Crown Jewel Wilderness, with Lauren Danner
Help us welcome Olympia author Lauren Danner, and hear the fascinating story of Crown Jewel Wilderness: Creating North Cascades National Park. Danner will be at Eagle Harbor Book Company on Thursday, Feb. 1, at 7pm.
North Cascades National Park is remote, rugged, and spectacularly majestic. Efforts to establish a park in the area gained traction after World War II, as national interest in wilderness preservation and concerns about the impact of harvesting timber grew.
Troubled by the National Park Service's policy favoring development for tourism and the United States Forest Service's policy promoting logging in the national forests, conservationists leveraged a changing political environment and the evolving environmental values of the natural resource agencies. Their activism eventually led to the 1968 creation of a crown jewel -- Washington's magnificent third national park. Danner masterfully lays out the political wrangling and complex interplay of campaigns for this wilderness.
Prominent players in the story of this period are members of the North Cascades Conservation Council (N3C), David Brower of the Sierra Club, various Washington politicians but especially Senator Henry M. Jackson, Washington Governor Dan Evans, Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall, and Presidents Kennedy and Johnson. Danner describes how the local, regional, and national natural resource politics played out in the North Cascades.
This book is not just a political history of the struggle for protection of the North Cascades. It is a story of how much people cared about this place, and how dedicated they were to its protection from mining, logging, and development that would mar its exceptional beauty and wildness. And though the "crown jewel" has been set in place, the story is not over. Danner identifies two important elements of the future of the place: climate change and wildlife restoration.
Expect to take part in a fascinating conversation about our role in the preservation of these unique wildlands.