Jim LaBerg is haunted by a voice from the past. The aging Alaska Wildlife Trooper has been hearing the voice more frequently now that he’s been asked to take a stand on the Pebble Mine, the mega-mining project that looms over Bristol Bay and threatens the world’s largest run of sockeye salmon. While stuck in a small cabin, Jim resurrects the voice by writing about the summer of 1969 when he was a commercial fisherman in waters now threatened by the mine. On the cold waters of Bristol Bay, where the lives of fishermen are inextricably tied to the life cycle of the salmon, Jim finds romance with a remarkable young woman. She is spontaneous, worldly, and open-minded—everything that young Jim is not. As the two navigate a wilderness dominated by salmon, storms, whales and wolves, she challenges Jim to rethink everything he thought he knew about how humans relate to the environment and how they relate to each other.
Written with a deep respect for both the beauty and the danger of the Alaskan wilderness, In the Land of the Salmon shines a spotlight on the notion that sometimes we have to discover our opposites in order to discover ourselves.