Dispatches from the Vanishing World
When he lived in New Rochelle in the 1980s, I tracked him down and contrived to go interview him about something-or-other, mainly because I was a fan and wanted to meet him. He then moved to the Adirondacks and coincidentally settled right up the road from where I used to live.
I like his stuff because, among other things, as he has gotten older he has become more steadfast in his belief that the natural world and important cultures are being destroyed by the forces of “progress” and he says it in compelling ways, with compelling stories and descriptions of trips he has taken. Someone once said of Jonathan Schwartz, the disc jockey, that he takes himself seriously but he takes his listeners seriously too – which is rare. Substitute “readers” for “listeners” and the same applies to Shoumatoff.
Scroll around his site and find The Garter Snake Dens of Manitoba, and his dispatch from the Gulf of Maine. One of my favorites is an old Talk of the Town piece, from ’85, about sea turtles in Long Island Sound, which prompted me to write a chapter about sea turtles for my book (I ultimately dropped it because it didn’t fit it very well).
He has a new piece, not yet on his site but online at NRDC’s journal, about a power company’s plan to desecrate an incredible wilderness in Manitoba.
These aren’t the quick hits of a blog, but they’re well worth reading and his site is worth knowing about.