THE LAST WILDERNESS by Murray Morgan

THE LAST WILDERNESS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The Olympic Peninsula, a ""fist of land thrust north between Puget Sound and the Pacific Ocean, a wilderness area...as large as the state of Massachusetts,"" becomes the rambunctious subject of a writer's regional love affair. Murray Morgan, with more verve than eloquence boasts of salmon weighing up to 100 pounds which throngs the cold, rushing waters, trees in a magnificent timberland (now under strict conservation) which soar two hundred feet or more with bark ""a foot through to sapwood"", and the violence and ambition of the Peninsula's human stock has developed on the same scale. There was the incredible hoodlum, Billy Gohl, who complained about the problems of destroying business competitition with a bomb: ""I fastened the cord to his light circuit, but the ---- hadn't paid his light bill. Morgan writes of lumber barons and the cougar hunter Huelsdonk; he tells of wobblies, brothels, and loggers as rough-hewn as the Douglas firs they sell. The Peninsula is also the land of giant oysters and elk, and a spawning ground for tall tales. Like the one about the neurotic sportsman with a phobia about being mistaken for game: he painted everything on him red and painted stripes on his donkey. The first day out, he was killed. ""They loaded him on the donkey, and somebody shot the donkey."" Rollicking Americana, with useful and harmless statistics about Congressional actions to preserve this remarkable area.

ISBN: 0295953195
Publisher: Viking