I need to thank a lot of U.S. Forest Service and National Park Service employees who stopped in the middle of their busiest seasons and helped me understand more than 11.5 million acres of public land I encountered in writing this book. These people often stayed after work or talked with me on the telephone from their homes; they went above and beyond.
The thanks should start with Matt Mathes, the regional public information officer for the Forest Service. He opened the agencys library to me. Lisa DeHart in the Stanislaus National Forest helped me understand the history in the Central Sierra. Ann Westling of the Tahoe National Forest, Renota Rich of the Sierra National Forest, and Jannette Cutts of the Inyo National Forest provided me with a lot of information about their parts of the mountain range.
Many folks read my drafts and straightened out my misguided passages. Without them, my shortcomings would have been far more noticeable. The list begins with Kris Fister at Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park, who helped with words and photographs. Nancy Bailey at Lassen Volcanic National Park gave me her guidance and photographs of her Northern California park. Readers from the Forest Service providing their expertise were Sue Exline, Don Lane, Jeanette Ling, Pat Kaunert, Lee Anne Schramel Taylor, and Frank Mosbacher. From the federal Bureau of Land Management, Al Franklin contributed informed guidance. Steve Medley from the Yosemite Association helped make the Yosemite National Park section more accurate.
Thanks also to author-historian Gene Rose, whose many books, deep Sierra background, and friendship have been an inspiration for me. He read and critiqued two large portions on the Eastern Sierra and the Southern Sierra.
Others may have been unaware of how valuable they are as sources of information and guidance. Among them are author-naturalist Bill Tweed and biologist David Graber, both of Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Parks; ecologist and California spotted owl expert Jared Verner; Yosemite public information officer Scott Gediman; Sierra Foothills Conservancy advocate Chuck Peck; and Richard Kunstman of the Yosemite area Audubon Association has long been a valued source of information. Conversations and time spent with each of them have added such depth to my understanding of the Sierra.
The Pacific Crest Trail Association was helpful in steering me to author-geologist Jeffrey Schaffer, whose prolific work and insights were an inspiration. A debt is also owed to Jeffrey Mount, geologist and professor at the University of California, Davis, whose study of California rivers has proven so valuable in this and other writing I have done. Jay Watson, regional director of the Wilderness Society, also helped me sort out many complex issues.
Thanks to Jays wife, Kathleen Watson, for her lovely photographs of Lake Tahoe and the Central Sierra. Many thanks to editors Pam Holliday and Richard Lenz at Lenz Design and Communications for their tireless pursuit of proper English, accurate detail, and clearer writing. This book is so much better because of their work.
Finally, I must thank my wife, Sue. Without her patience, support, hard work, and encouragement, I could not have written this. My love and hope are always with her and our three children, Kristin, Joseph, and Nicholas, as well as my parents, Rocky and Lee Grossi.
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