Colloquia Series

A Pilgrim’s Wilderness Lessons on the Environment, War & Technology

Watch Recording

April 12

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

7–8:30 PM

Presented by Rick Bass, author/activist.

The evening’s talk and readings will trace the evolution of Rick’s time spent as an activist in northwest Montana’s Yaak Valley—an oil and gas geologist and hunter who fell in love with a wild landscape. For 30 years Rick has been working to protect the Yaak’s last wild places on public lands—national forests. He works both at the extremely local level, lobbying county commissioners for decades, and nationally, traveling to Washington, D.C. His years of experience as a geologist prior to becoming a writer led him to engage in global warming activism as well. He has been active both domestically and internationally attempting to protect lands and raise awareness—all while still remaining engaged as an artist, a writer of short stories.

The frenzy of the activist, writes Thomas Merton, can become a kind of violence unto itself. In a fragmented time of war, particularly the war against our physical environment, how does one seek to balance one’s desires against one’s responsibilities. Indeed, what are one’s responsibilities, in a time of war? Is balance no longer even possible, and now only a pretty pipe dream, a myth?


  • The Deer Pasture. Texas A&M University Press, 1985.
  • Wild to the Heart. Stackpole Books, 1987.
  • Oil Notes. Seymour Lawrence/Houghton Mifflin, 1989.
  • Winter: Notes From Montana. Seymour Lawrence/Houghton Mifflin, 1991.
  • The Ninemile Wolves. Clark City Press, 1992.
  • The Lost Grizzlies: A Search for Survivors in the Wilderness of Colorado. Houghton Mifflin, 1995.
  • The Book of Yaak. Houghton Mifflin, 1996.
  • The New Wolves. Lyons Press, 1998.
  • Brown Dog of the Yaak: Essays on Art and Activism. Milkweed Editions, 1999.
  • Colter: The True Story of the Best Dog I Ever Had. Houghton Mifflin, 2000.
  • Caribou Rising: Defending the Porcupine Herd, Gwich-in Culture, and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Sierra Club Books, 2004.
  • Why I Came West. Houghton Mifflin, 2008.
  • The Wild Marsh: Four Seasons at Home in Montana. Houghton Mifflin, 2009.
  • The Black Rhinos of Namibia. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012.
  • The Heart Beneath the Heart. Narrative Press, 2012.
  • In My Home There is No More Sorrow: Ten Days in Rwanda. McSweeneys, 2012
  • For a Little While: New and Selected Stories. Little, Brown and Company, 2016.
  • Where the Sea Used to Be. Houghton Mifflin, 1998.
  • The Diezmo. Houghton Mifflin, 2005.
  • Nashville Chrome. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2010.
  • All the Land That Holds Us. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, August 2013.
Anthologies (Editor)
  • The Roadless Yaak: Reflections and Observations About One of Our Last Great Wild Places. Lyons Press, 2002.
  • Falling From Grace: A Literary Response to the Demise of Paradise (co-editor, with Paul Christensen). Wings Press, 2004.

Rick Bass, Author/Activist