Recommended Reading / Viewing

“One of the penalties of an ecological education is that one lives alone in a world of wounds. Much of the damage inflicted on land is quite invisible to laymen. An ecologist must either harden his shell and make believe that the consequences of science are none of his business, or he must be the doctor who sees the marks of death in a community that believes itself well and does not want to be told otherwise.” 
- Aldo Leopold

The Following recommendations are in no particular order.

Feeding the Problem - "Feeding the Problem explores the social, historical, and ecological impacts of Wyoming’s elk feed grounds through stunning imagery and a powerful narrative. An eclectic mix of ranchers, outfitters, scientists, and wildlife officials shed light on this precarious situation and illustrate the important relationship between people and wildlife in Jackson Hole." - Feeding the Problem Documentary

Inherit the Hunt - Jim Posewitz
"...this book examines the unique heritage of hunting in North America and the challenges facing hunters at the close of the 20th century. In a simple but powerful style that draws on his personal experiences and his scholarly research, Jim Posewitz makes the case that hunting in North America is a remarkable expression of democracy with its roots in the American struggle for independence." 

The Extermination of the American Bison (Illustrated Edition) - William Temple Hornaday
William Temple Hornaday, Sc. D. (1854-1937) was an American zoologist, realtor, conservationist, author, poet and songwriter. He was born in Indiana, and educated at Oskaloosa College. He spent 15 years, 1877-1878 in India and Ceylon collecting specimens. In May 1878 he reached southeast Asia and traveled in Malaya and Sarawak in Borneo. He served as chief taxidermist of the United States National Museum in 1882-1890. He was appointed director of the New York Zoological Park in 1896, became president of the Permanent Wild Life Protective Association, and was president of the American Bison Society in 1907-1910. He revolutionized museum exhibits by displaying wildlife in their natural settings, and is credited with saving the American bison and the Alaskan fur seal from extinction. He was able to exert some influence which led to the passage of legislation which extended protection to wild birds, game, bison, seals, and wild life in general. He wrote many magazine articles and books like The Extermination of the American Bison (1889), Our Vanishing Wild Life (1913), The Minds and Manners of Wild Animals (1922).

Welfare Ranching: The Subsidized Destruction Of The American West - George Wuerthner
"Welfare Ranching reveals the deplorable practices that are ripping apart the ecological fabric of the arid West, where subsidized livestock grazing occurs on more than 300 million acres of publicly owned land. The book offers a graphic look at the consequences of using taxpayer dollars to turn the West into a giant feedlot for cattle and sheep - the slaughter of predators, a growing number of endangered species, polluted rivers and streams, an increase in soil erosion, and weed invasion, to name just a few. Through dramatic photographs and scientifically supported essays, the book shows that wherever cattle are grazing at the public trough, severe and sometimes irreversible ecological damage results. Fauna of all kinds are extirpated, endangered, or driven to extinction; riparian zones are trammeled and degraded; introductions of exotic grasses and foiled mitigation attempts abound. For years the true impacts of livestock grazing have gone unnoticed as the landscape has been altered slowly over time, making the changes difficult to discern. With more than 150 powerful photographs, Welfare Ranching vividly illustrates the difference between lands appropriated for livestock production and the spectacular deserts, grasslands and forests that have been protected from its shattering effects. Essays by leading scientists, historians, and economic and policy experts - including Edward Abbey, Joy Belsky, Carl Bock, John Carter, Thomas Fleischner, Terrence Frest, and T.H. Watkins - document the many costs of ranching on public lands. Welfare Ranching is testimony to an environmental tragedy but it is also an expression of hope that America's heritage of wild and vibrant western landscapes will be restored and renewed. It offers a clear path toward healing mpre than a century of reckless ranching in the arid West - towards a new West with a healthy and living landscape, the revival of extirpated species, and beautiful testimony to true human values."

Online Copy

Wolfer: A Memoir - Carter Niemeyer
"His plan was to stay in Iowa, maybe get a job counting ducks, or do a little farming. But events conspired to fling Carter Niemeyer westward and straight into the jaws of wolves. From his early years wrangling ornery federal trappers, eagles and grizzlies, to winning a skinning contest that paved the way for wolf reintroduction in the Northern Rockies, Carter Niemeyer reveals the wild and bumpy ride that turned a trapper - a killer - into a champion of wolves."

The Wolf's Tooth: Keystone Predators, Trophic Cascades, and Biodiversity - Cristina Eisenberg
"Animals such as wolves, sea otters, and sharks exert a disproportionate influence on their environment; dramatic ecological consequences can result when they are removed from—or returned to—an ecosystem.

In The Wolf’s Tooth, scientist and author Cristina Eisenberg explores the concept of “trophic cascades” and the role of top predators in regulating ecosystems. Her fascinating and wide-ranging work provides clear explanations of the science surrounding keystone predators and considers how this notion can help provide practical solutions for restoring ecosystem health and functioning.

Eisenberg examines both general concepts and specific issues, sharing accounts from her own fieldwork to illustrate and bring to life the ideas she presents. She considers how resource managers can use knowledge about trophic cascades to guide recovery efforts, including how this science can be applied to move forward the bold vision of rewilding the North American continent. In the end, the author provides her own recommendations for local and landscape-scale applications of what has been learned about interactive food webs."

Montana's Wild & Scenic Upper Missouri River - Glenn Monahan
Montana's Upper Missouri National Wild and Scenic River is a one hundred forty-nine mile wilderness stretch of the Missouri River that has changed but little since Lewis and Clark first saw it in 1805. In addition to the river corridor's incredible beauty, it played a major role in the settling of the West, and there are scores of important historic sites along its banks, including Indian encampments, Lewis and Clark campsites, steamboat landings, fur trading post sites, and abandoned homesteads. The Upper Missouri is the premier section of the Lewis and Clark Trail, which stretches from St. Louis to the Pacific coast.

The Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument includes the Upper Missouri National Wild and Scenic River, as well as tens of thousands of acres of wilderness public lands adjoining the river corridor.
The core of this book is a 'history digest', which locates important historic sites along the river, and provides a narrative describing the history of each site. When combined with the Bureau of Land Management maps for the river, floaters can relive the history of the Upper Missouri, while enjoying the beauty and peacefulness of the river. 

Additional chapters describe the river's geology, wildlife, and provide tips for individuals planning to float the Upper Missouri. Glenn Monahan operates a guiding and outfitting service on the Upper Missouri; Chan Biggs is a retired, Bureau of Land Management river ranger.

Destruction of the Bison: An Environmental History, 1750-1920 (Studies in Environment and History) - Andrew C. Isenberg
"The Destruction of the Bison explains the decline of the North American bison population from an estimated 30 million in 1800 to fewer than 1000 a century later. In this wide-ranging, interdisciplinary study, Andrew C. Isenberg argues that the cultural and ecological encounter between Native Americans and Euroamericans in the Great Plains was the central cause of the near extinction of the bison. Drought and the incursion of domestic livestock and exotic species such as horses into the Great Plains all threatened the Western ecosystem, which was further destabilized as interactions between Native Americans and Euroamericans created new types of hunters in both cultures: mounted Indian nomads and white commercial hide hunters. In the early twentieth century, nostalgia about the very cultural strife that first threatened the bison became, ironically, an important impetus to its preservation."


  1. What Durfee are the "Durfee Hills" in Montana named after. Thank you. Sincerely, Carl Durfee-family historian.

  2. What Durfee are the "Durfee Hills" in Montana named after. Thank you. Sincerely, Carl Durfee-family historian.