• Title: Reclaimers
  • Author: Ana Maria Spagna
  • ISBN: 9780295995137
  • Page: 413
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Reclaimers For most of the past century Humbug Valley a forest hemmed meadow sacred to the Mountain Maidu tribe was in the grip of a utility company Washington s White Salmon River was saddled with a fish obs
    For most of the past century, Humbug Valley, a forest hemmed meadow sacred to the Mountain Maidu tribe, was in the grip of a utility company Washington s White Salmon River was saddled with a fish obstructing, inefficient dam, and the Timbisha Shoshone Homeland was unacknowledged within the boundaries of Death Valley National Park.Until people decided to reclaim them.In RFor most of the past century, Humbug Valley, a forest hemmed meadow sacred to the Mountain Maidu tribe, was in the grip of a utility company Washington s White Salmon River was saddled with a fish obstructing, inefficient dam, and the Timbisha Shoshone Homeland was unacknowledged within the boundaries of Death Valley National Park.Until people decided to reclaim them.In Reclaimers, Ana Maria Spagna drives an aging Buick up and down the long strip of West Coast mountain ranges the Panamints, the Sierras, the Cascades and alongside rivers to meet the people, many of them wise women, who persevered for decades with little hope of success to make changes happen In uncovering their heroic stories, Spagna seeks a way for herself, and for all of us, to take back and to make right in a time of unsettling ecological change.

    One Reply to “Reclaimers”

    1. I generally get impatient with nonfiction: memoir is whiny and embarrassingly self indulgent; biography is impersonal and boring; nature writing tries too hard with too many tedious examples. Usually my favorite way to read nonfiction is to read the final paragraph of each chapter; yeah, I get the gist.But Reclaimers, by Ana Maria Spagna, is different, I'm happy to say. The style is long-form journalism. The reader travels along with Spagna - the reporter - in her investigation into what it mean [...]

    2. Ana Maria Spagna introduces Reclaimers by defining what reclamation means to her: to take back, to make right, to make useful. With the curiosity of a journalist and the humility of a seeker of Truth, Spagna recounts the stories of three such reclamation projects. While the Friends of the White Salmon River worked for decades to remove the Condit dam, the Timbisha Shoshone and the Mountain Maidu struggled to take back some portion of their homelands. Spagna brings insight and clarity to these st [...]

    3. I love this author's voice and honesty. She doesn't shy away from the complexity, tragedy, or humor of our situation: we humans, we try to do the things we believe are good and right at any particular time, but we always seem to screw things up. Much as we might wish we could, we cannot fully undo our damage to return to some more pristine state that precedes all our mistakes. This book also felt very necessary and hopeful, at this particular time in our messy human history. It reminded me to ta [...]

    4. This beautiful, braided exploration is deeply moving and, I'll say it right out, life-changing. "Reclaimers" explores the efforts of the Timbisha Shoshone to reclaim acres of their former land at Furnace Creek in Death Valley, the Mountain Maidu to protect their sacred lands, especially Humbug Valley, and the Friends of the White Salmon River who advocated for, and achieved the removal of the Condit Dam. It's a firsthand account of people holding their ground despite constant efforts at erosion [...]

    5. "Reclaimers" is about tenacity, humility, long solo trips through the West spurred by curiosity, an aging Buick, seeking out Indian elders and unlikely activists, listening to their stories. And much more. Ana Maria Spagna writes eloquently about two small California tribes: the Timbisha Shoshone of Death Valley and the Mountain Maidu of the Northern Sierras. And her journey is full of surprises. Most Californians, I’d wager, have probably never even heard of the Timbisha or Maidu (pronounced [...]

    6. Ana Maria Spagna's book is about "saving" the earth through restoring, rehabilitating, and, yes, reclaiming in all its complexity. Spagna hopscotched up and down the West Coast, visiting Death Valley, Marin County, Rocky Recah Dam, Celilo Dam, and many others, to explore the trend toward reversing the early 20th-century landscape "improvements" made by humans taming the American West. Her approach and writing style sometimes replicate the challenges of the task-at-hand, as she records not only t [...]

    7. I purchased this book during a recent visit to the North Cascades National Park and the town of Stehekin. Interestingly, before my visit, this book was included on my "list of books to read". The author provides a well-written, informative and balanced view concerning the impact of dams on the ecology. Without blame, extremism or unnecessary harshness, her writing concentrates on the brave and tenacious individuals involved in efforts to reclaim and heal the damaged ecology, always with a clear [...]

    8. Reclaimers by Anna Maria Spagna highlights those who are attempting an ecological reclamation of land, rivers, and even a species. Traveling along the West Coast mountain range she connects with these people to tell their story and informs us along the way. I was fascinated by the Elwha Dam removal and this book took me back there through the other events that are making a change in our landscape and mindset. Being from the Pacific Northwest the scenery has been the backdrop to my life, it calls [...]

    9. I want to give this 4.5, just so you know. A lovely coverage of various reclaiming efforts, and our human desire to remake the environment. Dam removal, habitat restoration, Maidu and Timbasha/Shoshone land rights, lots of good stuff in here.I lost the thread of the narrative from time to time, which might've been my style of reading (little bits at night before I went to bed), or could've just been the jumping around Spagna did throughout. Hence the -.5.Favorite quote: [During a speech given in [...]

    10. Spagna writes about the Timbushi tribe in Death valley, the Maidu in the Northern Sierras, the removal of the Condit Dam on the White Salmon River, the mediation of the mine property at Holden Village in the North Cascades. Her reflections on reclaiming, restoration and mediation is straight-up preaching, no absolutes. Nothing is simple, everything complex. But sometimes progress is made. Her last sentence: "And while we're here, we hang on to the remnants, protect the glassy stone chips just un [...]

    11. Fabulous tour of western resource managementAs someone who has worked for various federal agencies and private sector restoration companies, this book hit at the underlying truths I witnessed over the years. The dichotomies of wild versus managed, colonized versus autonomous, buried sacredness versus profiteering run throughout Spagna's work. It is a testament and tribute to the ethics of modern western natural resource management and restoration ecology.

    12. Reclaimers is about reclaiming land, heritage, sacred space, and a sense of self. Its interlaced stories of the struggles to restore, reclaim, or renovate space and earth are truly stories of the human spirit. While the stories are fascinating, it is the language that makes this book claim our hearts. Sentences like, “Buildings were raised and razed” are so poetic that we sense the language restoring our souls as we read of the restoration of material elements.

    13. I'd love to give this book four stars, but that feature doesn't seem to be working on my page right now.

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