Now a feature-length documentary on the Discovery channel narrated by Tom Brokaw.
“Lush, gorgeously written…A profoundly hopeful book.” —Tina Rosenberg, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award
A Kirkus Best Book of 2016
Many of the men and women doing today’s most consequential environmental work—restoring America’s grasslands, wildlife, soil, rivers, wetlands, and oceans—would not call themselves environmentalists; they would be too uneasy with the connotations of that word. What drives them is their deep love of the land: the iconic terrain where explorers and cowboys, pioneers and riverboat captains forged the American identity. They feel a moral responsibility to preserve this heritage and natural wealth, to ensure that their families and communities will continue to thrive.
Unfolding as a journey down the Mississippi River, Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman tells the stories of five representatives of this stewardship movement: a Montana rancher, a Kansas farmer, a Mississippi riverman, a Louisiana shrimper, and a Gulf fisherman. In exploring their work and family histories and the essential geographies they protect, Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman challenges pervasive and powerful myths about American and environmental values.
Horn (Earth: The Sequel, cowritten with Fred Krupp), a former journalist now at the Environmental Defense Fund, shines a light on "conservation heroes" who are leading ambitious environmental initiatives in their communities and beyond. Human activities, such as the overharvesting of fish and the overtilling of fertile soil, continue to compromise the biodiversity of landscapes around the world; to balance the scales, Horn offers redemptive portraits of five stewards of the American heartland whose daily work "has itself become the path to restoration." Unlike the policy makers who remain distant from the practical effects of their policies, these five a Montana rancher, a Kansas farmer, a Mississippi riverman, a Louisiana shrimper, and a Gulf of Mexico fisherman are "real Americans" whose "livelihoods and communities will live or die with these ecosystems." Motivated by deep allegiances to the places they live, as well as an understanding of the "irreducible interdependency" between humans and nature, these individuals are taking radical steps toward sustainability: one restores depleted soils through industrial-scale farming methods, and another advocates for fishing regulations that will support the long-term regrowth of threatened red snapper in the Gulf of Mexico. Horn's intimate profiles reveal undervalued environmental change makers while countering popular notions of what it means to be a conservationist.