Stronghold by Tucker Malarkey
In the tradition of Mountains Beyond Mountains and The Orchid Thief, Stronghold is Tucker Malarkey’s gripping chronicle of an unlikely visionary and his crusade to protect the world’s last bastion for wild salmon. From a young age, Guido Rahr was a misfit among his family and classmates, preferring to spend his time in the natural world. An obsessive fly-fisherman, Rahr noticed when the salmon runs of the Pacific Northwest began to decline—and was one of the few who understood why. As dams, industry, and climate change degraded the homes of these magnificent fish, Rahr saw that the salmon of the Pacific Rim were destined to go the way of their Atlantic brethren: near extinction.
An improbable and inspiring story, Stronghold takes us on a wild adventure, from Oregon to Alaska to one of the world’s last remaining salmon strongholds in the Russian Far East, a landscape of ecological richness and diversity that is rapidly being developed for oil, gas, minerals, and timber. And along the way Rahr must navigate a tangled web of scientists, conservationists, Russian oligarchs, corrupt officials, impenetrable bureaucracies, and unexpected allies in order to set into motion a plan to secure the survival of the endangered salmon, an extraordinary keystone species whose demise would reverberate across the planet.
Tucker Malarkey, who accompanies Rahr to the Russian wilderness and reports on events from up close, has written a clarion call for a sustainable future, a remarkable work of natural history, and a riveting account of a species whose future is closely linked to that of our own.