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Know the West

Eloquently missing the point

 

Carl Segerstrom’s harsh review of This Land (“The West is more than heroes and villains,” HCN, 11/11/19) dwells too much on the book’s style and tone, distracting from Christopher Ketcham’s compelling indictment of a century of severe and relentless damage to public lands in the Southwest. Segerstrom crafts clever turns of phrase to highlight his own writing skills, picks semantic fusses over Ketcham’s admittedly selective interviewing techniques, and unfairly dismisses the author because he is not from around here — all with only token attention to the book’s timely and important message. That message: Cattle grazing, and the stumbling industry and misplaced culture behind it, have inflicted permanent damage on an almost unfathomably large landscape. Don’t take Segerstrom’s word on this — or mine. Read This Land for yourself and see what you think.

Steve Smith
Glenwood Springs, Colorado