains. All skill levels welcome. Continuing education credits available.
  • EARTH CRUISER FX FOR SALE
    Overland Vehicle for travel on or off road. Fully self contained. Less than 41,000 miles. Recently fully serviced Located in Redmond, OR $215'000.
  • ENVIRONMENTAL GEOPHYSICS
    identifies suspect buried trash, tanks, drums &/or utilities and conducts custom-designed subsurface investigations that support post-damage litigation.