Don Snow

Senior Lecturer of Environmental Humanities (Retired)

Maxey Hall W45


Don Snow was born in 1951 in the coal mining "camp" of Hiawatha, Utah. His father worked as an underground miner at the U.S. Fuel Company's King Mine. His mother was a homemaker who had a stint working at the Hiawatha coal-cleaning plant when the men were called away during World War II. When Don was two years old, his family moved to a small town in eastern Ohio where his father received training to become a mine safety inspector for the U.S. Department of Interior. Don grew up hiking, hunting and fishing in the hardwood forests of western Pennsylvania, and later among the canyons and sagebrush steppes of Colorado and Wyoming. These experiences, coupled with his young life around coal mines, power plants, steel mills, and streams and rivers ruined by acid mine drainage, contributed to his views on the natural environment.

Don has worked as a farm laborer, a quarryman and stone gatherer, a tobacconist, an environmental activist, and a writer and editor. In 1984, as executive director of the Northern Lights Institute in Missoula, he launched Northern Lights Magazine, a quarterly journal of "arts, politics, and nature in the Rockies." Over the years Northern Lights became a kind of community-in-print, connecting writers, artists, and readers and allowing many beginning writers to publish their first works. Meanwhile, the Institute created and sponsored a number of projects in alternative environmental dispute resolution and collaborative decision-making. In 1990, Don began teaching at the University of Montana, first by offering creative writing classes for the graduate students in the Environmental Studies Program (EVST). He eventually became a member of the faculty (with a joint appointment in EVST and Forestry) and added new courses to the curriculum in environmental writing, the literature of nature, and natural resource policy in the American West. In 1998 he was appointed director of the University of Montana Environmental Writing Institute, an annual writing workshop and environmental education retreat held at the Teller Wildlife Refuge in the Bitterroot Valley. Don is a prolific author whose essays, public addresses and other writings have been widely published in magazines, journals, and anthologies. In collaboration with various authors and editors, he has produced seven books and is currently at work on book of personal essays titled The Cabin of No Fishing.

M.S. Environmental Studies
University of Montana

B.A. English
Colorado State University

Books, Essays and Chapters in Books

Brick, Philip, Donald Snow, and Sarah Van de Wetering, eds. Across the Great Divide: Explorations in Collaborative Conservation and the American West. Washington, DC: Island Press, 2000.Servid, Carolyn and Donald Snow, eds. The Book of the Tongass. Minneapolis: Milkweed Editions, 1999.Snow, Donald and John A. Baden, eds. The Next West: Public Lands, Economics and Community in the American West. Washington, DC: Island Press, 1997.Clow, Deborah and Donald Snow, eds. Northern Lights: A Selection of New Writing from the American West. New York: Vintage Books, 1994.Snow, Donald. Inside the Environmental Movement: Meeting the Leadership Challenge. Washington, D.C.: Island Press, 1991.Snow, Donald. "Do Economists Know About Lupines?" In The Essential Aldo Leopold, eds. Richard Knight and Curt Meine, Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1999.________. "The West's Sentimental Economy." In Writers on the Range. Boulder: University Press of Colorado, 1998.________. "The Pristine Silence of Leaving It All Alone." In A Wolf in the Garden: The Land Rights Movement and the Renewal of the American Environmental Movement, eds. Philip Brick and Gregg Cawley. Savage, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 1996.________. "A Visit to Mom's." In Testimony: Writers of the West Speak on Behalf of Utah Wilderness. Minneapolis: Milkweed Editions, 1996.

Selected Articles and Essays in Magazines and Journals

"James Willard Schultz: In the Crease of Time." Montana Magazine (January-February 2000)."Richard Hugo: The Triggering Town." Montana Magazine(March-April 2000)."Mary Clearman Blew and the Cowboy Way." Montana Magazine(May-June 2000)."Maclean and McGuane: Living the Rivers." Montana Magazine (July-August 2000)."The Geography of Risk: Ivan Doig." Montana Magazine (September-October 2000)."The Taste of Rabbit Pie: Dierdre McNamer." Montana Magazine (November-December 2000)."A Long Migration Home: Reconnecting Culture, History, and Ecology in the Governance of the Columbia River." Rivers: Studies in the Science, Environmental Policy, and Law of Instream Flow. V. 6, No. 4 (1998)."A Politics Appropriate to Place," Connotations: The Island Institute Journal (Winter 1997)."Wise Use and Public Lands in the West." Utne Reader (May-June 1994)."Wallace Stegner's 'Geography of Hope.'" Environmental Law 24 (1994)."Writers, Fish and Buffalo Jumps." Sierra(July-August 1989)."In Someone's Pursuit." Gray's Sporting Journal (Spring 1987).