There are several copies of a new book, "Gardeners of Eden" by Dan Daggett, at the Payson Public Library.
The book should be of particular interest to residents of this area, as it prominently showcases the work of Tony and Jerrie Tipton in reclaiming cyanide-laced mine tailings in Nevada. The Tiptons, by using high impact grazing with cattle, remediated one tailings pile in six months, so that it was growing forage again.
For those of you who don't recognize the name, Jerrie Tipton (nee Cline) is the daughter of Pat and Ray Cline of Star Valley.
Other segments of the book with local people involved include Al Medina of Rocky Mountain Research in Flagstaff, a group of ranchers on the Verde River at Camp Verde, the U Bar Ranch, and David Ogilvie on the headwaters of the Gila River, and Joe and Valer Austin of El Coronado Ranch in the Chiricahua Mountains.
The overall thrust of the book is that man is needed, along with the use of animals, for any ecosystem to prosper. The "leave-it-alone" syndrome just doesn't work. "Gardeners of Eden" is replete with examples of failed experiments, where land has been rested into complete uselessness.
As we struggle with overgrown forests that threaten our homes with fire every summer, "Gardeners of Eden" helps to explain the well-meant strategies that led to our present problems.
If you want to improve your knowledge of proper land use, and particularly what should be done to return the Tonto Forest to a thriving, vital landscape, please read "Gardeners of Eden."
If you want your own copy, "Gardeners of Eden" is for sale at the Rim Country Museum.
Dan Adams, Payson