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‘That Wild Country’

November 15, 2019 by Abigail Bostwick


From well-known outdoorsman and nature writer Mark Kenyon arrives the engrossing non-fiction on past and future battles over the country’s most revered landscapes — the public lands.

Kenyon notes all American citizens are co-landowners of some 640 million acres of land full of clean air and water — all designated as such for camping, hiking, skiing, hunting, nature-watching and viewing, fishing and kayaking. His first book explores some of the best known and breath-taking sites such as Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Theodore Roosevelt National Park, Yellowstone National Park and Arches National Park. Kenyon relays the thick and stories history of America’s wild places and the struggle to keep them as such, while yet maintaining them as havens for wildlife and the wild itself. 

A political advocate and born Midwest sportsman with a passion for the outdoors, Kenyon traveled the United States to fully immerse himself in the national forests, monuments, wildlife refuges and wilderness to fully establish a basis for his book and its readers. The book explores federal protection and those that fought to establish these lands as such, as well as those still willing to maintain them as such. 

“That Wild Country” brings awareness to the threats public lands face — as well as all their natural resources and wonders. It examines how legislation does not fully protect these areas for now and the future, and that the status of each of them could undergo predation or fall into control of “privatization-friendly state governments.”

The author provides an intimate and informative journey, explaining his alarm over how these valuable resources are threatened, as well as the hikers, hunters, anglers and outdoor and wilderness lovers who enjoy them. 

“Midnight was approaching, and the endless dashed yellow line lulled me into hypnosis. There were no streetlights here, no glowing golden arches, no gas station signs lighting up the distance. As I guided the car around a curve in the road, a rue-red behemoth of a wall was set afire by the high beams, rippling in flame then shrouded in darkness. I drove the truck parallel to the rock for a moment, close enough I could nearly touch its chalky face, then turned again, following the road back into the perfect black of the Utah night.”

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