In the national park system, Point Reyes has been a kind of pilot boat, always testing new waters. It was one of the first parks the federal government ever acquired with taxpayer money. It was one of the first parks deliberately sited near a city. It was a place where wilderness was to be restored on lands that had been intensively used and modified. It was one of the first cases where the views of scientists were not only solicited but also led to real changes in park policy. And it was the first and still really the only park in which agriculture was slated to continue on a large scale.
From the beginning the managers of Point Reyes have been juggling three tasks: to preserve the natural treasures of the place; to let people in to enjoy those treasures; and to maintain a farmland heritage. These three imperatives (sometimes easily compatible, sometimes in awkward tension) have shaped the story of Point Reyes National Seashore. Many adjustments have had to be made between and among these interests. It is a process that continues to this day…..”
“John Hart’s new An Island in Time: 50 Years of Point Reyes takes a long view of this beloved park and confronts current controversies with his usual elegance and nuance” – Bay Nature
“John Hart presents his “celebration” of the first half century of what he calls an ‘incessantly controversial’ park. From the Miwoks and Sir Francis Drake to Congressman Clem Miller (the force behind National Park legislation) and the land-use battles waged by ‘a lively and fractious local community,’ the book is a much-needed update to Island in Time, Harold Gilliam’s 1962 ode to Point Reyes, published when its future as a federally protected land was still in doubt. As Gilliam writes in the foreword, “John Hart’s book you now hold in your hands tells the rest of the improbable story.” – Pacific Sun
“Whether John Hart is writing about his beloved Sierras, Mono Lake, the Wilderness Next Door or Farming on the Edge, his voice is a strong clear poem of our land.” – Martin Rosen, President Emeritus, Trust for Public Land
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