Author: Ralphy Waldt
Crown of the Continent
The Last Great Wilderness of the Rocky Mountains
by Ralph Waldt, Forward by Ivan Doig
Recently released in paperback, this award-winning title is a large book with 150 color photos of the Crown of the Continent ecosystem, which covers more than 10 million acres in Montana and Canada. Author Ralph Waldt, a professional naturalist with The Nature Conservancy, spent more than 30 years exploring the area, including many years at the Conservancy’s Pine Butte Guest Ranch. In the book he vividly describes the area’s ecology, wildlife, and wild places.
About the Author
Ralph Waldt has hiked and snowshoed more than 10,000 miles within the Crown of the Continent ecosystem. For twelve years he served as resident naturalist at The Nature Conservancy’s Pine Butte Preserve on the Rocky Mountain Front. He has led more than 1,200 interpretive hikes, taught hundreds of natural history courses, and spoken at universities, schools, and organizations across the nation. Crown of the Continent is his first book.
“Crown of the Continent” honored by Montana Book Award
“This is the book you give to friends who wished they lived in Montana,” says Montana Book Award committee.
“Crown of the Continent: The Last Great Wilderness of the Rocky Mountains,” written by Ralph Waldt and published by Riverbend Publishing of Helena, received a 2004 honor from the Montana Book Award.
“This beautiful collection belongs on every Montana coffee table,” said the award committee in making the announcement. “This is the book you give to friends who wished they lived in Montana.”
“Crown” is a large hardcover book with 150 color photos of the Crown of the Continent ecosystem, which covers more than 10 million acres in northern Montana, southeastern British Columbia, and southwestern Alberta. The area includes Glacier National Park, the Rocky Mountain Front, and the Bob Marshall Wilderness complex.
Waldt, a professional naturalist with The Nature Conservancy, spent more than 30 years exploring the area, including many years at the Conservancy’s Pine Butte Guest Ranch. In the book he vividly describes the area’s ecology, wildlife, and wild places.
Testifying to the area’s significance, noted Montana novelist Ivan Doig wrote the book’s foreword, Missoula grizzly bear expert Dr. Charles Jonkel wrote the preface, and “National Geographic” writer and Whitefish resident Douglas Chadwick penned the afterword.
“Crown” was released in October 2004 and sold out its first printing in eight weeks. It has 168 pages and sells for $29.95 at bookstores throughout the state.
“Crown” is the second Riverbend title to receive an honor from the Montana Book Award. The publisher’s very first title, “Silence and Solitude: Yellowstone’s Winter Wilderness,” received an honor in 2002.
“Crown” was the only book published by a Montana company to be honored by the 2004 awards. The 2004 Montana Book Award winner was “Useful Girl” (Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill) by Marcus Stevens of Belgrade. It is a contemporary love story juxtaposed against a historical accounting of a young Cheyenne girl’s life. Two other books received honors. They were Hannah Hinchman’s “Little Things in a Big Country” (Norton) about the Rocky Mountain Front, and “Tree Girl” (HarperTempest) by Bozeman writer Ben Mikaelsen about a Mayan teenager during a civil war.
Note: The Friends of the Missoula Public Library founded the Montana Book Award in 2002 and a committee of individuals representing geographic distribution throughout Montana selects the winners. Members of the 2004 Montana Book Award committee included Bette Ammon, Missoula; Cheryl J. Heser, Forsyth; Penny Hughes-Briant, Great Falls; Bill Kehler, Billings; Haven Gourneau, Poplar; Jan Zauha, Bozeman; Samantha Pierson, Libby; and Susan Duffy, Missoula. The MBA chairperson is Brigid Wilson, Missoula. Corporate sponsorship of the Montana Book Award is provided by Fact & Fiction Bookstore (Missoula).
Eligible titles must be set in Montana, deal with Montana themes or issues, or be written or illustrated by a Montana author or artist. Books for all ages are considered for the award. For more information, contact Brigid A.O. Wilson, Chairperson, (406) 721-5015, email@example.com, or visit www.missoula.lib.mt.us/mtbookaward.html.
Montana book wins two national awards
A Montana-produced book about the state’s largest wilderness has won two national awards.
“Crown of the Continent: The Last Great Wilderness of the Rocky Mountains” won the environmental category in both the prestigious Benjamin Franklin Awards and in Foreword Magazine’s Book of the Year awards. The awards were announced at the recent Book Expo America in New York, the book industry’s largest event.
The two national awards follow an honor award given to the book earlier this year by the Montana Book Award Committee, which said, “This is the book you give to friends who wished they lived in Montana. This beautiful collection belongs on every Montana coffee table.”
The large-format, hardcover book describes the Crown of the Continent ecosystem that includes Glacier National Park, the Bob Marshall Wilderness, and the Rocky Mountain Front. It was written by Ralph Waldt, the naturalist at The Nature Conservancy’s Pine Butte Ranch, and includes a foreword by Montana novelist Ivan Doig, a preface by grizzly bear expert Dr. Charles Jonkel of Missoula, and an afterword by Whitefish environmental writer Douglas Chadwick. The book showcases more than 150 photos by Montana photographers.
Many reviewers have applauded “Crown.” A Seattle newspaper called it “a magnificent book” and praised the quality of writing in addition to the photography. Television’s “Late Show” host David Letterman, who has a residence on the Front, said the book “is a wonderful study of two great national resources, Montana and Ralph Waldt."