A Former Librarian Writes a Landmark Book on a Land Preservation Icon

If we can accept a Midwest archaeologist named Henry “Indiana” Jones as an action hero, then we can certainly do the same for a former California librarian named Elizabeth “Betsy” Austin.

Austin has just written “Grand Canyon to Hearst Ranch: One Woman’s Fight to Save Land in the American West,” an incident-filled biography of Harriett Hunt Burgess, who spent 40 years attempting, with great success, to conserve hundreds of thousands of acres. Without Burgess’s efforts, it’s not an exaggeration to suggest that the Lake Tahoe region and huge swaths of California’s coastline might have been paved over to make room for office campuses, housing communities and industry.

Read More