BOOK DISCUSSION: Great Lakes/Great Books

Apr 03, 2025 10:30AM—12:00PM


Write On, Door County, 4210 Juddville Rd., Fish Creek, WI 54212

Cost Free


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Now in its 10th season, Great Lakes/Great Books meets the first Thursday of the month September – May to discuss books that have the Great Lakes as setting or subject matter or that are related to water and/or the Great Lakes region. All are welcome, whether you have read the book or not! The selection for this month is Sand and Fire: Exploring a Rare Pine Barrens Landscape by Dave Peters.

About the book:

While many people are familiar with the federally protected St. Croix and Namekagon rivers of northwestern Wisconsin, few know about the Namekagon Barrens, a rare pine barrens landscape within a few miles of their confluence. A tiny remnant of the millions of barrens acres that once covered the region, the Namekagon Barrens Wildlife Area lies in the heart of the state’s Northwest Sands, a band of pine and oak stretching from Bayfield on Lake Superior to St. Croix Falls on the Wisconsin-Minnesota border. Unfathomable amounts of glacial sand and repeated fires over thousands of years shaped a land of scrub oak and jack pine, blueberries and sweet fern, creating an 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 picers, loggers to early road builders, immigrants whose farming efforts failed, to the wildlife habitat specialists who manage it today. The book, told in memoir style and featuring color photographs by the author, sets the land’s unusual natural history as the backdrop for a multilayered story about the impact of people on this vulnerable landscape.