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New book dives into the Klamath Mountains – Times-Standard

Filled with mystery conjured up by unparalleled biodiversity, the Klamath Mountains tell many 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 of large-shouldered river canyons and sharp ridges. In the Klamath Knot, geology also shapes the climate with coastal rainforests in the west and dry semi-deserts in the east.

Michael Kauffmann and Justin Garwood have co-edited a new book called “The Klamath Mountains: A Natural History” with help from 32 other authors. Experts in all aspects of the region’s natural history have come together and are the first to tell the full story.

“I am particularly proud of this book because of the dedication of all the authors. There are so many incredible natural and cultural stories that have been hidden in these hills but now, through the efforts of many, they have emerged into a collection for the first time,” Kauffmann said.

In nearly 500 pages, the book covers a wide range of topics including First Peoples, fire ecology, aquatic ecosystems, plant communities, insects and pathogens, invertebrates and, of course, all the diversity of vertebrates. .

Pictured is a landscape of the Klamath Mountains by Michael Kauffmann. (Photo by Michael Kauffman)

“This project has been in the works for years,” Garwood said. “I grew up in the Klamath Mountains and have always been both inspired and perplexed by the complex natural history of this place I call home. Now, due to the combined passions of so many people, we finally have a definitive book to tell the epic story of the range.

Natural history writing takes place in definable landscapes, usually by geology and climate.

Robert Michael Pyle, author and founder of the Xerces Society, said: “I am deeply impressed by this book, which has all the virtues of an old-fashioned ecological aspect, but much more. I have never seen such a comprehensive portrait of the biota of an entire region published, in the full context of its physical setting, by such a competent set of authors.

Garwood and Kauffmann will discuss and sign books on Saturday, September 3 from 6-9 p.m. at Eureka Books and September 9 from 5-8 p.m. at Northtown Books.

On October 12, Kauffmann will give a presentation for the North Coast Chapter of the California Native Plant Society at 7 p.m. at the Masonic Lodge in Arcata.

For more information about the book, visit