PDF/EPUB Will Harlan ï Untamed PDF ò ï

Carol Ruckdeschel is the wildest woman in America She eats road kill wrestles alligators rides horses bareback and lives in a ramshackle cabin that she built herself in an island wilderness She’s had three husbands and many lovers one of whom she shot and killed in self defense A combination of Henry David Thoreau and Jane Goodall Carol is a self taught scientist who has become a tireless defender of sea turtles on Cumberland Island a national park off the coast of GeorgiaCumberland is the country's largest and most biologically diverse barrier island—over forty suare miles of pristine wilderness celebrated for its windswept dunes and feral horses Steel magnate Thomas Carnegie owned much of Cumberland and his widow Lucy made it a Gilded Age playground But in recent years Carnegie heirs and the National Park Service have clashed with Carol over the island’s future What happens when a dirt poor naturalist with only a high school diploma tries to stop one of the wealthiest families in America? Untamed is the story of an American original standing her ground and fighting for what she believes in no matter the cost


10 thoughts on “Untamed

  1. says:

    If Jane Goodall and Diane Fossey inspire you so will Carol Ruckdeschel who is my new saint of the wilderness Author Will Harlan paints such a compelling and intimate portrait that his reuest at the end of the book for readers to honor Ruckdeschel's privacy and not descend upon her like hungry pilgrims to Buddha is absolutely necessary I was ready to book tickets Ruckdeschel's passions are wilderness Cumberland Island and sea turtles although she has a friendly acuaintance with critters as varied as alligators to otters For much of her life men fell in love with her spunk and looks; only one of those guys seemed to actually cherish who she was not a blonde trophy but a wilderness warrior as fierce and committed as Geronimo Her dogged self confidence also reminded me of the great Kenyan aviator Beryl Markham I realize I'm gushing and so will try to tone it down Harlan who writes for Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine began his acuaintance with Ruckdeschel than a couple decades ago and has checked in regularly with her ever since obviously paying close attention and taking good notes He ends up telling her story with such detail and understanding that you would think he was related except few of us even those of us who are writers could tell our own parents' stories a tenth as well The book begins with Ruckdeschel on the Cumberland beach She's just shot and killed a feral hog they devour the endangered turtle nests had a nice pork roast over her campfire and then tagged a mama turtle After the turtle is back in the ocean Ruckdeschel pressed herself against the turtle's shell as they went underwater together She and the turtle skimmed the ocean floor It was uiet the water was inky and Carol's lungs burned but she held on and went deeper still Down here she felt raw and real She tightened her grip on the turtle's shell and held on as long as she couldAhead the ocean floor dropped off sharply The turtle plunged into the abyss and Carol finally let go She clawed frantically toward the moonlit surface and finally popped out into the night air gasping and wheezing She floated on her back chest heaving the summer stars whirling overhead'Hooo weee' she howled She drifted naked in the wild ocean tossed by the tides her oxygen starved lungs still on fire'Then she noticed a different burning gory gashed along her legs that had ripped open when she slid off the turtle's barnacled back A cloud of bloody water engulfed her bare body She could not see the shoreThe book just gets better after thatHarlan takes us through her childhood and lovers as she finds her calling protecting Cumberland and its turtles This book should be a movie to inspire all those folks who won't read even a fast paced book like this one with pages that fly by too fast Recommended


  2. says:

    This is wonderful biography of Carol Ruckdeschel She is an inspiring outspoken unapologetic fighter for nature in general and turtles in particular It was amazing to me all the things she accomplished basically by herself She took on politicians rich people shrimp trawlers among others to protect the wildlife of Cumberland Island Along the way she also had to do some personal battles with the men in her life I would now really like to visit this National Park it looks beautiful


  3. says:

    How perfect After reading about Carol Ruckdeschel's struggle not only to save the loggerhead and other turtles from the Carnegie family politicians shrimp fishermen among others in addition to Cumberland Island one of Georgia's barrier islands one of my cats gifted me with a half eaten bullfrog laid lovingly on the welcome mat at my front door I now know how Ruckdeschel must have felt seeing dead turtles on the beaches of the islandDespite fighting for nature and wilderness for over forty years only the northern part of the island has been designated a wilderness area and it is a continuing struggle to maintain even that Every year or so there is an effort to commercialize the rest of not only Cumberland but the other barrier islands lining Georgia's coast helped along by politicians financed by off islanders We have enough Hilton Heads nowlet's not fool with the rest of natureThere is no way I can do justice to Carol's struggle but after reading this if you're not persuaded to get involved in conservation efforts I'd be surprised


  4. says:

    I had to force myself to put this book down otherwise I would have spent an entire day reading it It was gripping both in the compelling character of Carol but also in the inclusion of relevant and interesting facts about all manner of people and factors that have affected the history of this crucial islandWill Harlan's writing is superb He presents Carol warmly showing the thought process and passion of a truly remarkable woman while also nodding to criticism from her neighbors Like any good journalist Harlan meticulously researched for this book spending over a decade conducting informal and formal interviews and getting to know the wide range of personalities devoted to Cumberland Island From Jimmy Carter to the founder of Coca Cola and John F Kennedy Jr to the Black Seminoles Harlan includes relevant details that paint a picture beyond the island of American History All of which is wrapped around the inclusion of poignant precise and relevant facts Beyond the facts Harlan's own love affair with the natural world comes across in the precise and poetic descriptions of the island and the connections he draws in conveying the driving force behind Carol's single minded determination He clearly states the struggle faced by the American people and government in balancing the needs of today with saving for the futureI am now on the hunt for anything and everything written by HarlanAnd desperate to visit Cumberland Island with the least possible impact to the natural world of course


  5. says:

    A fascinating look at the life of Carol Ruckdeschel a relentlessly passionate advocate for wilderness preservation who certainly hasn't led a boring life It also covers the history of wilderness preservation generally and the history of Cumberland Island specifically The book is Ruckdeschel's story so the views of the island's residents basically the Carnegies who advocate for the prioritization of historic building preservation over wilderness preservation is not very well represented Who needs them though when you have someone like Carol Ruckdeschel to write about?


  6. says:

    Time has shown that Carol was right we as human beings are too cheap and nasty to help Mother Earth Will Harlan is wrong in thinking that the earth can repair itself should we die out first Already too much damage has been done and with over 7 billion people crammed into this one planet I don't see the likelihood of people mysteriously dying out in the next 100 or years There are far too many babies being born for that Yes a great many of these babies die before they are 5 years old however every time a young woman in North America or Europe says she wants kids because it is the natural order of life then the population grows That is she wants and will give birth not that she will adopt and ease the burdens of the world or the sorrows of an orphaned child In the discussions between Carol and Bob humans are all of those things mentioned but predominantly and as Carol found herself profits rule Profits makes mounds of money and money talks big in governments in corporations in day to day living Money greases wheels makes things move faster than they would normally Money becomes bribes and money corrupts governments rise and fall with money Money buys power which means money and power Money says We must protect our interests Money says We need to safe guard our resources and goods and services Money says We can afford to go to war somewhere else but we can't afford to feed our poor and house our elderly and disabled Money says We need to protect our freedoms from evildoers wanting to destroy us because they don't have our freedoms In the mean time let's rape the shit out of our natural resources because Nature doesn't pay jack shit and it's full of creeping biting things that are out to get humans So what do I think? Carol Turtleback is one courageous woman One of a very few that cares about Nature and not money and profits A person who doesn't want to put people first a person who says Yes we need nature in order to live Sure cattle gives us burgers chicken mcnuggets pig gives us bacon and sheep lamb chops Maybe one day in the future greenhouses get grow a bit of grass in between the slurry of mashed up dead animals that is fed to livestock If it was up to the GMO creators they would find a way for flowers to pollinate themselves rather than relying on the remains of sick and dying bees and butterflies to do it for us However there is one thing greenhouses and GMO creators can't manage and that is rain Without water those crops and animals can't live No matter how drought resistant crops can be made no water means no growth But as long as there is water in remaining lakes rivers and oceans there is a way of taking salt out of water are these big corporations worried about water running out? No Profits make the world turn in business and with business leading just about every other aspect of life people govern themselves accordingly Politicians get kick backs populations put up with it and the world suffers as a conseuence No one wants to think the world is not infinite No one can understand that things won't last forever Big businesses don't When one resource is done there is always another to exploit somewhere else no matter how far away it may be Money needs to keep coming in to keep pampering the very few that hold all the strings But the saddest thing is that there are people wanting to emulate this lifestyle So many would like to tramp all over wilderness areas eating fast food having night clubs and animals have to get out of the way or be behind large panes of glass to be gawked at and photographed to be plastered all over social media Other than that who cares? It's all creepy stingy and bity and gross looking because it's untamed Cumberland got a measure of protection but there was always some people that wanted They wanted to own it pieces of it Whether it was a hideous old family with too much money and no brains that built monuments on the land or government whomever wants to throw money around in order to get money Nature suffers as a result Nature that holds and stores humans food creates it gives us materials to make shelters makes the necessary chemicals and minerals to run our cars planes and trains gives us so much and gets so little return What we can't explain away easily with logic and facts is to be treated hostility Death and the workings of Nature can't be explained easily and there is no profit involved No one gets rich understanding Nature no profits and there is nothing beneficial for anyone in Death But since life is full of uncertainties those that can will live like it is the end and so will act incredibly selfishly to enjoy themselves regardless of anything else What is to be done? What will save the turtles? What will keep Cumberland Island wild? When we as humans realise we are meant to be wild We are meant to die in order to live we are no different from the turtles or the creeping stingy bity things that look really gross When we realise we are wild then we will see Nature around is wild and meant to be wild we are meant to be wild and untamed It fits the Cree saying When the last tree is cut down the last fish is eaten and the last stream is poisoned we will realise we cannot eat money


  7. says:

    This is one mighty fine inspirational book about what one personscientistethologist can accomplish if the fire and passion are strong enough Here is a testimonial to a woman who did it and how it was done in spite of many obstacles Raises legitimate uestions about environmental causes and the future of the planet


  8. says:

    The book covers the history of Cumberland Isl the biology of sea turtles but most fascinating the story of Carol Ruckdeschel their fierce defender Passionate feisty flawed eccentric I'm grateful to be in a world with individualists like Carol


  9. says:

    Books about nature and living in the natural world tend to get warm and fuzzy and focus on the beauty of the landscape pleasant sightings of deer and eagles the beauty of the seasons etc There's nothing warm and fuzzy in this book though there is much to be drawn to admire and appreciate There's also a tremendous amount of conflict in both natural and civilized worldsCarol Ruckdeschel may be the last of her kind a woman who found a corner of the world where she could live in nature find purpose there and make a contribution to the world The challenges she faced were not the dangers of the natural world so much as those of the so called civilized world where love of money and power outweigh all else Carol found that world on Cumberland Island the largest barrier island in the East just off the coast of Georgia This book is as much a biography of that spot as it is of Carol's life Carol came to the island as a very young woman after a stint living in a cave and a failed marriage She had already defined her life by a love of animals and a penchant for eating road kill On the island she could live in the wilderness at minimal cost and focus on her life's purposeCarol became a world recognized authority on turtles performed thousands of necropsies collected numerous relics of island life and challenged the National Park Service officers to live up to their mission Her contributions to science and environmentalism are generally acknowledged by scientists to have been significant despite her lack of a college education but they have often been overshadowed by her conflicts with the other residents of the island descendants of the Carnegie family and others who feel entitled to the island and their way of life there over the decades In essence the poor scientist against the rich snobsThe pendulum swung back and forth over almost fifty years with neither side giving an inch and both sides calling on friends and allies on the mainland to advance their goals some reputable than others If any of this island remains intact for the wild life and wilderness found there it is because of Carol's unflagging efforts and in spite of the descendants of the rich families that summered there This is a riveting fascinating and thoroughly researched story about the life of one woman dedicated to the natural world and what one person can achieve The book is replete with her tales of facing down a gator befriending vultures assisting turtles in birthing observing a mourning ritual in the animal world and numerous other incidents she would consider part of her daily life and others would consider life alteringThe author Will Harlan shadowed Carol for almost twenty years In the end he links her to other women who have achieved monumental success in defending the natural world against rapacious civilization and the selfish and manipulative people who prefer development or special treatment Jane Goodall is the first and most obvious woman in this area of science but Harlan lists several others for readers who want to learn about this way of life Birute Galdikas Eugenie Clark and several I know of no other book that will take the reader this close to what it means to live every day in a natural world without amenities security or the usual comforts On top of that is the story of a woman who grabbed every ounce of life married three times friends with Carnegies and descendants of slaves smarter than politicians and crooked sheriffs tracker of gators and friends with vultures Carol is truly one of a kind and here to be discovered in an intelligent thoughtful enthralling taleOne final note It is customary now to refer to people in a book by their last names regardless of gender though in previous decades women were referred to by their first names and only men by their last Feminism brought this discrepancy to the fore and most reviewers have followed suit In almost every review I do too But by the end of this book I felt like I knew Carol well and had walked with her on her daily forays into the woods or onto the beach Citing her as Ruckdeschel seemed pendantic and not true to the story of her life The author Will Harlan always refers to her by her first name and I do so here also


  10. says:

    Carol is complicated and controversial She doesn't fit the classic formula for a hero Yet that's the only word to describe her It's hard to find heroes these days individuals willing to stand their ground and fight for something larger than themselves Carol is a true flesh and blood hero who courageously defends sea turtles and their wild habitat on Cumberland Island a national seashore and wilderness along the Georgia coastCarol is not without flaws and Harlan artfully portrays a complete portrait of Carol warts and all Though he follows Carol for nearly two decades he does not put her on a pedestal He points out her shortcomings and includes the voices of many rivals and opponents who despise Carol for her sordid past and stubborn uncompromising defense of wilderness Yet somehow I was surprised to find myself rooting for a woman who shot and killed her ex lover Many of Carol's detractors are Carnegie and Rockefeller heirs Carol a dirt poor loner living in a ramshackle cabin takes on the world's wealthiest families and winsfor awhile at least She renews my hope in the power of an individual fighting passionately for what is right and true