Organized as a series of monthly journal entries, Morning Comes to Elk Mountain is Lantz’s response to ten years of exploring the rough and unexpected beauty of the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge. A combination of memoir, natural history, Native American history, and geology, this book is enriched by 20 color photos and a map to appeal to the seasoned visitor as well as the newcomer to the refuge.
The national wildlife refuge that’s the focus of the book was among the first established by President Theodore Roosevelt. He helped save the Wichitas from miners and land speculators, and instead the harsh yet scenic area became the nation’s first bison refuge, established to keep this American icon from slipping into extinction.
Today the refuge hosts more than a million visitors a year, most of them coming to hike the trails, climb the rocks, photograph bison and prairie dogs, or simply commune with a beautiful, wild area that remains a spiritual landscape for the Kiowa and Comanche Indians who call it home.
About the Author
GARY LANTZ was born in Barnsdall, Oklahoma, and attended universities in Oklahoma. A feature writer for the Daily Oklahoman, Outdoor Oklahoma Magazine, and Oklahoma Today, Lantz is a former Oklahoma Wildlife Federation Conservation Communicator of the Year. He lives in Taos, New Mexico, with his wife, where he works on books and wildlife photography.
“The work is incomparable in its depth and breadth of natural and human history of the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge and, by extension, of southwestern Oklahoma. Anyone with even a passing interest in the refuge or western Oklahoma would absorb abundant knowledge of the entire region nowhere else available in one volume.”—Gary Clark, author, Backroads of the Texas Hill Country: Your Guide to the Most Scenic Adventures and columnist, Houston Chronicle
"Illustrated with an inset section of 20 memorable color photographs, Morning Comes to Elk Mountain is a fine balance of memoir, natural history, Native American history, and geology. . . . [T]he next best thing to visiting the rolling natural landscape in person. Highly recommended."--Midwest Book Review
"Lantz takes us on a year's journey of season changes and wildlife adventure. . . . The writing is superb as he describes buffalo, prairie dogs, elk, dark water beetles, wildflowers, and all manner of the life in the Wichita Mountains."--Association of Region XI Libraries
"Lantz's intricate descriptions of plant and animal life, accompanied by more than twenty color photographs, provide a glimpse into the area's fascinating natural history that newcomers, residents, and regular visitors will all appreciate. With almost forty years of experience in the region, Lantz's familiarity with place and his clear prose are his strongest assets and represent nature writing at its finest. . . . Morning Comes to Elk Mountain is essential reading for anyone interested in the natural history of the southern Plains."--Chronicles of Oklahoma