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King of Fish Thousand Year Run of Salmonby David R Montgomery
Synopses & Reviews
The salmon that symbolize the Pacific Northwest's natural splendor are now threatened with extinction across much of their ancestral range. In studying the natural and human forces that shape the rivers and mountains of that region, geologist David Montgomery has learned to see the evolution and near-extinction of the salmon as a story of changing landscapes. Montgomery shows how a succession of historical experiences — first in the United Kingdom, then in New England, and now in the Pacific Northwest — repeat a disheartening story in which overfishing and sweeping changes to rivers and seas render the world inhospitable to salmon.
In King of Fish, Montgomery traces the human impacts on salmon over the last thousand years and examines the implications both for salmon recovery efforts and for the more general problem of human impacts on the natural world. What does it say for the long-term prospects of the world's many endangered species if one of the most prosperous regions of the richest country on earth cannot accommodate its icon species? All too aware of the possible bleak outcome for the salmon, King of Fish concludes with provocative recommendations for reinventing the ways in which we make environmental decisions about land, water, and fish.
"[Montgomery] courageously outlines the scientific evidence surrounding the salmon's plight and presents a no-nonsense plan for the fish's tenuous hope for survival." Publishers Weekly
"David Montgomery is a friend of the river. His compelling account of the plight of the king of all freshwater fish is a book all sportsmen and concerned citizens must read. The intrepid salmon has endured nature's calamities for millions of years. As Montgomery so cogently discloses, we must not allow this magnificent creature to disappear on our watch." William J. Young III, board member, The Atlantic Salmon Federation
"A sorry, scary future for salmon and their ecosystem if this author's warnings go unheeded." Kirkus Reviews
"King Of Fish is the king of salmon books. Its breathtaking depth and its resonant sense of deep time help explain why for millennia the regal salmon have cast magic upon every people that has encountered them." Carl Safina, author of Song for the Blue Ocean and Eye of the Albatross
"Dave Montgomery has written a richly-informed, at times, shocking, meditation on the life and demise of salmon. Anyone who cares about the natural world, be they a recreationalist, scientist, resource manager, or politician should read this book. It illuminates in harsh light the inability of a public resource to be protected when it collides with powerful economic forces. No one can read this book unchanged, and, hopefully, unmoved by the passionate argument made that there is still something that can be done to protect and, more importantly, restore these silvery icons of wild rivers." William E. Dietrich, Professor, Department of Earth and Planetary Science, University of California, Berkeley
"David Montgomery's biography of the salmon is a brilliant natural history of the fish that has most enriched our palates, economy, landscapes, culture, and history. Its decline is a profound human tragedy and a preview for Armageddon in which the triumph belongs to the forces of ignorance and greed." Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., President, Waterkeeper Alliance
"Although there have been many books on salmon in recent years, King of Fish is a necessary contribution. Dave Montgomery does a fine job in explaining the problems facing both Atlantic and Pacific salmon, and how geology of watersheds determines fish habitat. An important read." Robert Behnke, author of Trout and Salmon of North America
A passionate recounting of the natural history of the rise and fall of salmon in England, New England, and the Pacific Northwest-with recommendations for bringing the salmon back
About the Author
David R. Montgomery is Professor of Geomorphology at the University of Washington. His research focuses on landscape evolution, including the impact of erosion and sedimentation on biological systems. A member of advisory committees to governmental bodies and private organizations dedicated to protecting rivers and wildlife, Montgomery lives in Seattle with his wife Anne, and his field assistant Xena, a black lab-chow mix.
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