Balancing Water: Restoring the Klamath Basin

Balancing Water: Restoring the Klamath Basin
By Tupper Ansel Blake, Madeleine Graham Blake, William Kittredge

The Klamath Basin is a land of teeming wildlife, expansive marshes, blue-ribbon trout streams, tremendous stretches of forests, and large ranches in southern Oregon and northern California. Known to waterfowl, songbirds, and shorebirds, the Klamath Basin's marshlands are a mecca for birds along the Pacific Flyway. This gorgeously illustrated book is a paean to the beauty of the Klamath Basin and at the same time a sophisticated environmental case study of an endangered region whose story parallels that of watershed 
development throughout the west.

A collaboration between two photographers and a writer, Balancing Water tells the story in words and pictures of the complex relationship between the human and natural history of this region. Spectacular images by Tupper Ansel Blake depict resident species of the area, migratory birds, and dramatic landscapes. Madeleine Graham Blake has contributed portraits of local residents, while archival photographs document the history of the area.

William Kittredge's essay on the conjunction of conflicting interests in this wildlands paradise is by turns lyrically personal and brimming with historical and scientific facts. He traces the water flowing through the Klamath Basin, the human history of the watershed, and the land-use conflicts that all touch on the availability of water. Ranchers, loggers, town settlers, Native Americans, tourists, and environmentalists are all represented in the narrative, and their diverse perspectives form a complicated web like that of the interactions among organisms in the ecosystem.

Kittredge finds hope in the endangered Klamath Basin, both in successful restoration projects recently begun there, and in the community involvement he sees as necessary for watershed restoration and biodiversity preservation. Emphasizing that we must take care of both human economies and the natural environment, he shows how the two are ultimately interconnected. The Klamath Basin can be a model for watershed restoration elsewhere in the west, as we search for creative ways of solving our intertwined ecological and social problems.
GET BOOK >> Balancing Water: Restoring the Klamath Basin By Tupper Ansel Blake, Madeleine Graham Blake, William Kittredge


"A book of unusual personality, charm, and force; it should greatly please a wide range of readers, including those sophisticated about conservation and land-use questions, and it should make even the hardest-line ranchers think some new thoughts about their future strategies."--Ernest Callenbach, author of Ecotopia
"What a grand collaboration: Kittredge's words and the Blakes' images take us to the soul of the Klamath Country, at once a magnificent, battered, and resolute landscape. This finely-crafted blend of artistry, history, literature, public policy, and ecology tells the full and compelling story of one great western place and its people.

In so doing, Balancing Water tells us a great deal about how, if we find the common will to work it right, we can shape the futures of other watersheds across the west."--Charles Wilkinson, Distinguished University Professor at the University of Colorado, and author of Fire on the Plateau and The Eagle Bird
"Coexistence has never been a popular principle in the American West, but as this book makes clear it has become indispensable for the survival of both endangered nature and endangered rural community. I was inspired by this brilliant collaboration of writer and photographers. They show a West that is changing for the good. They bring a message of hope that is compelling and timely."--Donald Worster, Hall Professor of American History, Univ of Kansas and author of Rivers of Empire: Water, Aridity, and the Growth of the American West and Nature's Economy: A History of Ecological Ideas

About the Author
Tupper Ansel Blake is a photographer whose books include Tracks in the Sky: Wildlife and Wetlands of the Pacific Flyway (1987), Two Eagles/Dos Aguilas: The Natural World of the United States-Mexico Borderlands (with Peter Steinhart, California, 1994), and Wild California: Vanishing Lands, Vanishing Wildlife (with Peter Steinhart, California, 1985). Madeleine Graham Blake is an exhibiting photographer whose work has appeared at the Pasadena Art Museum, Friends of Photography, and the Monterey Art Museum, as well as other galleries and museums. William Kittredge is a former rancher and creative writing professor at the University of Montana, as well as author of Hole in the Sky: A Memoir (1992), and Who Owns the West (1996). His essays have been published in many collections, including Waste Land: Meditations on a Ravaged Landscape (1997). He grew up in the Klamath Basin.

 

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