Every year for Earth Day, we talk about the earth with writer and photographer Stephen Trimble, author of “Bargaining for Eden: The Fight for the Last Open Spaces in America,” and many other books. This time, we’ll also be talking to retired Westminster professor David Stanley and former National Park Service naturalist and planner Greer Chesher. All are editors of books in the ongoing National Park Reader Series published by University of Utah Press. We’ll explore the literature surrounding the national parks and talk about overcrowding, crumbling infrastructure, national park policy and much more.
David Stanley is now retired after serving as professor of English at Westminster College in Salt Lake City, where he taught American literature and folklore and chaired the Environmental Studies Program. In the 1960s he worked on trail-maintenance crews in Glacier National Park for six summers. He and his wife Nan continue to visit and hike in Glacier on a regular basis.
Stephen Trimble began his writing and photography career as a park ranger, including a season at Capitol Reef National Park in 1975. The Capitol Reef Reader is his 25th book—the joyful culmination of 45 years of hiking and photographing in the park. He has a home outside of Torrey, where he and his family are proud stewards of a Nature Conservancy conservation easement—a story he tells in Bargaining for Eden: The Fight for the Last Open Spaces in America.
Greer Chesher has been a naturalist since a night almost 40 years ago when her father woke her from deep summer slumbers to watch her first meteor shower. Now, after retiring from a 34-year career as a National Park Service naturalist and planner in five southwestern parks, she wanders the desert still trying to sate an unquenchable curiosity about the natural world. Knowing she will never find all the answers, but enjoying the redrock journey, she and her four-legged family live and write from beautiful downtown, Rockville, Utah, a town of 200 hearty souls and 5 million yearly passers-by. Her books include Heart of the Desert Wild, about Grand Staircase-Escalante, which won the Utah Book Award for Non-fiction. And she’s working on a new book: "NexGen National Park: Grand Staircase, Bears Ears, and the Future of our Public Lands," for Torrey House Press.