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In The Columbia, author and photographer Tim Palmer celebrates the beauty and natural resources of this grand region and shows why this watershed is so important to everyone who lives in or cares about the Northwest and the Northern Rockies. Focusing on the basin not as a collection of isolated parts but as an interconnected natural system, the text provides a detailed picture of what is wrong and what needs to be changed if this remarkable place is to survive. Until recently powerful industries and other commercial interests have been the predominant forces guiding the region's destiny, often to self-serving ends and with disastrous results for the environment. In an area so large and complex, problems can seem overwhelming and the search for resolutions futile. Palmer offers hope, focusing on three critical areas of concern - land development, salmon, and forests - he defines the issues and demonstrates that responsible politics can redirect our society's course toward a sustainable future.