Weekend reading: Conservation Heroes of the Heartland
Miriam Horn. Rancher, Farmer Fisherman: Conservation Heroes of the American Heartland. WW Norton, 2016.
Actually, this book should be titled “Rancher, Farmer, Riverman, Shrimper, Fisherman: Conservation of Life around the Mississippi River.” It consists of deep interviews with one person in each category who is working hard to protect some part of the environment.
My favorite is the shrimper, the truly remarkable woman who is devoting her life to saving the livelihoods of the people engaged in Louisiana’s highly endangered—by hurricanes, floods, oil spills, and regulators—shrimp-fishing industry.
Each of the people highlighted in this book is doing something for conservation, not always in the ways you and I might choose. As Miriam Horn explains in her introduction,
Which is not to say they have found the perfect way to fish or farm; they would be the first to acknowledge that there is no such ideal. Rather, their heroism lied in the depth of their commitment to consider the largest implications of what they do, across geographic and generational lines; to forever listen more intently, weight each choice for the impact it will have on their neighbors and all of life, challenge themselves to do better as they understand more and the world changes around them.