Big, Wild, and Connected
6 x 9
13 photos, 1 illustration
6 x 9
13 photos, 1 illustration
This E-ssential is a three-part series that covers John Davis's epic journey from Florida to Maine. In 2011, with support from the Wildlands Network, Davis traveled 7,600 miles in 10 months from Florida to Maine by foot, bicycle, skis, and canoe/kayak. His extensive travels were motivated by wanting to answer the question “Is it possible in the twenty-first century to identify and protect a continental-long wildlife corridor that could help to protect eastern nature into the future?”
John paints a vivid picture of the physical challenges of the trek, such as climbing the highest point in South Carolina with a heavily loaded bike and trying to consume the 8,000 calories per day he needed to fuel himself for the journey. As readers adventure with Davis, they will also share his evolving understanding of what it would take to implement an Eastern Wildway.
Eastern wildlife, both seen and unseen, from Florida panthers to North Carolina’s red wolves to the ghosts of cougars farther north, are the real focus of this adventure as John explores how such wildness can coexist with human development in the most populated regions of the United States. The science and conservation of large-scale connectivity are brought to life by his travels—offering unique insights into the challenges and opportunities for creating an Eastern Wildway. This is a must-read for enthusiasts of hiking narratives, as well as professionals and students interested in issues related to large-scale connectivity. Compelling photographs and other graphics complement John’s fascinating story.
"John Davis is a traveler of another order. Davis undertakes the discovery of this continent's great wild places not to prove himself, but to ground-truth the admonition that nature is fraying at the seams. With the soul of a poet, and in the tone of a close friend, Davis defines a collective imperative: heal nature now. You will see why and how when you read his work."
Mary Ellen Hannibal, author of The Spine of the Continent
"We have an Appalachian Trail for hikers, a Blue Ridge Parkway for drivers, and an interstate highway system for commerce, so why not an Eastern Conservation Corridor for wildlife? If you like big ideas and especially those that call for restoring missing predators like cougar and wolves, then you will thoroughly enjoy this journey with John Davis as he seeks out the remaining wild places from Kentucky to New York in part 2 of the three-part Big, Wild, and Connected trek."
David Govatski, author of Forests for the People
Acknowledgments and Dedication
Introduction. Still Moving After All These Miles: Into the Central Appalachian Mountains and Foothills
Chapter 5. Securing an Appalachian Arc: Wildlands Philanthropy on the Edge of Appalachia
Chapter 6. A Forest Hungry for Cougars: West Virginia Highlands and Larger Central Appalachians
Chapter 7. Roadblocks to Recovery: Transportation and Energy Development Fragmenting Penn’s Woods
Chapter 8. Wild Playgrounds: New York’s Shawangunks and Catskills
About the Author
About Wildlands Network
About Island Press