From Hunter to Sportsmen to Conservationist:
Who Saved the Nisqually Delta?

by Jeffrey Ramsey

Primary Sources

Benjamin, Donnie. Puyallup, WA. Hunter. Personal Interview. Benjamin describes the techniques and attitudes he believes distinguishes him as a hunter rather than a sportsman.

Chasan, Daniel Jack. “Duel in the Delta: The Nisqually vs. Weyerhaeuser?” Pacific Northwest, July/August 1982, 13-14. Article discussing Weyerhaeuser’s proposed mill site just northeast of Nisqually Delta Wildlife Refuge. A wonderful source for behind the scene research on Nisqually Delta.

Chasan, Daniel Jack. “Environmentalists, and the Nisqually Delta.” The Northwest Experience. Seattle: Madrona Publishers, 1980. In the wake of successfully creating the Nisqually Delta Wildlife Refuge, there is no reason to relax a firm stand on preserving the area. The article talks about new threats to the delta.

Coburn, Pat. “Remembering Nisqually: A Many-Story Place.” Landmarks, Summer 1982, 5-9. Article describing the Nisqually Delta Wildlife Refuge and Weyerhaeuser battle. The two sides tell their story to the Shoreline Hearing Board.

Daheim, Mary R. “The Nisqually Delta: A Deep Port Now or Ever?” Pacific Search, October 1973. Part of a series of stories for Pacific Search magazine dealing with the Nisqually Delta controversy. The article details the political stance taken by the Port of Tacoma and the fight that ensues with the conservation groups.

Daheim, Mary R. “The Nisqually Delta: An Unspoiled Estuary With An Uncertain future.” Pacific Search, November 1973, 4. Part of a series of stories for Pacific Search magazine dealing with the Nisqually Delta controversy. Daheim exposes arguments for both parties involved – environmentalism and commercialism.

Douglas, Patrick. “A Remarkable Sanctuary That Faces Extinction.” Seattle Magazine, IV, July 1967, 17-22, 46-47. Article describing many areas of the Nisqually Delta that are currently under development or considered for development. In light of the Port of Tacoma’s plan to develop the delta as a port, awareness is raised as to the uniqueness of the Nisqually region.

Gordon, David George. Nisqually Watershed: Glacier to Delta – a River’s Legacy. Seattle: The Mountaineers and Nisqually River Interpretive Center Foundation, 1985. A wonderful historical timeline of the Nisqually watershed from its origin to its termination at the Puget Sound. Ideal coffee table book.

Hooper, David. “Showdown on the Nisqually.” Pacific Northwest, April 1985, 23. Article presenting disturbing facts related to the disruption of wetlands and refuges across the country due to development and urban sprawl. References Weyerhaeuser, Port of Tacoma, Intel, Dupont.

Koffler, Wayne. Seattle, WA. Sportsman. Personal Interview. Koffler describes the techniques and attitudes he believes distinguishes him as a sportsman rather than a hunter.

Kyle, James Jefferson. The Nisqually Controversy. Seattle: University of Washington, 1970. Masters thesis showing the compelling and detailed history of the delta.

Puget Sound Leagues of Women Voters. Nisqually in Conflict. Seattle: Puget Sound Leagues of Women Voters, 1970. This group was pivotal in gaining political support for the conservation of Nisqually Delta. This study lays the foundation for the debate between the Game Department and the Port of Tacoma.

Secondary Sources

Belanger, Dian Olson. Managing America’s Wildlife. Boston: University of Massachusetts Press, 1988. Source for chronology of major developments in the history of fish and wildlife management.

Dunlap, Thomas R. Saving America’s Wildlife. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1988. Dunlap takes the animal rights approach to the history of conservation. Good early source that then turns textbook.

Fox, Stephen. The American Conservation Movement: John Muir and his Legacy. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1981. Stunning descriptions of historical hurdles that created much of our present legislation.

Line, Les. ed. The National Audubon Society: Speaking for Nature. New York:Hugh Lauter Levin Associates, Inc, 1999. Coffee table book with frameable photography. History of the National Audubon Society.

Reiger, John F. American Sportsmen and the Origins of Conservation. Corvallis: Oregon State University Press, 2001. The mainstay of my research. Exquisite photography and in depth history just as the title presents. A must read for anyone who has ever fished or hunted.

Tober, James A. Who Owns The Wildlife: The Political Economy of Conservation in Nineteenth Century America. Westport: Greenwood Press, 1981. Referenced in most any book concerning conservation in America. Despite the dry title, Tober conveys an interesting background to our wildlife policy makers and followers.

Tober, James A. Wildlife and the Public Interest: Nonprofit Organizations and Federal Wildlife Policy. New York: Praeger, 1989. Now this book is as dry as it sounds. It has the facts if you don’t mind digging for them.

White, Richard. Land Use, Environment, and Social Change: The Shaping of Island County. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1980. An introspective approach to the selfish and insensitive manipulations of the environment.