T.H. Watkins was a well-known environmental writer and historian before his death in 2000. He was a recipient of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Biography and was a finalist for the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award. At the time of his death he was Wallace Stegner Distinguished Professor of Western American Studies at Montana State University, and was posthumously awarded the Wallace Stegner Award by the CU-Boulder Center of the American West. He published 28 books and wrote over 300 articles for various publications including National Geographic, Audubon, Smithsonian, the New York Times, and the Washington Post.