America's WILD READ On-line Book Discussion Features Robert Michael Pyle's The Thunder Tree

Join fellow WILD READers and discuss our newest WILD READ book, The Thunder Tree: Lessons from an Urban Wildland by Robert Michael Pyle.  Pyle's account is a personal memoir of his youth along the ill-fated Rocky Mountain aqueduct, written in a series of essays that pay homage to the cottonwoods, butterflies, and black-billed magpies that once lived along the corridor. It also addresses the legacy of uncontrolled development and habitat destruction that followed in the canal's wake.  

Pyle has lived for 30 years along the moss-shrouded Gray's River in southwest Washington. The author of 15 books, Pyle is a full-time freelance writer and has taught writing and natural history at colleges, institutes, and conferences. In 1971, he founded the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, a non-profit wildlife conservation organization now based in Portland, Oregon.

The "Wild Read" online discussion begins on September 11 and will be moderated by Pyle until its conclusion on October 9. The popular literary forum is a project of the National Conservation Training Center and is hosted by the "Friends of NCTC," a local support group. "Wild Read" is found at

"'The Thunder Tree' is a great read that will provoke a lively discussion under Robert Pyle's inspiration," says NCTC librarian Anne Post. "This is another in our lineup of great authors and conservationists with whom anyone -- nature enthusiast, book lover, conservationist,  student, or teacher -- can interact personally. "

Previous "Wild Read" discussions have featured books by Montana writer Cristina Eisenberg and Harvard entomologist E.O. Wilson.

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