Sigurd Olson's Writings

This section first lists Olson's books, then his magazine and newspaper articles and book chapters. If you wish to jump to his articles and chapters, first read the opening description in the section [Articles and Book Chapters]. You also may jump right to the listing of articles and chapters for the [1920s], [1930s], [1940s], [1950s], and [1960s through 1982].


[animated picture: Olson's books]

Olson's books are listed in chronological order. Posthumous collections of his writings are included.

The University of Minnesota Press has published paperback versions of all eight books of Olson's that were originally published by Alfred Knopf. It also has published (in 2001) a collection of Olson articles and speeches called The Meaning of Wilderness, and a book of selected quotes called Spirit of the North. For more details and ordering information, see the Letter "O" Books by Author page on the University of Minnesota Press web site.

The Singing Wilderness. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1956.

Listening Point. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1958.

The Lonely Land. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1961.

Runes of the North. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1963.

Open Horizons. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1969.

The Hidden Forest. New York: Viking Press, 1969.

Wilderness Days. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1972.

Reflections From the North Country. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1976.

Of Time and Place. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1982.

Songs of the North. Howard Frank Mosher, ed. Penguin Nature Library. New York: Penguin Books, 1987.

The Collected Works of Sigurd F. Olson: The Early Writings, 1921-1934. Mike Link, ed. Introduction by Robert Keith Olson. Stillwater, Minn.: Voyageur Press, 1988.

The Collected Works of Sigurd F. Olson: The College Years, 1935-1944. Mike Link, ed. Introduction by Jim Klobuchar. Stillwater, Minn.: Voyageur Press, 1990.

The Meaning of Wilderness: Essential Articles and Speeches. Edited and with an Introduction by David Backes. Minneapolis, Minn.: University of Minnesota Press, 2001.

Spirit of the North: The Quotable Sigurd F. Olson. Edited and with an Introduction by David Backes. Minneapolis, Minn.: University of Minnesota Press, 2004.


This section lists Olson's magazine and newspaper articles and book chapters, arranged in chronological order. Speeches that were revised for publication are included in this section. The following are not included: book excerpts, published letters to the editor, or titles of Olson's "America Out of Doors" syndicated newspaper column, which was published in a few American newspapers between 1941 and 1944. Either scroll or use the following jumps:

[Books] [1920s] [1930s] [1940s] [1950s] [1960s through 1982]


"Describes Cruise Thru the Woods," Nashwauk (Minn.) Herald, July 22, 1921. This is Sigurd's first published piece, which was edited slightly and re-published nine days later by the Milwaukee Journal (see below).

"Canoe Tourist Finds Joys of the Great Outdoors Through the Vast Watered Wilderness of the North." Milwaukee Journal, July 31, 1921.

"Fishin' Jewelry." Field and Stream, November 1927.

"Snow Wings." Boys' Life, March 1928.

"Reflections of a Guide." Field and Stream, June 1928.


[Books] [1920s] [1940s] [1950s] [1960s through 1982]

"Duck Heaven." Outdoor Life, October 1930.

"Confessions of a Duck Hunter." Sports Afield, October 1930.

"Stag Pants Galahads." Sports Afield, November 1930.

"The Poison Trail." Sports Afield, December 1930.

"Spring Fever." Sports Afield, April 1931.

"The Blue-Bills are Coming!" Sports Afield, October 1931.

"Papette". Sports Afield, February 1932.

"Fish-Eating Deer." Journal of Mammalogy, February 1932.

"Search for the Wild." Sports Afield, May and June 1932.

"Fortune at Lac La Croix." Sports Afield, September and October 1932.

"Trail's End." Sports Afield, October 1933.

"Roads or Planes in the Superior." Minnesota Waltonian, April 1934.

"A New Policy Needed for the Superior." Minnesota Conservationist, May 1934.

"Cruising in the Arrowhead." Outdoors, May 1934.

"The Evolution of a Canoe Country." Minnesota Conservationist, May 1935.

"Sere, Climax and Influent Animals With Special Reference to the Transcontinental Coniferous Forest of North America." (Co-authored with Victor E. Shelford.) Ecology, July 1935.

"The Romance of Portages." Minnesota Conservationist, April 1936.

"Let's Go Exploring." Field and Stream, June 1937.

"Organization and Range of the Pack." Ecology, January 1938.

"Taking Us, Dad?" Field and Stream, January 1938.

"A Study in Predatory Relationship With Particular Reference to the Wolf." Scientific Monthly, April 1938.

"Wilderness Areas." Sports Afield, August 1938.

"Why Wilderness?" American Forests, September 1938.

"Mallards Are Different." Field and Stream, November 1938.

"The Immortals of Argo." Sports Afield, July 1939.

"Mallards of Back Bay." Sports Afield, October 1939.


[Books] [1920s] [1930s] [1950s] [1960s through 1982]

"Fireside Pictures." Field and Stream, March 1940.

"The Last Mallard." Sports Afield, November 1940.

"What! No Bass?" Field and Stream, January 1941.

"The Bohemians." Minneapolis Star-Journal, March 23, 1941.

"First Spring Flower." Minneapolis Star-Journal, March 30, 1941.

"Easter on the Prairie." Minneapolis Star-Journal, April 13, 1941.

"Spring Morning." Minneapolis Star-Journal, April 20, 1941.

"The Iron Mine." Minneapolis Star-Journal, April 27, 1941.

"Balm of Gilead." Minneapolis Star-Journal, May 4, 1941.

"Opening Day." Minneapolis Star-Journal, May 11, 1941.

"The Three Spruces." Minneapolis Star-Journal, May 18, 1941.

"Prairie Pool." Minneapolis Star-Journal, May 25, 1941.

"Swan Song." Minneapolis Star-Journal, June 1, 1941.

"The Call of the Flock." Minneapolis Star-Journal, June 8, 1941.

"Wilderness Short Cuts." Sports Afield, 1942 Fishing Annual.

"War Comes to the Quetico." Sports Afield, February 1942.

"Wilderness Again on Trial." Outdoor America, May-June 1942.

"Quetico-Superior Wilderness International and Unique." Living Wilderness, December 1942.

"Packs and Paddles." Sports Afield, 1943 Fishing Annual.

"Gold in Them Hills." Sports Afield, July 1944.

"The Spring Hole." Outdoor Life, September 1944.

"I'm a Jump Shooter." Sports Afield, October 1944.

"Shift of the Wind." Sports Afield, December 1944.

"Wilderness Manners." Sports Afield, May 1945.

"The Purist." Conservation Volunteer, May-June 1945.

"Flying In." Sports Afield, September 1945.

"The Gremlins of Wind Bay." Sports Afield, November 1945.

"We Need Wilderness." National Parks Magazine, January-March 1946. Reprinted in condensed form in Plants and Gardens, Winter 1946.

"Spawning of the Eelpout." Conservation Volunteer, January-February 1946.

"On Not Trimming Trees." Conservation Volunteer, March-April 1946.

"Canoeing for Sport." The Outdoorsman, February 1948.

"Let's Finish What We Started." Outdoor America, February 1948.

"Moon Magic." Sports Afield, February 1948.

"Veterans Named." Christian Science Monitor, March 22, 1948.

"Quetico-Superior Elegy." Living Wilderness, Spring 1948.

"Quetico-Superior Challenge." Sports Afield, May 1948.

"Wings Over the Wilderness." American Forests, June 1948.

"Voyageur's Return." Nature Magazine, June-July 1948.

"The Know-How in Camping." The Outdoorsman, August 1948.

"The Preservation of Wilderness." Living Wilderness, Autumn 1948.

"Rainbow Forty." The (Toronto) Star Weekly, October 2, 1948.

"Spawning of the Pike." Conservation Volunteer, January-February 1949.

"Battle for a Wilderness." Forest and Outdoors, March 1949.

"Frog Chorus." Conservation Volunteer, April 1949.

"Canadians Urge International Forest." Ely Miner, September 1, 1949.

"Voyageurs' Country." National Home Monthly, October 1949.

"Swift as the Wild Goose Flies." National Parks Magazine, October-December 1949.


[Books] [1920s] [1930s] [1940s] [1960s through 1982]

"A Victory for Wilderness!" Outdoor America, January 1950.

"Late Frontier Quetico-Superior." American Heritage, Spring 1950.

"Wilderness Victory." National Parks Magazine, April-June 1950.

Untitled Editorial. Living Wilderness, Autumn 1950.

"Airplane Ban Goes into Effect." Outdoor America, January-February 1951.

"Canoe Country." North Country, Spring 1951.

"The Drummer." North Country, Spring 1951.

"Spring Fever." North Country, Spring 1951.

"Calling of the Loon." North Country, Summer 1951.

"Moonlight Escapade." North Country, Summer 1951.

"Orchids of the North." North Country, Summer 1951.

"Pipe Dance." North Country, Summer 1951.

"The Quetico-Superior Wilderness Laboratory." Science Teacher, November 1951.

"The Rainy Lake Pollution Problem." Outdoor America, November-December 1951.

"The Big Snow." Gopher Historian, January 1953.

"Voyageur's Country: The Story of the Quetico-Superior Country." Wilson Bulletin, March 1953.

"Conservation and Citizenship." Gopher Historian, April 1953.

"Airplanes to Wilderness." Living Wilderness, Spring 1953.

"Wilderness and the Flambeau." Living Wilderness, Spring 1953.

"Let's Take a Canoe Trip." Recreation, February 1954.

"The Challenge of Our National Parks." National Parks Magazine, April-June 1954.

"The Intangible Values in Nature Protection." National Parks Magazine, July-September1954.

"Canoe Country Manners." Duluth News Tribune, September 5, 1954.

"Fishing at 20 Below." Sports Illustrated, February 28, 1955.

"Right Should Prevail." Outdoor America, July-August 1955.

"This is No Little Bird Book." Living Wilderness, Winter-Spring 1955-1956.

"The Association's First Objective." National Parks Magazine, January-March 1956.

"A U.S. Comment." American Forests, February 1956.

"The Association's Second Objective." National Parks Magazine, April-June 1956.

"The Association's Third Objective." National Parks Magazine, July-September 1956.

"The Association's Fourth Objective." October-December 1956.

"Outlaw Country." True, February 1957. (Revised version published as "The Feel of Spring" in Runes of the North.)

"Our Need of Breathing Space." In Henry Jarrett, ed., Perspectives On Conservation. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins, 1958.

"Winning a Wilderness." Naturalist, Winter 1958.

"Leisure Time: Man's Key to Self Realization--The Out-of-Doors." Minnesota Journal of Education, April 1958.

"The Quetico-Superior." Outdoor America, May 1958.

"Thanksgiving: More than a Holiday." Outdoor America, November 1958.

"Of Worms and Fishermen." Outdoor America, April 1959.

"Beauty Belongs to All." Naturalist, Fall 1959.

"Wilderness Manners." Forest and Outdoors, October 1959.

"Woodsmen's Skill for the Wild." Living Wilderness, Winter 1959-1960.

1960s Through 1982

[Books] [1920s] [1930s] [1940s] [1950s]

"Winning a Wilderness." Outdoor America, June 1960.

"Some New Books in Review: Portage Into the Past." Minnesota History, March 1961.

"Explorers." Naturalist, Winter 1961.

"The Meaning of the National Parks." In Victor H. Cahalane, ed., National Parks: A World Need. New York: American Committee for International Wild Life Protection, Special Publication No. 14, 1962.

"The Wilderness Concept." The Ames Forester, 1962 annual.

"Six Decades of Progress." American Forests, October 1962.

"Sam Campbell, Philosopher of the Forest." American Forests, October 1962.

"Relics From the Rapids." National Geographic, September 1963.

"Wilderness Preservation." Naturalist, Winter 1964.

"Voyageur's Autumn." Boys' Life, November 1964.

"Minnesota's Proposed National Park." Naturalist, Spring 1965.

"Skindiving for Treasures of the Past." Ford Times, April 1965.

"Indiana Dunes Revisited." Outdoor America, January 1966.

"Natural Resource Readings: A Wilderness Bill of Rights." Journal of Soil and Water Conservation, March-April 1966.

"Wilderness Canoe Country: Minnesot'a Greatest Recreational Asset." Naturalist, Spring 1967.

"What is Wilderness?" Living Wilderness, Spring 1968.

"A Certain Kind of Man." The Beaver, Autumn 1968.

"A Tribute to F.L. Jaques." Naturalist, Spring 1970.

"Wilderness Challenge." Living Wilderness, Summer 1970.

"Wilderness Besieged: The Canoe Country of Minnesota." Audubon, July 1970.

"The Values of Voyageurs National Park." Minnesota Conservation Volunteer, May-June 1971.

"Alaska: Land of Scenic Grandeur." Living Wilderness, Winter 1971-1972.

"What of Beautiful Minnesota?" In Century 2: In Perspective. Minneapolis: Northwestern National Bank, 1972.

"A Longing for Wilderness." In Fishbein, Seymour L., ed., Wilderness U.S.A. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic Society, 1973.

"A Giant Step North." The Rotarian, March 1974.

"Wild Islands of the Shield." Naturalist, Summer 1975.

"Caribou Creek." Audubon, March 1982.

[Books] [1920s] [1930s] [1940s] [1950s] [1960s through 1982]