Paper pub. date
October 2024
ISBN 9781962645188 (paperback)
6 x 9, 384 pages. 30 b&w photos. 5 maps. Notes. Index.
Available October 2024

River of Renewal

Myth and History in the Klamath Basin
Second Edition
Stephen Most

River of Renewal tells the remarkable story of the Klamath Basin, a region of the Pacific Northwest spanning the Oregon-California border. Indian reservations are at the headwaters, along the estuary, and across the major tributary of the Klamath River. In this place that has witnessed, since the Gold Rush, genocide, war, and conflicts over resources, myths of the West loom large, amplifying differences among inhabitants of a land united by water and divided by people. Yet when faced with ecological catastrophe, farmers, tribes, and other regional stakeholders forged a consensus that led to the largest dam removal and watershed restoration project in history.

The only history of the entire Klamath Basin, River of Renewal tells the stories of the region’s diverse communities and stakeholders, including the government agencies that manage most of its land. Based on author Stephen Most’s original research and interviews with tribal leaders, ranchers, farmers, fishermen, forest managers, and others, River of Renewal is a political as well as an environmental history, one that underscores the power of commitment to a place and the vital importance of traditional knowledge in ecological stewardship. It offers an indispensable resource for anyone who wishes to better understand the peoples of the Klamath Basin and their extraordinary accomplishment of bringing about the removal of the four hydroelectric dams that harmed their cultures, economies, and environment for a century.

About the author

Stephen Most is an acclaimed author, playwright, and filmmaker. “River of Renewal,” a companion documentary that he wrote and co-produced, won the American Indian Film Festival’s best documentary feature award. He is also the author of Stories Make the World: Reflections on Storytelling and the Art of the Documentary. He lives in Berkeley, California.

Read more about this author

Acclaim for the first edition

“If a new book of regional history aspired to classic status, it would be ingeniously conceived and gracefully written. It would break new ground and offer penetrating insights. It would prove indispensable to understanding a controversial current event. Stephen Most has written such a book.”—The Oregonian

“Most tells these stories in the voices of the protagonists, who give the basin’s complex history an illuminating immediacy that infuses the entire book. It is a mark of his achievement that he has been able to make these historical, cultural, and environmental pieces into a comprehensive whole. River of Renewal is the best source available for those wishing to think clearly about this cumulative tragedy, as well as a first-rate model for regional land use anywhere in the American West.”—Orion Magazine

“Most’s account is one of the best in recent years for its integration of Native with newcomer, past with present, and myth with reality.”—Environmental History

River of Renewal offers an impressionistic, highly informative trip through the Klamath Basin's contentious past, and it does that particular job quite well.”—Oregon Historical Quarterly

Upcoming Events

The annual meeting of the Ecological Society of America invites all ecologists to come together and share new knowledge, learn from one another, meet old friends and make new ones, and grow professionally. This year’s meeting will emphasize the society’s mission of supporting ecologists throughout their careers.

Visit us in the exhibit hall at booth 12.

9:30 am, Monday, August 5th - 6:30 pm, Wednesday, August 7th

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