LYNDA V. MAPES is a journalist, author, and close observer of the natural world. The Seattle Times has made a point of focusing on environmental issues for its readership; Lynda has been a key part in this effort, covering natural history, environmental topics and issues related to Pacific Northwest indigenous cultures. Her writing connects ordinary people and nature. In 1997, while working at the Spokesman Review in Spokane, Washington, she was awarded the Gerald Loeb award for a series on salmon recovery efforts in the Columbia Basin. It was the first time anyone looked at what the region had spent on recovery in the basin and what had resulted from those efforts. In addition to her newspaper career, she is the author of two books, Washington: The Spirit of the Land and Breaking Ground . Her first extended encounter with the Elwha ecosystem, dams, Port Angeles community and Lower Elwha Klallam tribe, this latter book laid an important groundwork of sources for reporting the forthcoming newspaper series and this proposed book on the Elwha. She lives in Seattle with her husband Douglas MacDonald.