Dyana Z. FurmanskyDyana Z. Furmansky’s articles on the environment, travel, and culture of the American West have appeared in The New York Times, Audubon Magazine, American Heritage, High Country News, Harrowsmith Countrylife, Connoisseur, Conde Nast’s Traveler and other publications (under the byline Dyan Zaslowsky before 2004). She was part of the High Country News reporting team that won the 1986 George Polk Award for Environmental Reporting.
Dyana wrote the biographical essay of the watercolorist William Matthews for Cowboys and Images, and These American Lands: Parks, Wilderness and the Public Land, which the late Wallace Stegner praised as one of the best histories of the Public Domain. Her book Rosalie Edge, Hawk of Mercy: The Activist Who Saved Nature From The Conservationists received a 2009 Wormsloe Foundation Nature Award.
Dyana is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the Honors College of Michigan State University in Russian Studies, and received her master’s degree from The Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.
She has lived in Colorado more than 30 years, but traces her love of nature back to her childhood in Connecticut, where the fragrant woods darkly beckoned.
Dyana Z. Furmansky's blog
I was a kid when Rosalie Edge died in 1962, and although I never heard of her back then, the subsequent discovery that our lives overlapped for a decade gave me a feeling of immediacy. Imagine if you dare, that on my family’s frequent trips to New York City we passed Edge’s Fifth Avenue apartment house while she lived there!
Peter Edge sat down beside me, clicked opened the latches of the tan suitcase and raised its lid. A stale whiff of old papers floated out. It was a scent of a biographical treasure. Inside the suitcase—which had belonged to Rosalie Edge--were fat manila packets dated in Peter’s writing noting the time span of the personal letters within each.!--/end tags-->
As Peter Edge surmised, it was not terribly inconvenient for me to drop by the Woodlawn Cemetery in Newburgh, New York to visit his mother’s grave on the way to the shabby-chic bungalow colony in the Catskills where my grandmother summered. Nor was it such an unusual detour for my family.!--/end tags-->
In November 1962 85-year old Rosalie Edge shut down the diminutive office of her once mighty Emergency Conservation Committee at 734 Lexington Avenue in New York City. Documents from more than 30 years of her preservation campaigns filled more than four boxes, which she mailed to the Denver Public Library. Edge died four days later.
Contrary to the feminist wisdom tweeted on bumper stickers, well-behaved women do indeed make history. Consider Rosa Parks, universally perceived as the civil rights movement’s instigator. And Rachel Carson, whose book Silent Spring is commonly credited with igniting the environmental movement. In their respective movements Parks and Carson are as famous for being well-behaved, as for the history it is said they made.!--/end tags-->