Marcy Cottrell Houle

Marcy Cottrell Houle: A Generous Nature


We are delighted to host Marcy Cottrell Houle reading from her book A Generous Nature: Lives Transformed by Oregon, published by Oregon State University Press. She will be joined in conversation by one of the heroes featured in the book: Michael McCloskey, an Oregonian who was the director of the national Sierra Club for thirty-five years and whose work helped to pass the Wilderness Act and the National Environmental Policy Act.


The book offers profiles of twenty-one conservationists and activists who have made enduring contributions to the preservation of Oregon's wild and natural places and its high quality of life. These stories speak to their courage, foresight, and actions--at times against great odds--to save places, enact legislation, and motivate others to cherish and protect the places that make Oregon unique. Taken from personal interviews conducted by the author over a decade, these stories provide insight into the principles and values that motivated these individuals. Places as diverse as the Columbia River Gorge Natural Scenic Area, the wild and scenic Sandy River, and Tryon Creek State Park are featured, along with background on critical laws such as the Beach Bill, Diack Act, and Senate Bill 100, and organizations such as SOLVE and the High Desert Partnership. A Generous Nature is a testament to the vision and hard work of people who loved Oregon and fought to protect its ecosystems and habitats for the benefit of all. In these times of unsettled political polarization and divisiveness, the book is also a crucial reminder of our individual and collective responsibility to defend the places, ideals, and laws that make Oregon a progressive model for the rest of the nation.


Marcy Cottrell Houle is a writer and wildlife biologist. Her books have been honored with the national Christopher Award, the Oregon Book Award, the Oregonian's Best Books of the Northwest, and the New York Times' Best Books for Earth Day. She has written for the New York Times, Reader's Digest, the Los Angeles Times, Globe and Mail, Nature Conservancy Magazine, and Cricket Magazine for Children.

Event date: 

Wednesday, February 12, 2020 - 7:00pm to 8:00pm

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