Peril in paradise

  • Frontier Trail.

    copyright (c) Cathy Keene
 

The Light In High Places: A Naturalist Looks at
Wyoming Wilderness, Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep,
Cowboys, and Other Rare Species

Joe Hutto
256 pages,
hardcover: $24.95.
Skyhorse Publishing, 2009.

To Joe Hutto, a "romantic scientist," it seemed that the vast grandeur of Wyoming’s Wind River Range existed "in spite of us," that "human civilization and technology had proven impotent against an apparently irresistible force of nature." But that was before he scrambled up Middle Mountain to spend his first summer observing a large herd of wild mountain sheep. His assignment was to gather information that might help scientists discover why Rocky Mountain bighorn lambs were dying of a strange neuromuscular disorder.

The statistics he gathered that summer reversed Hutto’s old notions about environmental damage: "One would logically expect any threat to a remote twelve-thousand-foot alpine habitat to come from below. ... Ironically, something mysterious is occurring that seems to affect the highest elevations most dramatically." That mysterious something turns out to be acid rain.

The Light In High Places chronicles Hutto’s experiences during the bighorn sheep study, as well as time he spent working as a Wyoming ranch hand. His first book, Illuminations in the Flatlands, recorded the months he spent raising a brood of wild turkeys. In The Light In High Places, he walks us through alpine wilderness to show us that "it is not the greed of multinational corporations with their vicious bulldozers, chain saws, and oil rigs" consuming the earth’s resources and polluting our environment, "but rather individuals like you and me" -- via our daily consumer choices.

But this is (mostly) not a preachy book. The narrative is taken from Hutto’s journals, written while he had an abundance of solitude and time to observe, investigate and reflect. The roughly three dozen color and black-and-white photos in the book add clarity and perspective. Hutto shares plenty of personal stories, introducing us to old-school ranchers and authentic Wyoming cowboys. Bears, mountain lions, hawks, wolves -- even a wolverine -- make cameo appearances in this wilderness drama. And we get to be privileged voyeurs to the author’s discoveries, without even having to lace up our hiking boots.

High Country News Classifieds
  • COMMUNICATIONS AND OUTREACH ASSOCIATE
    Communications and Outreach Associate Position Opening: www.westernlaw.org/communications-outreach-associate ************************************************* Location: Western U.S., ideally in one of WELC's existing office locations (Santa Fe or Taos, NM, Helena,...
  • FREELANCE GRAPHIC DESIGNER & PROJECT COORDINATOR (REMOTE)
    High Country News (HCN) is seeking a contract Graphic Designer & Project Coordinator to design promotional, marketing and fund-raising assets and campaigns, and project-manage them...
  • FILM AND DIGITAL MEDIA: ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF INDIGENOUS MEDIA, CULTURAL SOVEREIGNTY AND DECOLONIZATION (INITIAL REVIEW 12.1.21)
    Film and Digital Media: Assistant Professor of Indigenous Media, Cultural Sovereignty and Decolonization (Initial Review 12.1.21) Position overview Position title: Assistant Professor - tenure-track Salary...
  • REAL ESTATE SPECIALIST
    To learn more about this position and to apply please go to the following URL.
  • ENVIRONMENTAL GEOPHYSICS
    "More Data, Less Digging" Find groundwater and reduce excavation costs!
  • RARE CHIRICAHUA RIPARIAN LAND FOR SALE
    40 acres: 110 miles from Tucson: native trees, grasses: birder's heaven::dark sky/ borders state lease & National forest/5100 ft/13-16 per annum rain
  • CENTRAL PARK CULTURAL RESOURCE SPECIALIST
    Agency: Oregon Parks and Recreation Department Salary Range: $5,203 - $7,996 Position Title: Central Park Cultural Resource Specialist Do you have a background in Archaeology...
  • STAFF ATTORNEY
    Come live and work in one of the most beautiful places in the world! As our Staff Attorney you will play a key role in...
  • ARIZONA GRAZING CLEARINGHOUSE
    Dedicated to preventing the ecological degradation caused by livestock grazing on Arizona's public lands, and exposing the government subsidies that support it.
  • OPERATIONS MANAGER
    Position Summary: Friends of the Inyo (friendsoftheinyo.org) is seeking a new Operations Manager. The Operations Manager position is a full-time permanent position that reports directly...
  • WATER RIGHTS BUREAU CHIEF
    Water Rights Bureau Chief, State of Montana, DNRC, Water Resources Division, Helena, MT Working to support and implement the Department's mission to help ensure that...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    The Amargosa Conservancy (AC), a conservation nonprofit dedicated to standing up for water and biodiversity in the Death Valley region, seeks an executive director to...
  • DEVELOPMENT & OUTREACH ASSOCIATE
    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,...
  • DESERT LANDS ORGANIZER
    Position Summary: Friends of the Inyo seeks a Desert Lands Organizer to assist with existing campaigns that will defend lands in the California desert, with...
  • IDAHO CONSERVATION LEAGUE
    Want to help preserve Idaho's land, water, and air for future generations? Idaho Conservation League currently has 3 open positions. We are looking for a...
  • LUNATEC ODOR-FREE DISHCLOTHS
    are a must try. They stay odor-free, dry fast, are durable and don't require machine washing. Try today.
  • EVENTS AND ANNUAL FUND COORDINATOR
    The Events and Annual Fund Coordinator is responsible for managing and coordinating the Henry's Fork Foundation's fundraising events for growing the membership base, renewing and...
  • EDUCATION DIRECTOR
    Position Description: The Education Director is the primary leader of Colorado Canyons Association's (CCA) education programs for students and adults on the land and rivers...
  • 10 ACRES OF NEW MEXICO HIGH DESERT
    10 Acres of undeveloped high desert land in central NM, about 45 minutes from downtown Albuquerque. Mixed cedar and piñon pine cover. Some dirt roadways...
  • WATERSHED RESTORATION DIRECTOR
    $58k-$70k + benefits to oversee watershed restoration projects that fulfill our strategic goals across urban and rural areas within the bi-national Santa Cruz and San...