Sigurd F. Olson (1899-1982) introduced generations of Americans to the importance of wilderness through his work as a conservation activist and popular writer. He served as president of the Wilderness Society and the National Parks Association and as a consultant to the federal government on wilderness preservation and ecological problems. He earned many honors, including the highest possible from the Sierra Club, the National Wildlife Federation, and the Izaak Walton League. David Backes is the author of A Wilderness Within: The Life of Sigurd F. Olson (Minnesota, 1997), winner of the 1998 Small Press Book Award for biography, and editor of The Meaning of Wilderness: Essential Articles and Speeches by Sigurd F. Olson (Minnesota, 2001). Backes is also the author of Canoe Country: An Embattled Wilderness (1991) and The Wilderness Companion (1992).