Barry Lopez, the Arctic Dreams author widely regarded as one of America’s best nature writers, has died from complications of prostate cancer, the New York Times reports. He was 75.

Lopez’s death comes shortly after he won the Sun Valley Writers’ Conference’s inaugural Writer in the World Prize. The conference praised Lopez’s “words of optimism and of alarm about our planet and our need to protect it and each other.”

Lopez was raised in southern California and New York, and made his literary debut in 1976 with Desert Notes: Reflections in the Eye of a Raven, a short collection of vignettes.

Two years later, he published Of Wolves and Men, which launched him to national fame. The book was shortlisted for the National Book Award, a prize he would win in 1986 for his best-known book, Arctic Dreams: Imagination and Desire in a Northern Landscape.

His most recent book was a memoir, Horizon, published in 2019.

Admirers of Lopez paid tribute to him on Twitter, with author Robert Macfarlane writing, “His work—graceful, meticulous, ethical, compassionate, from Arctic Dreams to Common Ground to Horizon and far beyond—shaped and will go on to shape countless lives, hearts and landscapes.”

And writer Terry Tempest Williams tweeted, “Many years ago, Barry Lopez taught me the color of the river is light. He is now that light. Bless him in all the ways he has blessed all of us. Ravens in the desert are speaking of this news. With his passing is our sorrow and our love. I owe so much of my life to his friendship.”

Michael Schaub is a Texas-based journalist and regular contributor to NPR.