Thursday, June 8 at 4pm, Author Dave Peters will be visiting the Shell Lake Public Library for a book talk. Dave’s book; Sand and Fire: Exploring a Rare Pine Barrens Landscape was published by the Wisconsin Historical Society Press.
A few miles from the confluence of the St. Croix and Namekagon Rivers in northwest Wisconsin lies a rare preserve of pine barrens that offers one of the most significant opportunities in North America to preserve, restore, and manage a large-scale barrens community. A tiny remnant of the millions of barrens acres that once covered the region, the Namekagon Barrens were formed over thousands of years by unfathomable amounts of glacial sand and repeated fires. This is a land of scrub oak and jack pine, blueberries and sweet fern, the ideal habitat for wolves and sharp-tailed grouse. Just as compelling is the land’s rich human history, from Paleo-Indian hunters to Ojibwe berry pickers and from failed immigrant farm efforts to the habitat specialists who manage it today. This first-person account of a trek across the barrens sets the land’s unusual natural history as the backdrop for a multilayered story about the impact of people on a vulnerable landscape.
Dave Peters is a retired journalist with extensive experience reporting and editing for the St. Paul Pioneer Press, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Minnesota Public Radio, and other news organizations. An avid member of the board of the Friends of the Namekagon Barrens Wildlife Area, he walks the barrens as often as he can, finding new wonders every time. He and his wife live in St. Paul.
Publication of this book was made possible in part by a gift from Furthermore: a program of the J. M. Kaplan Fund. Additional funding was provided by a grant from the Amy Louise Hunter fellowship fund.