Arthur Carhart: Wilderness Prophet

Overview

Arthur Carhart (1892 -1978), America's first champion of wilderness, the first Forest Service landscape architect, and the most popular conservation writer of mid-century America, won none of the titan status of his contemporary Aldo Leopold. A political maverick, he refused to side with any major advocacy group and none has made him its saint. Carhart was a grassroots thinker in a top-down era.

Arthur Carhart, the first biography of this Republican environmentalist and major ...

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Overview

Arthur Carhart (1892 -1978), America's first champion of wilderness, the first Forest Service landscape architect, and the most popular conservation writer of mid-century America, won none of the titan status of his contemporary Aldo Leopold. A political maverick, he refused to side with any major advocacy group and none has made him its saint. Carhart was a grassroots thinker in a top-down era.

Arthur Carhart, the first biography of this Republican environmentalist and major American thinker, writer, and activist, reveals the currency of his ideas. Tom Wolf elucidates Carhart 's vision of conservation as "a job for all of us," with citizens, municipal authorities, and national leaders all responsible for the environmental effects of their decisions. Carhart loved the local and decried interest groups - from stockmens' associations to wilderness lobbies - as cliques attempting blanket control. He pressured land management agencies to base decisions on local ecology and local partnerships. A lifelong wilderness advocate who proposed the first wilderness preserve at Trappers Lake, Colorado, in 1919, Carhart chose to oppose the Wilderness Act, heartsick at its compromises with lobbies.

Because he shifted his stance and changed his views in response to new information, Carhart is not an easy subject for a biography. Wolf traces Carhart's twists and turns to show a man whose voice was distinctive and contrary, who spoke from a passionate concern for the land and couldn't be counted on for anything else. Readers of American history and outdoor writing will enjoy this portrait of a historic era in conservation politics and the man who so often eschewed politics in favor of the land and people he loved.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780870819131
  • Publisher: University Press of Colorado
  • Publication date: 6/28/2008
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 590,007
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Tom Wolf is the author of Colorado's Sangre de Cristo Mountains (UPC), Ice Crusaders, and In Fire's Way.

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Table of Contents


Acknowledgments     vii
Introduction: It's Our Job, a Job for All of Us     1
Life Was Sure Rugged     13
Economic Efficiency of Forest Management     33
Ultimately to Perfect the Scene     45
Trappers Lake, Cradle of Wilderness     59
Plans Must Be Big and Bold     81
My Disappointment Comes from Expecting Too Much     107
Hog Wild on Recreation     129
That Threadbare Theory "Leave Nature Alone"     139
A Good Bad Book     155
I Am Going to Write a Wolf Book     169
Oh, for Another TR     189
Getting toward Half a Century     205
A Perverse Habit of Calling the Shots in Any Direction     223
An Old Buck, Always Off the Reservation and Hunting Lonely     243
Conclusion: Now a Well-Known Conservation Giant     265
Bibliography     271
Partial Carhart Bibliography     279
Index     283
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