Caribou Rising: Defending the Porcupine Herd, Gwich-'in Culture, and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

Caribou Rising: Defending the Porcupine Herd, Gwich-'in Culture, and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

by Rick Bass
     
 

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The eloquent voice of Rick Bass has been raised often in celebration and defense of America’s wilderness and wildlife. In Caribou Rising, Bass journeys to one of the sole remaining landscapes on Earth where the wild is entirely untrammeled—Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, where great caribou herds gather, calve, and migrate, and

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Overview

The eloquent voice of Rick Bass has been raised often in celebration and defense of America’s wilderness and wildlife. In Caribou Rising, Bass journeys to one of the sole remaining landscapes on Earth where the wild is entirely untrammeled—Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, where great caribou herds gather, calve, and migrate, and where the ancient bond between animals and human hunters still informs daily life.
As the Bush administration was pressuring Congress to open the Refuge to oil drilling, Bass traveled to Arctic Village to join the native Gwich-‘in in their annual caribou hunt. He wanted to witness and report on what we all stand to lose if that comes to pass.
Caribou Rising details Bass’s time hunting as well as talking with the Gwich-‘in and their leaders, and offers his reflections on the profound differences between that culture and our own, and on the ancient physical and spiritual connection between the Gwich-‘in and the caribou.
Those who read this extraordinary testament to the Refuge, the caribou, and the Gwich-‘in will come to appreciate the interconnectedness of all three, and cannot help but be inspired to make a stand in their defense.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this poetic cri de coeur, Bass (The Book of the Yaak) turns his focus to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. He visited there to join the Gwich-'in tribe in its annual hunt for the life-sustaining caribou-as the Bush administration pressured Congress to open the herd's traditional calving grounds to oil drilling. This bittersweet account of his stay conveys a profound appreciation for the immense, unblemished majesty of one of the few almost untouched landscapes on Earth; an eye-opening understanding of the intimate spiritual and physical connection, stretching back as much as 10,000 years, between the scattered Gwich-'in tribes and the migrant caribou; and an unexpected respect for how tribal elders and a young generation of activists in Arctic Village (pop. 150) have developed a media-savvy offense against "predatory" Alaskan politicians desperate to drill for a few months' worth of petroleum. Bass is no starry-eyed optimist arguing abstractly for the environment; he concludes his emotional defense of the Gwich-'in uncertain that the preservation of a precious, ancient way of life is possible. But this eloquent narrative holds out hope. (Sept.) Forecast: The Senate is likely to bring Arctic National Wildlife Refuge drilling to a vote once more before the presidential election. There is good potential for the publisher to link the book to this vote. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Bass, the author of numerous books on animals and nature, has now written about a unique but remote northern culture and its future threatened by globalization. The Gwich-'in is a native North American community isolated above the Arctic Circle and facing inevitable incorporation to mainstream American life via oil exploration and its associated environmental ills. Bass contrasts the Gwich-'in way of life with that of Washington insiders and the energy-consuming public, incorporating colorful descriptions of the flora, fauna, geophysical, and meteorological wonders of their relatively untouched land. His narrative unfurls against the backdrop of an unsuccessful hunt for a herd of caribou that uses this ecologically sensitive area for birthing during its annual migration. This short but well-crafted book will have a somewhat narrow audience and is, therefore, recommended for public libraries with environmentally aware users and/or Rick Bass fans.-Alvin Hutchinson, Smithsonian Inst. Libs., Washington, DC Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781578051144
Publisher:
Sierra Club Books
Publication date:
08/23/2004
Pages:
176
Product dimensions:
7.74(w) x 10.86(h) x 0.65(d)

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