Rockefeller Preserve in GTNP to Host Book Club

Margaret "Mardy" Murie
July 14, 2009
The staff of the Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve in Grand Teton National Park invites local residents and park visitors to join them for a new opportunity—a monthly book club discussion. The introductory book club discussion will take place at 4 p.m. on Thursday, July 23, in the Preserve Center’s resource room. After the Thursday afternoon discussion, participants may take an optional hike on the Preserve trails with a ranger.

In an effort to inspire a spirit of stewardship, the newly-created book club is designed to explore literature that examines our connection to the natural world. The first book to be read and discussed is Wapiti Wilderness by Margaret and Olaus Murie.

The Muries arrived in Jackson in 1927 from Alaska, after Olaus was commissioned by the U.S. Biological Service to study the Jackson Hole elk herd. In 1945, Olaus and Margaret “Mardy,” along with his brother, Adolph, and sister-in-law, Louise, pooled their resources to purchase the STS dude ranch in Moose, Wyoming. From their ranch, the Muries helped to spearhead the modern-day American conservation movement. Olaus was also an outspoken supporter of the controversial establishment of Grand Teton National Park. After Olaus passed away in 1963, Mardy went on to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom—the highest civilian honor awarded by the United States—in 1998 for her unfailing work on behalf of natural landscapes and their wild inhabitants. Wapiti Wilderness is the story of the Muries’ lives as they made a home in early-day Jackson Hole.

For those interested in participating in the book club discussion, a copy of the book of the month can be purchased from a Grand Teton Association bookstore at a 10 percent discount. Grand Teton Association bookstores are located in park visitor centers and at the interagency visitor center located on North Cache Street in Jackson, Wyoming.

To sign up for the book club, or for more information about this new activity, please call the Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve at 307.739.3654.

Future books, times and dates for the monthly book club have yet to be determined.