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September 2019

San Francisco Honors Oregon Doctor and Activist Marie Equi

In August this year Rainbow Honor Walk, a non-profit, all-volunteer group in San Francisco, installed a sidewalk plaque that recognizes Marie Equi as an LGBTQ individual whose life story represents groundbreaking achievement. The 3 by 3 foot bronze square was embedded along Market Street, one of San Francisco’s main thoroughfares, near the Castro Street neighborhood. An image of Equi and her signature accompany this inscription: “Marie Equi (1872—1952) American physician and political radical who fought for peace, an eight-hour workday, women’s suffrage and their right to birth control.”

OSU Press author Michael Helquist, the biographer of Marie Equi, assisted with the unveiling of the plaque. He commented, “All along I hoped my biography of Equi would reach a large number of people with her remarkable story of fierce independence and commitment to economic and social justice.” He added that his other motivation was to highlight LGBTQ history on the West Coast before World War II, since relatively little has been uncovered. Helquist makes the case in his book that Equi is the first publicly known lesbian in the Pacific Northwest and in Northern California. The American Library Association named Marie Equi a Stonewall Honor Book. Helquist noted, “The installation was quick but exciting and deeply gratifying.”

Since Marie Equi: Radical Politics and Outlaw Passions was published by the Press in 2015, Equi has been recognized as a Notable Oregonian by the Oregon Secretary of State and has been honored by the National Park Service, the US Fish & Wildlife Service, and the Bonneville Power Administration in Portland for Pride Month. Equi has also been honored in New Bedford, MA, her hometown, as a significant suffragist in preparations for the 2020 centennial of women obtaining the vote.

In San Francisco, the Rainbow Honor Walk has embedded sidewalk tributes for fifty-two individuals since 2014. Honorees include artists, scientists, political activists, and writers such as Gertrude Stein, Oscar Wilde, Alan Turing, Alvin Ailey, US Representative Barbara Jordan, Josephine Baker, Freddy Mercury, transgender activist Sylvia Rivera, and astronaut Sally Ride. The plaque for Marie Equi is located outside the building at 2282 Market Street near Noe Street. For more information, see marieequi.com or, regarding the plaque, rainbowhonorwalk.org. Michael Helquist can be found at michaelhelquist.com.

Happy Birthday, Smokey—We Got You Our Favorite Forestry Books

Smokey the Bear is turning seventy-five this year! In honor of Smokey’s birthday, we (1) promise not to start any forest fires, and (2) want to share some of our favorite local forest-fire-related books with you. Here in the Pacific Northwest, we’re pretty big forest enthusiasts, so we have books for all types of readers:


For the History Buff . . . Money Trees

Emily Brock approaches the history of forestry in the Pacific Northwest through an interdisciplinary lens, exploring political and economic forces, ecological changes, and wilderness activism in the twentieth century. Money Trees is a key resource for those interested in environmental studies and the history of forestry management in the Pacific Northwest and beyond.


For the Forest Service Enthusiast . . . Toward a Natural Forest

Part revealing memoir, part historical account, longtime Forest Service employee and leader Jim Furnish honestly and candidly explains the controversies assailing the US Forest Service in the late twentieth century. As he grows as an environmentalist, so does the Forest Service as an organization dedicated to the stewardship of our natural resources.


For the Young Reader . . . Ellie’s Log 

Judith Li and M. L. Herring have created an engaging book set in the Oregon Cascades that blends science and storytelling. Encouraging both natural curiosity and scientific practices, such as keeping a field notebook, Ellie’s Log is set to inspire future botanists, foresters, and researchers.


For the Forestry Student . . . Silviculture and Ecology of Western U.S. Forests, Second Edition

John Tappeiner II, John Bailey, Timothy Harrington, and Douglas Maguire compiled this introductory text that covers the biological, ecological, and managerial silviculture practices associated with western U.S. forests. With particular focus on contemporary research and practice, new and experienced silviculturists will appreciate this refresher on forestry management. 


For the Philosopher . . . The Way of the Woods

In this interdisciplinary text, Linda Underhill explores the ways America’s forests contribute to the health of the planet, and her own relationship with them. Meditative, thoughtful, scientific, and lyrical, The Way of the Woods inspires its readers to ponder the magnificence of our forests of all types.


For the Concerned Activist . . . The Tillamook

Gail Wells transcribes the history of the Tillamook Forest in this book. She explains how, after a series of devastating fires, foresters and ordinary citizens rallied to create one of the largest forest rehabilitation efforts ever. However, its fate is still undecided as competing perspectives of forest use continue to create controversy. Wells uses the Tillamook Forest as a touchpoint to explore the activism of ordinary citizens and the ways we conceptualize contemporary forest-use issues today.

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