Morning Comes to Elk Mountain
Announcing the first book in the Southwestern Nature Writing Series.
This series is intended to include books in the narrative tradition of
John Graves’ Goodbye to a River that reflect a modern sensibility and
awareness of the environmental issues facing the region as well as
considering questions of environmental justice, ecological restoration,
and sustainable communities.
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.
“The manuscript 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 of Backroads of the Texas Hill Country: Your Guide to the Most
Scenic Adventures and columnist for the Houston
“I enjoyed the narrative and the intimacy of the story as well as the
photography.” —George Maxey, geology professor