Range on the Edge
by Tom Gamache and Matthew Jaffe
The Santa Monica Mountains is the only range that transverses a major metropolitan city in North America, slicing Los Angeles and defining it, shaping its hills and its valleys, its canyons and its ocean front. The Santa Monicas is undeniably a range on the edge of the world, welcoming the Pacific into its rocky ridges, almost daring the ocean waves to break at its foothills. The mountains are dotted with mountain lions, bobcats and mule deer, rock singers, movie stars and writers, lilies, oaks and steelhead trout, bikers, hikers and grizzled peaks that seem to kiss the sky. Along the course of its forty-six-mile span, the range encompasses Dodger Stadium, Griffith Park, Laurel and Coldwater canyons, Hollywood, the Hollywood Sign, Beverly Hills, the Getty Museum, Pacific Palisades and Malibu, to name only a few points of iconic interest. And these are mountains that have gone uncelebrated, until now in The Santa Monica Mountains: Range on the Edge, a compelling history and commentary by award-winning writer Matthew Jaffe, punctuated with 140 breathtaking images captured by renowned landscape-art photographer Tom Gamache. This is the definitive biography lovers of the Santa Monica Mountains have been waiting for, the story of a magnificent range on the edge of America's edgiest city.
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written about the culture and environment of Southern California and
the Southwest for more than twenty years. He was a senior writer with Sunset
Magazine in Los Angeles for many years. In
1997, he was one of three
national finalists for the M.F.K. Fisher Distinguished Writing Award
from the James Beard Foundation for his article on Southern
California’s citrus tradition. He has received national awards for
environmental coverage of Mexico’s Sea of Cortez and the Alaskan
temperate rainforest. He also wrote Oaxaca:
of Mexico, a book of travel and photo essays
published in 2002.
Tom Gamache is an internationally recognized landscape-art photographer who has lived in the Santa Monica Mountains for more than thirty years. He has also worked in more than one hundred other national parks throughout the country. His "Lone Oak" at Rancho Sierra Vista Satwiwa, which was the selected by the National Parks as a poster, has since become the iconic symbol of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. His work has been published by National Geographic, Sierra Club Books and Calendars and the Los Angeles Times, among many others.