Forks in the Trail: A Conservationist's Trek to the Pinnacles of Natural Resource Leadership

Foreword by Char Miller

Forks in the Trail
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In the works since 2002 and finally published by the Boone and Crockett Club, this collection of stories from Jack Ward Thomas ranges from his childhood years in Texas to his later years as the 13th Chief of the U.S. Forest Service through his retirement years as Professor of Wildlife Conservation at the University of Montana. This book and his collected stories span the decades, a conservation leader's perspectives on the development of wildlife management and habitat conservation in America during the second half of the 20th century.

Wilderness Journals: Wandering the High Lonesome

Foreword by John N. Maclean

Wilderness Journals
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Included in this priceless book are entries from the journals of Jack Ward Thomas, journals he kept for many years during his years horse-packing the high country of the Pacific Northwest with his best friend and "traveling companion" Bill Brown. An unlikely pair, the two of them reveled in and retreated to the wilderness, what they called "the high lonesome," for autumn elk hunting, summertime fishing and camping trips, their favorite deer camps, and what they called "VIP Trips," in which they took government officials and the occasional politician into the wilds of the Pacific Northwest high country "to show them what we were talking about" in discussions of wilderness legislation and land management. From simple fishing stories to reminiscing about dear friends and fierce political battles, Thomas offers both an insider's view and personal recollections of years of state and federal land management -- and his own tales of the outdoors shared with his "mountain man" friend Bill Brown.

Hunting Around the World: Fair Chase Pursuits from Backcountry Wilderness to the Scottish Highlands

Foreword by Robert Model

Hunting Around the World
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This book, the third in a trilogy of Jack Ward Thomas stories and essays published by the Boone and Crockett Club, includes a collection of stories focused on hunting, wildlife, and fair chase by a quintessential hunter-conservationist. Thomas hunted red stag in the Scottish highlands, doves in Argentina, caribou in Alaska, and -- perhaps his favorite -- elk in the wilderness areas of northeastern Oregon with his friend and "traveling companion" Bill Brown. From his early years growing up hunting small game in Texas to the wistful memories of old age, Thomas' hunting stories contrast different hunts in different countries with different perspectives on what "fair chase" really means, and what hunting traditions have meant to wildlife conservation around the world.

Elk of North America, Ecology and Management

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by Jack Ward Thomas and Dale E. Toweill

Elk of North America One of the first well-known major publications by Jack Ward Thomas, this book is often referred to by serious elk hunters as the "elk bible." A Wildlife Management Institute book, the 698-page hardcover edition was published in 1982 by Stackpole Books. It's somewhat rare and difficult to find now, and is not usually available in new condition.

Fortunately, the book has been updated and re-issued -- see below.

Founded in 1911, the Wildlife Management Institute is a private, nonprofit, scientific and educational organization dedicated to the conservation, enhancement, and professional management of North America's wildlife and other natural resources.

North American Elk: Ecology and Management

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Edited by Dale E. Toweill and Jack Ward Thomas
Illustrated by Daniel P. Metz

North American Elk This 962-page book, published in 2002, was honored with The Wildlife Society's Editorship Book Award for 2003. The 1982 version of this book (Elk of North America, above) was praised as "surely the finest book ever written about a single species." This new edition, with 85 percent new material, includes material from contributors from the U.S. and Canada. The enormous book comprises an extraordinary volume of research data, management experience, and professional insight.

The book contains up-to-date information on elk behavior, physiology, migration, taxonomy, and management. Full chapters are devoted to distribution, nutrition and food, diseases and parasites, ecosystem management, hunting, the regulation of hunting, and the historical relationship between Native Americans and elk. The editors conclude with a thorough discussion of the future of elk and their management.

Two appendices provide common and scientific names of plants and animals cited, and the book is illustrated with drawings, tables, more than 550 black and white photographs, and a 16-page section of color photographs. The book's original artwork has been provided again by Daniel P. Metz.

The book all but disappeared several years ago when its publisher, Smithsonian Institution Press, went under. The Wildlife Management Institute acquired the lost (warehoused) inventory and regained full rights to the work. Originally selling for $85.00, North American Elk: Ecology and Management now can be purchased for $42.50 (a 50 percent discount) for as long as the first-edition, first-printing inventory remains.

Journals of a Forest Service Chief

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By Jack Ward Thomas

Journals of a Forest Service Chief May 2004 Amazon review: In the summer of 1986, Jack Ward Thomas began keeping a journal. "This will be a journal of random thoughts," he wrote. "My purpose is unknown to me, but I feel a compulsion to begin. Perhaps it will serve as a tickler of memory for the book I intend to write, but of course never will."

This first book from Jack Ward Thomas is sure to open the eyes of those who think they know how policy and management decisions affecting the nation's forests are made. Though Thomas has authored well over 400 publications, mostly on wildlife conservation, perhaps the most valuable thing he's written is the set of journals he started eighteen years ago - the book he intended to write.

As Chief of the Forest Service, Thomas is quick to give credit to those he respects, particularly his agency employees in the field. But he doesn't shy from battle, and his assessments of some political appointees in Washington and certain members of Congress are brutal.

Thomas was drafted into the chief's job shortly after Clinton took office, and he took the helm of the agency with typical fortitude - and the naiveté of a researcher thrust into the political cauldron that is Washington DC. "We don't just manage land," he wrote, "we're supposed to be leaders. Conservation leaders. Leaders in protecting and improving the land."

Statements like that surprised some of the people in Washington, but certainly didn't surprise his longtime friends and colleagues. Thomas had been talking about and writing about conservation for most of his life. And the cream of that conservation writing is in his journals.

This book offers not only insight into the mind and heart of a naturalist, but also a perspective on the politics of natural resource management through the eyes of one of this country's finest conservationists. His writings clarify many of the environmental issues we face today: protecting obscure but endangered species, dealing with wildfire and wildfire fatalities, balancing resource needs against the need to preserve, and the development of policies to address forest health. This book's a treasure, and will be a valuable addition to the collections of those who care about natural resources management.

"This is a priceless chronicle of a pivotal period in the history of U.S. forest policy, seen through the unblinking eyes of a central player and candid observer." ~ Al Sample, president, Pinchot Institute for Conservation, Washington, D.C.


Wildlife Habitats in Managed Forests: The Blue Mountains of Oregon and Washington

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Jack Ward Thomas, Technical Editor

Wildlife Habitats in Managed Forests Our national forests are one of the last remaining natural habitats for terrestrial wildlife. Much of this vast forest resource has changed dramatically in the last 200 years and can no longer be considered wild. It is now managed for multiple use benefits, including timber production. Timber harvesting and roadbuilding now alter wildlife habitat more than any other forest management activity. In recent years public forest managers have had to account more completely for the impacts of their activities on wildlife, and federal laws and other legislation have set forth specific responsibilities for protection and enhancement of wildlife habitats in managed forests. This publication is designed to help forest managers deal more effectively with these new responsibilities.

The setting is the Blue Mountains of Oregon and Washington, but it could be anywhere in North America where coniferous forests are a dominant part of the landscape and where public ownership of forest land is extensive. Although the setting is geographically narrow, the general concepts, principles, and practices are applicable to forest management throughout the country.

The book has three purposes: (1) to develop a common understanding among resource specialists about wildlife habitats in managed forests, (2) to provide a system to predict the impact of forest management practices on wildlife, and (3) to show how the system can be applied to a specific area -- in this case, the Blue Mountains. With the information provided, forest managers, wildlife biologists, and other specialists will be able to work together to assure the existence of most, if not all, important wildlife habitats in managed forests.