Filled with mystery conjured by unparalleled biodiversity, the Klamath Mountains tell numerous stories of evolution and resilience shaped over long periods of time. Geology is the defining character of this range, with numerous smaller mountain ranges forming a jigsaw puzzle of big-shouldered river canyons and sharp ridgelines. Within the Klamath Knot, the geology also shapes the climate with wet coastal rainforests in the west and dry semi-deserts in the east.
Michael Kauffmann and Justin Garwood co-edited a new work titled The Klamath Mountains: A Natural History with the help of 32 other authors. Experts in all aspects of the region’s natural history came together and are the first to tell the entire story.
“I am particularly proud of this book because of the dedication of all the authors. There are so many amazing natural and cultural stories that have been hidden in these hills but now, due to the efforts of many, they have emerged in one collection for the first time.” Says Kauffmann.
In nearly 500 pages, the book covers a wide range of topics including the First Peoples, Fire Ecology, Aquatic Ecosystems, Plant Communities, Insects and Pathogens, Invertebrates, and of course all the diversity of Vertebrates.
“This project is years in the making” says Justin Garwood. “I grew up in the Klamath Mountains and have always been both inspired and perplexed by the intricate natural history of this place I call home. Now, due to the cumulative passions of so many, we finally have a definitive book to tell the epic story of the range.”
Writing a natural history happens within definable landscapes, usually by geology and climate. Robert Michael Pyle, author and founder of the Xerces Society, says “I am deeply impressed by this book, which has all of the virtues of an old-fashioned ecological aspection, but so much more as well. I have never seen published such a complete portrait of an entire region’s biota, in the full context of its physical setting, by such a knowledgeable collection of authors.”