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In the spring of 2000, Mike Medberry, a longtime advocate of conservation with American Lands, The Wilderness Society and Idaho Conservation League, suffered a stroke in the remote wilderness of the Craters of the Moon in Idaho. He was rescued after laying for hours alone and contemplating death in one of the harshest yet most beautiful landscapes in the country.

Medberry was flown to a nearby hospital from the stroke about the same time that Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt, on behalf of President Clinton, came to support three-quarters of a million acres as a unique national monument, a conservation effort in which Medberry himself had already been personally involved.

This story interweaves Medberry’s own struggle to speak, walk, write, and think with the struggle to protect this brutal, lava-bound, but for him, gentle landscape. Medberry’s recovery from this stroke and his struggle to protect the Craters of the Moon is a story of renewal, restoration, accommodation, and, ultimately, of finding workable compromises to some of life’s most difficult problems.