This Product is Available for Pre-Order
Essays and talks from the author of the award-winning Totem Salmon: Life Lessons from Another Species.
The essays and talks in A WATERSHED RUNS THROUGH YOU hold the formative insights that led to Freeman House’s acclaimed Totem Salmon: Life Lessons from Another Species—the central place of salmon in the ecology and culture of the Cascadia bioregion and the critical role of human communities in the restoration of its home watersheds. In engaging, lyrical prose, House shares lessons learned from four decades working with his community to restore the Mattole River watershed: the idea of watershed as an organizing principle; the realization that the work of restoration and recovery, for watersheds as for people, has to come from within; and that this undertaking comes to us as lived experience, in a vernacular culture guided by that principle. In these essays, some written as early as the 1970s, House’s words are more relevant than ever, prescient and far-ranging in their vision, offering equal parts inspiration and on-the-ground knowledge for our increasingly climate-challenged times. Freeman House reminds us that restoration requires both interspecies knowledge and community cooperation and asks us not only to learn to think like a watershed but to recognize—with humility—our place as humans within it. With an eloquent foreword by Stephanie Mills, an early passionate voice for bioregionalism, a preface by editor Jerry Martien, and an afterword by Ali Freelund of the Mattole Restoration Council that Freeman House founded four decades ago, this collection is a tribute to the enduring legacy of Freeman House’s vision. As Mills writes, “Not every watershed will find a voice like that of Freeman House. But every watershed needs such streaming wisdom.”
Literary Nonfiction. Essay. Nature.
“Endless bows of gratitude to Jerry Martien for his savvy salvage of Freeman House's scattered essays and talks. Freeman's essays, along with his longer works, are absolutely fundamental to understanding bioregionalism, living-in-place, living-by-life, or just drawing breath in these unsettled times where humans must deal with the damages wrought by everything from dammed rivers to internal combustion. Freeman offers insights into clearing the wreckage as well as a constant sense of delight in dealing with the natural world; we neglect his heart-root wisdom at our own peril.” —Jim Dodge, author of Stone Junction
“I despair of the skills required to capture this sweet, dignified, good-humored man. Through the many years of our friendship, Freeman House remained utterly committed to restoring health and species diversity to the place he lived, to convincing his community such recovery was a worthy undertaking, and, most important, to maintaining his steadfast personal dedication to the survival of Salmon as a species and totem in the Mattole watershed. His life and vision, including his inner battles, offer a laudable and luminous model for us all.” —Peter Coyote, author, Zen Buddhist priest
Freeman House was a social activist and commercial fisherman turned watershed restorationist who cofounded the Mattole Restoration Council and Mattole Salmon Group on the Mattole and Sinkyone ancestral lands of northern California. He is the author of the acclaimed Totem Salmon: Life Lessons from Another Species (Beacon Press, 2000). He passed away in 2018 at the age of eighty, leaving a tremendous legacy of bioregional awareness and community-based environmental organizing through his decades worth of writings and the organizations that uphold his visions to this day.
Jerry Martien arrived in the Humboldt Bay region at the end of the 1960s, working as nightwatchman, truck driver, and bookstore clerk while writing articles and manifestos on behalf of a newly emerging community. He began hanging out and attending readings at Arcata's Jambalaya Club and over the course of several decades fell unavoidably into carpentry, politics, and poetry. He is the author of two studies of money and culture-Shell Game (Mercury House, 1996) and The Price of a Life (2018)-as well as several chapbooks and two collections of poetry- Pieces in Place (Blackberry Books, 1999) and Earth Tickets (Bug Press, 2017).