River of Renewal

Stephen Most

  • $24.95 paperback (9780295986227) Add to Cart
  • hardcover not available
  • Published: 2006
  • Subject Listing: Environmental Studies; Pacific Northwest
  • Bibliographic information: 288 pp., 40 photos, 6 x 9 in.
  • Published with: Oregon Historical Society Press
  • Contents

A land of mountains, forests, wetlands, lakes, and rivers, the Klamath Basin spans the Oregon-California state line. Farms and ranches, logging towns, and back-to-the-land communities are scattered over this 10-million-acre bioregion. There are Indian reservations at the headwaters, at the estuary, and across the major tributary of the Klamath River. In this place that has witnessed, ever since the Gold Rush, a succession of wars and resource conflicts, myths of the West loom large, amplifying differences among its inhabitants.

At the core of the contemporary controversy is overallocation of the waters of the Klamath Basin. This dispute has pitted farmers and ranchers against those whose cultures and livelihoods depend upon fishing and others who would forestall the extinction of wild salmon. Yet it has also revealed the unity of the Klamath Basin, the interdependence of economic recovery with ecological restoration, and the urgency for all the communities within the Basin to find common ground.
Stephen Most is a playwright and documentary storyteller. He has contributed to numerous documentary films, including Emmy Award winners Wonders of Nature and Promises and the Academy Award-nominated Berkeley in the Sixties. His plays Medicine Show, Watershed, and A Free Country dramatize events in Pacific Northwest history.To listen to an interview with Stephen Most entitled

Part One. Headwaters
1. Land of Waters
2. Manifest Destiny
3. Theater of War
4. Reclaiming the Land

Part Two. The Mouth of the Klamath
5. Rekwoi
6. Between Two Worlds
7. The Inland Whale
8. Salmon War Stories
9. Water, Fish, and Politics

Part Three. Upriver
10. The Dam and the Weir
11. Coyote's Journey
12. The Road Not Taken
13. Smokey, Bigfoot, and the Owl
14. Beneath the Surface
15. The State of Jefferson

Part Four. Fixing the World
16. Land, Water, and Livelihood
17. The Bucket on Main Street
18. Stakeholders

Notes and Sources

"Most's account is one of the best in recent years for its integration of Native with newcomer, past with present, and myth with reality."
-Environmental History

"This book should be mandatory reading for anyone who cares about environmental problems and the complex tangle of modern society and its competing economic and political interests."
-The Journal of the West

"River of Renewal offers an impressionistic, highly informative trip through the Klamath Basin's contentious past, and it does that particular job quite well."
-Oregon Historical Quarterly

"If a new book of regional history aspired to classic status, it would be ingeniously conceived and gracefully written. It would break new ground and offer penetrating insights. It would prove indispensable to understanding a controversial current event. Stephen Most has written such a book."
-Portland Oregonian

"Most tells these stories in the voices of the protagonists, who give the basin's complex history an illuminating immediacy that infuses the entire book. It is a mark of his achievement that he has been able to make these historical, cultural, and environmental pieces into a comprehensive whole. River of Renewal is the best source available for those wishing to think clearly about this cumulative tragedy, as well as a first-rate model for regional land use anywhere in the American West."
-Orion Magazine