ORICK – As part of Redwood National and State Parks’ year-long celebration of the 50th anniversary of the creation of Redwood National Park, acclaimed nature writer Jordan Fisher Smith will be signing and discussing his book “Engineering Eden: The True Story of a Violent Death, a Trial, and the Fight Over Controlling Nature.” This free event will be held at the Thomas H. Kuchel Visitor Center on Saturday, May 12, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The visitor center is located on Hwy. 101 just one mile south of Orick, Calif. All proceeds of book sales support Redwood Parks Conservancy.
“Engineering Eden,” which won a 2017 California Book Award, is Smith’s analysis of the history and sometimes unforeseen consequences of America’s evolving relationship with wilderness and wildness and his examination of two core questions: Is a natural environment modified by humans still natural? And, are our nation’s national parks and other public lands managed for the benefit of humans or for the wildlife that inhabits these places?
The book begins with a chilling tale. In the summer of 1972 in Yellowstone National Park, a 25-year-old camper killed by a 20-year-old grizzly bear with a metal tag in its ear and a long history with human beings. His family sued the federal government for wrongful death. The subsequent legal battle became an intense argument between biologists over the management and restoration of wild places—an argument which continues to shape environmental policy today.
\ordan Fisher Smith spent 21 years as a park and wilderness ranger for the Forest Service, National Park Service, and California State parks in California, Wyoming, Idaho, and Alaska. He is the author of the ranger memoir “Nature Noir,” which was a Wall Street Journal summer reading selection, San Francisco Chronicle Best Books of 2005 pick, and an Audubon Magazine Editor’s Choice. His second book, “Engineering Eden,” won not only the Silver Medal for nonfiction in the 2017 California Book Awards, but was also longlisted for the 2016 PEN/E.O. Wilson Award for Literary Science Writing. In addition, he has written for The New Yorker, Men’s Journal, Aeon, Discover, and Orion, and his magazine work has been nominated for awards from the American Society of Magazine Editors and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Smith is a principal cast member and narrator of the film “Under Our Skin,” which was shortlisted for the 2010 Oscar for Best Documentary Feature. He lectures, teaches writing workshops, and coaches writers on their projects from his base in the northern Sierra Nevadas.
Redwood Parks Conservancy (RPC) is a non-profit partner for public lands along the North Coast. Funds generated through special events and its RPC sales areas in visitor centers throughout Redwood National and State Parks, Smith River National Recreation Area, Patrick’s Point State Park, and more, support the mission of fostering understanding, enjoyment, and stewardship of public lands through educational outreach, visitor services, and support of the agency partners entrusted with the care of these wondrous public lands. For more information write Debra White [email protected] or call (707) 465-7327.