WILDERNESS PARTNERS, by Phyllis Austin, tells the story of Buzz Caverly, who first joined the ranger staff at Baxter State Park in 1960, when the new park was just taking shape under the direction of
WILDERNESS PARTNERS, by Phyllis Austin, tells the story of Buzz Caverly, who first joined the ranger staff at Baxter State Park in 1960, when the new park was just taking shape under the direction of Helon Taylor and the park's donor, Percival Baxter, who wished the park to be "forever wild." Caverly's legendary career in the park?one of the most unusual wilderness areas in the nation?culminated when he became park director in 1981. Over the years he saw tremendous changes in attitude about land conservation, public access, and park management. From the "Wild West" days of the 1960s to the intensely managed years of the 1990s and beyond, the clash of personalities and politics is entertaining and inspiring, and reveals the minefield of people and issues Buzz had to negotiate to save the park's wilderness character.
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Phyllis Austin is a professional journalist whose focus has been on environmental issues for many years. Most of her career was with Maine Times, a statewide weekly, and the Associated Press. She has written for numerous national, regional, and state newspapers and magazines and is a past recipient of two honored fellowships: the John Knight Fellowship at Stanford University and the Alicia Patterson Foundation Fellowship
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"…expansive 586—page tome that follows Caverly from his childhood through his early career in the park to his retirement. The result is an impressive, warts—and—all look at Caverly and the park thanks to Austin's exhaustive research and attention to detail….the storyteller in this case is top—notch, and readers are likely to start wishing the book was even longer before they reach the halfway mark…" —Bangor Daily News, February 28 ? March 1, 2009
"…a delight to read and rich in information….Although packaged as a biography of Irvin Christoper 'Buzz' Caverly, who served Baxter State Park for half a century as a ranger, supervisor and director, the book is more a fascinating political and administrative history of the park's metamorphosis in modern times…a solid addition to the park history…" —Maine Sunday Telegram, April 5, 2009
"…not only a biography of Buzz but also a history of the park for those 45 years. Histories can be dull slogging, but this biographical story (or historical biography) is a page turner because it has all the elements of a good novel. The first and most important of those elements is a strong central character, Buzz himself….Also deserving of the title 'wilderness partner' alongside Buzz and Governor Baxter is, for my money, Phyllis Austin, who has held high the wilderness banner both during her long career as a reporter and now with this monumental, diligently researched, and thoroughly engaging tribute to Buzz Caverly. Percival Baxter, Buzz Caverly, Phyllis Austin ? wilderness partners indeed." —Northern Woodlands Summer 2009