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One Round River: The Curse of Gold and the Fight for the Big Blackfoot Hardcover – January 15, 1998

5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The quest for gold has ravaged countless landscapes around the world, and miniature gold rushes are now exacting a high ecological toll in places such as the Amazon and far eastern Siberia. Richard Manning, an environmental journalist, covers different ground in One Round River, a case study of a gold consortium's campaign to open a mine on the Big Blackfoot River of Montana. Such a mine, he writes, would effectively destroy the river for the short-term gain of just a few people. His argument is cogent and convincing; One Round River is a fine case study of the struggle to preserve wild places.

From Library Journal

In this account of his attempt to stop a proposed gold mine near his Montana home, environmental author Manning (Grassland, LJ 7/95) examines the cyclic nature of rivers. The mine site in question is adjacent to the Big Blackfoot River, immortalized by Norman Maclean's A River Runs Through It, and would use the hazardous but increasingly common method of cyanide leaching to extract the gold. Manning examines the history of extractive resources with an emphasis on gold mining both worldwide and in Montana, and he attempts to understand our long-standing fascination with the mineral. The author does a very good job of describing the practices of modern mining and putting the environmental, social, and political effects into perspective. He is also honest about his own bias, not merely as a resident of the area but as a concerned environmental advocate. Recommended for all Western natural history and environmental collections.?Tim Markus, Evergreen State Coll. Lib., Olympia, Wash.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.; 1st edition (January 15, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805047921
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805047929
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.9 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,200,071 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
One Round River, by Richard Manning, is a book about the ecosystem of the Blackfoot River, which runs by his home near Missoula, Montana. The title implies that everything is connected, and moves in circles. Manning presents the history of the region in a number of acts.

We begin with geological history, and the vast lakes that formed and flooded at the end of the last Ice Age. He describes the Salish tribe, who enjoyed a good life in the region, until the white man's horses arrived, and intensified inter-tribal conflict. But the horses did not cause as many problems as the white men, who came later, and went crazy on the land, with their grazing, logging, mining, ecocide, and genocide.

The grasslands and the buffalo had coevolved magnificently. The original vegetation remained nutritious year-round, so the Indians did not have to haul in hay bales for winter feed. Buffalo were fine-tuned for surviving in a semi-arid climate with severe winters. Then the whites came with their northern European cattle, which had evolved to thrive in wetter climates with mild winters. The whites planted many species of northern European vegetation, which led to many unintended negative consequences. Cattle stayed close to the streams, where they removed the vegetation, and promoted erosion and flooding. Cattle do not belong in the western United States.

Damage to the streams was multiplied by logging, which accelerated water run-off and soil erosion. The history of logging in the region is impressive from a robber baron point of view, but not from an ecological perspective. In recent years, some logging companies have abandoned conservative forestry, and have shifted to asset liquidation -- cut everything as soon as possible.
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By A Customer on March 7, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Few of us experience life as passionately as Richard Manning: a writer, hiker, fisherman, and nature lover...with an ability to put it all into words. He is our modern day Norman McLean...and I enjoyed 'One Round River' immensely. I can not recommend a book more highly...a 10+++.
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Format: Hardcover
Richard Manning understands the people, and the places, he speaks of in his sharp discussion about mining and its effects on the new (and old) Montana. Were we truly to learn from the past so ably told in One Round River, modern gold mining practice would be outlawed. Would that this could be true... A more honest connection with the Montana landscape, and the lives its people (of all types) will be hard to find. Buy the book. If anything because it's a good read.
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Format: Hardcover
Richard Manning has made me think of my home land in a new way. One Round River should be required reading for those of us who live or want to live in the West, as well as for everyone who uses the fruit of the West - lumber, beef, and especially gold. The message in this book is so important and so well written that I have made my family and friends read it too!
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