That Wild Country: An Epic Journey Through the Past, Present, and Future of America's Public Lands Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
|New from||Used from|
Audible Audiobook, Unabridged
|Free with your Audible trial|
From prominent outdoorsman and nature writer Mark Kenyon comes an engrossing reflection on the past and future battles over our most revered landscapes - America’s public lands.
Every American is a public-land owner, inheritor to the largest public-land trust in the world. These vast expanses provide a home to wildlife populations, a vital source of clean air and water, and a haven for recreation.
Since its inception, however, America’s public land system has been embroiled in controversy - caught in the push and pull between the desire to develop the valuable resources the land holds or conserve them. Alarmed by rising tensions over the use of these lands, hunter, angler, and outdoor enthusiast Mark Kenyon set out to explore the spaces involved in this heated debate, and learn firsthand how they came to be and what their future might hold.
Part travelogue and part historical examination, That Wild Country invites listeners on an intimate tour of the wondrous wild and public places that are a uniquely profound and endangered part of the American landscape.
- Click above for unlimited listening to select audiobooks, Audible Originals, and podcasts.
- One credit a month to pick any title from our entire premium selection — yours to keep (you'll use your first credit now).
- You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
- $14.95 a month after 30 days. Cancel online anytime.
People who viewed this also viewed
People who bought this also bought
Related to this topic
|Listening Length||8 hours and 44 minutes|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||December 01, 2019|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #15,934 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#10 in Biographies of Environmentalists & Naturalists (Audible Books & Originals)
#14 in Ecosystems & Habitats
#29 in Environmental Conservation
Reviewed in the United States on August 20, 2020
Reviews with images
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Author Mark Kenyon is described as a “hunter, angler and outdoor enthusiast” in the book’s description. Endorsements are by, among others, the author of “The MeatEater Fish and Game Cookbook” and the president of “Backcountry Hunters & Anglers”. What’s a girl to do? I swallow hard and press forward.
Approximately 28% of the United States consists of Public Lands; that’s equivalent to Germany 7 times over. “[T]his ‘public land’ … is available for all to use—to observe wildlife, camp, hunt, hike, fish, or bike on. “Public lands … are each managed with slightly different goals and priorities—some are primarily for recreation (ATV riding, climbing, biking, hunting, and hiking) and wildlife conservation, and some are for use by ranchers and miners. The key factor linking them together is that they are all available for public use now, while also being managed for the long term so they can be experienced by unborn generations.” There are more visits to national parks every year than there are people in this country. Of course, the same can likely be said of trips to McDonald’s, but those are less healthy.
From businessmen to politicians to the radical fringe (think Clive Bundy), there are those who have felt public lands should be sold off and become private property. These land-transfer ideas have become sadly quite common. That said, in Utah over 60% of the state’s landmass is federal public lands; you could see how that might annoy the locals.
It is from opposition to these ideas that this book was born: “I decided I needed to do something. I couldn’t single-handedly stop a politician from writing a bill, or convince a president to stand up for our parks and forests, but I could at least try to make sense of how we got here and share what I’d learned. … I wasn’t sure I was the most apt mouthpiece. … My fresh eyes and outsider perspective might help bring the issue to the larger world in a relatable way. … [M]y stance on public lands was clear. I was happy to stand side by side with anyone fighting on behalf of our public lands, no matter what other differences we might have.”
And we definitely have differences! Democrats want to see public lands conserved for nature’s sake, for animals' sake, for humanity’s sake. The Republican Party is the party of hunters, who want to see nature preserved for the sake of their so-called sport.
Part memoir, part history of public lands, at all times a cry to preserve the wilderness. Plenty of fun animal encounters. A consistently interesting intelligent read. For obvious reasons, Theodore Roosevelt features prominently. Well written and at times very funny, like when the author plans his outdoor winter excursion with his wife to UTAH instead of to KEY WEST. A few photos sprinkled throughout.
Multiple scenes from the Star Trek ‘verse of the future take place in future public lands that were preserved in the past - our present. Let’s make it so!
BOTTOM LINE: The author's love affair with the great outdoors is evident throughout. Not only well written, but an exceptionally good book to find in First Reads. Highly recommend.
HOT TIP: If others on your Amazon account also get a First Reads book, you can “share” through your family library and get access to multiple free books!
SECOND HOT TIP: If you have kids, I very strongly recommend you consider this month’s First Reads children’s book, This Book is Gray. It’s the best First Reads book I’ve ever come across.
- There is an unpleasant ode to hunting around page 287.
- He goes on an unsuccessful bear hunt.
- Overall, nothing that terribly offended my vegetarian (nearly vegan) sensibilities - until he murdered a caribou, also on page 287.
- A photo near the back depicts the obligatory holding of the dead fish.
Kenyon was a marketing person at Google. You can tell, because there are all sorts of places in the book where he exaggerates for effect. For instance, he'll take up how tough a hike is, or how "he'd never been camping before", and then later on in the book he'll mention in an aside that his parents had taken him to Rainier National Park and the Hoh Rainforest in the Olympic National Park as a kid, and then you realized that some guy who's been hunting all his life cannot possibly be incompetent enough for an easy hike on a marked trail in a US National Park to be challenged!
The history, some of which I've heard before, is less obscure, but again, it's very shallow, with little detail about how the Wilderness Act got enacted, and even less detail about how the Koch Brothers keep trying to get the public lands as a gimme. He talks a lot about how the Hunters and Fishing enthusiasts were the ones backing the #KeepItPublic movement, but again, no statistics, no history, and no evidence. I might believe him, but again, why am I reading your book if you're not going to give me evidence and reason to believe me, especially after your attempt at "incompetence literature" destroyed your credibility? There's no mention of how (for instance), the MTB community had to get a seat at the table by threatening to join the "Wise Use" movement after continuously being marginalized by the Sierra Club, something I still don't forgive the Sierra Club for.
I do believe that public lands are a virtue, and obviously I'm raising my kids to enjoy and use that heritage. But the book's shallow approach and exaggeration isn't doing the cause any favors.