SAFEGUARDING THE LAND: Women at Work in Parks, Forests, and Rangelands by Gloria Skurzynski

SAFEGUARDING THE LAND: Women at Work in Parks, Forests, and Rangelands

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Neither idealistic conservationists nor daring trailblazers, the three young women featured here simply like the outdoors and hold federal jobs related to land management. Park ranger Janey McDowell pretty much cooled her heels at Mesa Verde until a new, more enlightened chief ranger began giving her professional assignments. Later, at Yellowstone, she packed in supplies by horse and snowmobile, had no problems sharing overnight cabins with male partners, took part in tranquilizing and transporting bears, and rescued a young woman hiker almost killed by a bear. Karen Eckels works for the Forest Service, closer to computers than to trees, supplying information for wildfire management. Karen's main problem has been the sexist cute remarks of program chairmen who introduce her as a speaker at professional conferences. Jan Knight, whose title is range conservationist, works for the Bureau of Land Management doing inventories of plants related to animal grazing. (Skurzynski herself refers repeatedly to Jan and her female partner, admittedly very young looking, as ""the girls."") These three profiles are followed by a chapter totally unrelated to the feminist theme: a presentation of the Sagebrush Rebels' position on Federal use and ownership of Western land, an issue presented here as a conflict between ""the people"" and ""the government"" without a mention of commercial interests. Ironically titled, then, and less than rousing as a sampling of job opportunities for women.

Pub Date: May 1st, 1981
Publisher: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich