Synopses & Reviews
Inside Passage is a wonderfully subversive travelogue. The setting is the Pacific Northwest, from southeast Alaska down through Puget Sound, and then on to the northern Oregon coast and the Columbia River system. With the gifted writer Richard Manning as our guide, the journey isn't a conventional one of tourist attractions, though. The author takes us instead on an insightful exploration of our economic landscape's design, its origins and its effect on people and nature today, both in the region and beyond.
Through vivid description and engaging conversations with the region's people, Manning brings new insights to the area's most pressing environmental issues and concerns -- suburban sprawl, the salmon crisis, deforestation, hydroelectric dams -- and shows us various innovative ways they are being addressed. We see not only the destructive effects of low-and high-tech industry, mass tourism, and hyper-consumption, but also efforts to restore degraded ecosystems, to use tools such as Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in the service of local conservation, and to integrate economic development with protection of natural systems.
For the past century and a half, a prime conservation strategy has been to protect nature through the creation of parks and preserves. Yet drawing lines around an area and calling it wilderness is not by itself adequate to solve larger environmental problems, Manning points out. As he puts it in a knowingly provocative way: "Wilderness designation is not a victory, but acknowledgment of defeat".
In Inside Passage, Manning focuses on the hopeful possibility that we can redesign the human enterprise in the Northwest and else-where to a scale moreappropriate to the nature that holds it, that rather than drawing borders around nature, we might instead start placing limits on human behavior. Perhaps, he suggests, we can begin to act in all places as if all places matter to us as much as wilderness, and, in the process, claim a
Manning takes readers on a thought-provoking tour of the lands along the Pacific Northwest's Inside Passage. He brings new insights to the area's most pressing environmental concerns, from the salmon crisis to urban sprawl, and examines various innovative ways they are being addressed. Illustrations. Maps.
About the Author
Richard Manning is an award-winning journalist and writer based in Lolo, Montana. Among his books are Food's Frontier (North Point, 2000), Grassland (Viking, 1995), A Good House (Grove, 1993) and Last Stand (Gibbs Smith, 1991).