CORVALLIS - When "Driftwood Valley" was published more than 50 years ago, the book went through 27 printings and author Theodora C. Stanwell-Fletcher became the first woman to win the John Burroughs Medal for excellence in nature writing.

Now the beloved classic is gaining new life, published by the Oregon State University Press as part of its Northwest Reprints series.

"To this day, 'Driftwood Valley' has a devoted following of readers,'" said Tom Booth, marketing manager for the OSU Press.

It isn't difficult to understand why. In her nature classic, Stanwell-Fletcher recounts a story of adventure and survival in the wilds of northern British Columbia. For three years, the pioneering woman naturalist and her husband lived in a log cabin along mile-long Lake Tetana in the remote Driftwood Valley wilderness. They studied the area's rich wildlife, collected plant and animal specimens, and survived the harsh conditions.

"Her journal reveals the pleasures and insights sparked by living close to the wild, as well as the extreme isolation, hardships and struggles," Both said.

The OSU Press has restored the photographs, animal sketches, and plant and animal lists that originally appeared in the book. It includes an introduction by Wendell Berry, and closing comments by botanist Rhoda Love, who last summer visited the area to see what changes more than half a century had brought to Driftwood Valley.

Stanwell-Fletcher, now 93, lives in rural Pennsylvania.

The book is available at Northwest libraries and book stores, or can be ordered by calling 1-800-426-3797.

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Tom Booth, 503-282-9801