Paul Schullery was born in Middletown, Pennyslvania in 1948, and went to public schools in Hershey, Pennsylvania; Corpus Christi, Texas; Gadsden, Alabama; Warren, Michigan: and Lancaster, Ohio, graduating from Lancaster High School in 1966. He has a B.A. in American History from Wittenberg University (1970), an M.A. in American History from Ohio University (1977), and two honorary doctorates as described below under "Honors and awards."
In 1972, Paul lucked into a summer seasonal job as a ranger-naturalist in Yellowstone National Park. The meaning and passion he discovered there set the course of his life as a student of natural history and the human relationship with nature, and as a writer on a variety of related subjects. He worked six summers and three winters in Yellowstone, leaving the park in 1977 to become the first executive director of the American Museum of Fly Fishing, in Manchester, Vermont, a position he held for five years. In 1982 he moved to Livingston, Montana, where he worked as an independent researcher and writer for four years before moving to the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, area to work for two years as an associate editor at Country Journal Magazine. In 1988, during the famous Yellowstone-area fires of that summer, he returned to the park. Over the course of the next twenty years, Paul held a succession of positions with the National Park Service, all combining historical research and writing with the communication of information about the park's internationally significant (and controversial) management issues. In 1992 he was the founding editor of Yellowstone Science, the park's quarterly natural- and cultural-resource research magazine. He retired from the National Park Service in 2009, but continues to write natural history and fiction.
Paul has served as an advisor for many institutions and organizations, including the Amon Carter Museum, the National Parks and Conservation Association, Montana State University Library, the Science Museum of Minnesota, the Buffalo Bill Historical Center, Montana Historical Society, BBC/Discovery Channel, and the Museum of the Rockies. He wrote and narrated the 2002 PBS film "Yellowstone: America's Sacred Wilderness," and served as an advisor and interviewee for the Ken Burns film "The National Parks," broadcast in 2009. He has been interviewed on a variety of national broadcast media, including World Monitor News, NBC's Today Show, the History Channel, NPR's Fresh Air and All Things Considered, and others.
In the most important creative partnership of his life, Paul and his spouse, the artist Marsha Karle, have collaborated as author and illustrator on seven books: Real Alaska; The Rise; If Fish Could Scream; Royal Coachman; This High, Wild Country; The Fishing Life; and the most recently published Yellowstone Bear Tales. Marsha has provided cover art for several of Paul's other books. Marsha and Paul have also worked together on other projects, including a series of interpretive fine-arts greeting cards, and are currently at work on new books.
Paul began to publish in about 1976. His first book, Old Yellowstone Days, published by Colorado Associated University Press in 1979, was followed by a more or less steady succession of other books. His primary focus as a writer has been nature, especially the nature of national parks and other reserves, and the complexities of the human relationship with the rest of the planet's inhabitants. His involvement with the sport of fly fishing proved to be an especially fortuitous opportunity, leading him to publish a series of books on the history and lore of this richly cultured sport. Other areas of special interest, recreational or professional, include hiking, photography, wildlife watching, and the study of natural history literature. All of these pursuits, though initially taken up just because they were so much fun, turned out upon years of study and experience to provide Paul with additional stimulating and deeply informed perspectives on the human relationship with nature.
Parallel to his non-fiction writing, Paul has also published the occasional short story. Since his retirement from the National Park Service in 2009, he has made time to pursue a long-deferred interest in writing novels, and those have now begun to pop out every so often as well.
A full list of Paul's books appears at the conclusion of this biographical summary. He has also published in a very wide variety of periodicals, including for example the following: American Forests, American West, BioScience, Country Journal, Early American Life, The Encyclopedia Britannica Yearbook of Science and the Future, Field & Stream, Gray's Sporting Journal, , Montana The Magazine of Western History, National Parks, The New York Times, Orion, Outdoor Life, and Park Science. He has at various times been a columnist for several magazines, including American Angler, Backpacker, Country Journal, and Trout.
Since 2009, Paul has been scholar-in-residence at the Montana State University Library.
For recent interviews, see Dayton Duncan and Ken Burns' book The National Parks: America's Best Idea (Knopf, New York, 2009), pages 252-255; and "Sort of a Historian: Paul Schullery Retires," Yellowstone Science 17(3), 2009, 4-18, which can be viewed at http://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/upload/YS17(3)_part1.pdf
Honors and awards:
In 1997, Montana State University, Bozeman, Montana, presented Paul with an honorary doctorate of letters in recognition of his work "as a nature writer, vividly and accurately depicting the natural and cultural resources of the greater Yellowstone region; for your work to preserve Yellowstone Park’s historical record, making it available to scholars and students and insuring professional management of one of the West’s most valuable collections of historical documents; and for an accumulation of published work, in the fields of science, history, and fiction, marked by keen sensitivity for the complexities of the human relationship with nature and a commitment to honoring that relationship with intelligence, grace, and humility."
In 1998, he was presented with the Wallace Stegner Award by the University of Colorado Center of the American West, Boulder, Colorado. This award, which was given to recognize "a sustained contribution to the cultural identity of the American West," featured the following citation: "As America’s foremost citizen of the National Parks, you work deftly in the medium of memory to honor both nature and human nature. Your honesty and humility refresh the cause of natural preservation and reacquaint us with wonder, while your writing replenishes the West’s rivers with hope."
In 2002, Wildscreen International of Bristol, UK, presented Paul with a Panda Award for the script for "The Living Edens: Yellowstone, America's Sacred Wilderness," a 2001 ABC/PBS film that Paul wrote and narrated. The Pandas, known as the "green Oscars," are the most prestigious awards in nature-films.
In 2006, the Federation of Fly Fishers, a national society of anglers, presented Paul their Roderick Haig-Brown Award. Named for the celebrated Canadian naturalist, scholar, and writer, the award recognizes a fly fishing author whose work embodies the philosophy and spirit of Roderick Haig-Brown, particularly, a respect for the ethics and traditions of fly fishing and an understanding of rivers, their inhabitants, and their environments.
In 2008, the United States Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee, the management team responsible for oversight of grizzly bear population recovery and conservation efforts in the lower forty-eight states, presented Paul with their Communications Leadership Award for his "extraordinary work in grizzly bear recovery."
In 2011, the George Wright Society, the national association of park managers and researchers, presented Paul the Society's Communication Award "in honor of his outstanding contributions to conservation history, national park policy, and the understanding of wildlife, which have significantly advanced science-based resource management."
In 2013, Ohio University, Athens, Ohio, presented Paul with an honorary doctorate of letters, stating, in part, that "As an acclaimed author and graduate of Ohio University, you have made your mark through a professional writing career dedicated to wildlife and its conservation. As an author, editor or contributor for more than 65 books about history, nature and outdoor sport, the profound breadth and depth of your works have earned you distinction among writers . . . . Your passion and regard for the natural world continues to inspire many different audiences. And your influence on conservation management epitomizes the potential of committing oneself and one's work wholly to a cause."
In October, 2014, the Catskill Fly Fishing Center & Museum, in Livingston Manor, New York, inducted into the Fly Fishing Hall of Fame, stating that "Paul Schullery, fly-fishing's preeminent historian, has been a pioneer of the study of the cultural foundations of our sport and the values upon which it depends. As a lifelong professional conservationist, he has effectively championed a host of natural resources, all of which related to the protection of the fly fisher's world. As a writer he has published path-breaking literary and scholarly explorations of the richness of the fly-fishing experience."
Bibliography: book-length works written, co-written, or edited by Paul Schullery
Note: Many of the following titles are also available in digital editions, not listed here.
1979. Editor, Old Yellowstone Days. Colorado Associated University Press, Boulder, Colorado. Foreword by John Townsley.
1980. The Bears of Yellowstone. Yellowstone Library and Museum Association, Yellowstone Park. Foreword by A. Starker Leopold. Second edition, 1986, Roberts Rinehart, Inc., Boulder, Colorado. Third edition, 1992, High Plains Publishing Company, Worland, Wyoming.
1981. Editor, The Grand Canyon: Early Impressions. Colorado Associated University Press, Boulder. Colorado. Foreword by John O'Brien. Trade paperback reprint, 1989, Pruett Publishing Company, Boulder, Colorado.
1981. Hogan, A., and P. Schullery. The Orvis Story. The Orvis Company, Manchester, Vermont. Revised and enlarged edition, 2007, sole author, The Orvis Company, Manchester, Vermont.
1983. Editor, American Bears: Selections from the Writings of Theodore Roosevelt. Colorado Associated University Press, Boulder, Colorado. Foreword by John Gable. Outdoor Life Book Club dual main selection, 1983. Trade paperback reprint, Roberts Rinehart, Boulder, Colorado, 1997. Trade paperback reprint, Authors Guild Backinprint.com and iUniverse, 2012.
1983. Varley, J.D., and P. Schullery. Freshwater Wilderness: Yellowstone Fishes and Their World. Yellowstone Library and Museum Association, Yellowstone Park. Foreword by Nathaniel P. Reed. Revised, enlarged, and published as Yellowstone Fishes: Ecology, History, and Angling in the Park. Stackpole Books, Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, 1998.
1984. Mountain Time. Nick Lyons Books/Schocken, New York. Trade paperback reprint, Simon & Schuster, New York, 1988. Trade paperback with new afterword, Roberts Rinehart, Boulder, Colorado, 1995. Trade paperback with new introduction by the author, University of New Mexico Press, 2005.
1986. Editor, Theodore Roosevelt: Wilderness Writings. Peregrine Smith, Layton, Utah.
1986. Editor and author of new material, The National Parks. New edition of a book by Freeman Tilden last revised in 1968. Alfred Knopf, Inc., New York. Foreword by National Park Service Director William Penn Mott.
1987. Editor, Island in the Sky: Pioneering Accounts of Mount Rainier. The Mountaineers Books, Seattle.
1987. Despain, D., D. Houston, M. Meagher, and P. Schullery, Wildlife in Transition: Man and Nature on Yellowstone's Northern Range. Roberts Rinehart Inc., Boulder, Colorado.
1987. American Fly Fishing: A History. Nick Lyons Books, NewYork. Simultaneous limited edition published by The American Museum of Fly Fishing, Manchester, Vermont. New special edition included in the “Library of Fly-Fishing Classics” by The Easton Press, Norwalk, Connecticut, 1996. New trade edition with author’s afterword, The Lyons Press, 1999.
1987, Lilly, B., and P. Schullery, Bud Lilly's Guide to Western Fly Fishing. Nick Lyons Books, New York.
1988. Lilly, B., and P. Schullery, A Trout's Best Friend. Pruett Publishing Company, Boulder, Colorado.
1988. The Bear Hunter's Century: Profiles from the Golden Age of Bear Hunting. Dodd, Mead & Company, New York. Outdoor Life Book Club main selection, 1988. Reprint, 1989, Stackpole Books, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Recorded for distribution by the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Library of Congress, 1991. Trade paperback, High Lonesome Books, Silver City, New Mexico, 1998.
1991. Pregnant Bears and Crawdad Eyes: Excursions and Encounters in Animal Worlds. The Mountaineers Books, Seattle. Japanese translation, 1994.
1991. Editor, Yellowstone Bear Tales. Roberts Rinehart, Boulder, Colorado. Trade paperback edition, published by the author/Createspace.com, 2013.
1991. Sontag, W., L. Griffin, and P. Schullery, The National Park Service: A Seventy–Fifth Anniversary Album. Roberts Rinehart, Boulder, Colorado and the National Parks Foundation, Washington, D.C.
1995. Claar, J., and P. Schullery, editors, Bears—Their Biology and Management, a selection of papers from the ninth international conference on bear research and management, Missoula, Montana, February 23–28, 1992. International Association for Bear Research and Management/Yellowstone Center for Resources, Yellowstone National Park. (Proceedings series later renamed Ursus and cited as a journal)
1995. Yellowstone's Ski Pioneers: Peril and Heroism on the Winter Trail. High Plains Publishing Company, Worland, Wyoming.
1996. Waterton/Glacier: Land of Hanging Valleys. Harper Collins West, San Francisco. Revised and expanded second edition, entitled This High, Wild Country: A Celebration of Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park, University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque, 2010.
1996. Shupton's Fancy: A Tale of the Fly–Fishing Obsession. Stackpole Books, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
1996. Editor, Echoes from the Summit. Harcourt Brace, New York.
1996. Editor, Mark of the Bear. Sierra Club Books, San Francisco.
1996. Editor, The Yellowstone Wolf: A Guide and Sourcebook. High Plains Publishing, Worland, Wyoming. Foreword by Bruce Babbitt. Trade paperback edition, University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, Oklahoma, 2003.
1997. Searching for Yellowstone: Ecology and Wonder in the Last Wilderness. Houghton Mifflin, Boston, 1997. Trade paperback edition, Mariner Books, 1998. Trade paperback edition, Montana Historical Society, Helena, Montana, 2004.
1997. Bishop, N., P. Schullery, F. Singer, and J.D. Varley, Yellowstone's Northern Range: Complexity and Change in a Wildland Ecosystem. National Park Service, Yellowstone Center for Resources, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming.
1999. Royal Coachman: The Lore and Legends of Fly Fishing. Simon & Schuster, New York. Trade paperback edition, republished as Royal Coachman: Adventures in the Fly Fisher's World, University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque, New Mexico, 2007.
2000. Lilly, B. and P. Schullery, Bud Lilly’s Guide to Fly Fishing the New West. Frank Amato Publications, Portland, Oregon.
2001. America’s National Parks: The Spectacular Forces that Shaped our Treasured Lands. Tehabi Books/DK Publishing, San Diego.
2001. Real Alaska: Finding Our Way in the Wild Country. Stackpole Books, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
2002. Lewis and Clark Among the Grizzlies: Legend and Legacy in the American West. Globe Pequot, Guilford, Connecticut.
2003. Schullery, P., and L. Whittlesey, Myth and History in the Creation of Yellowstone National Park. University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln.
2004. Schullery, P., and Sarah Stevenson, editors, People and Place: The Human Experience in Greater Yellowstone. Proceedings of the Fourth Biennial Scientific Conference on the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, October 12-15, 1997, Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. Yellowstone National Park: National Park Service, Yellowstone Center for Resources.
2006. Cowboy Trout: Western Fly Fishing As If It Matters. Montana Historical Society Press, Helena.
2006. The Rise: Streamside Observations on Trout, Flies, and Fly Fishing. Stackpole Books, Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania.
2007. Editor, Gordon on Trout Fishing: Talks and Tales from a Great American Angler. Stackpole Books, Mechanicsburg,
2007. Editor, Halford on the Dry Fly: Streamcraft of a Master Anger. Stackpole Books, Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania.
2007. Editor, Norris on Trout: A Lifetime of Angling Insights. Stackpole Books, Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania.
2008. Editor, Stewart on the Wet Fly: Lessons from a Master Tactician. Stackpole Books, Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania.
2008. Editor, Skues on Trout: Observations from an Angler. Stackpole Books, Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania.
2008. Editor, Mottram on Fly-Fishing Mysteries: Innovations of a Scientist-Angler. Stackpole Books, Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania.
2008. If Fish Could Scream: An Angler's Search for the Future of Fly Fishing. Stackpole Books, Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania.
2009. Fly-Fishing Secrets of the Ancients: A Celebration of Five Centuries of Angling Lore and Wisdom. University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque, New Mexico.
2010. Nature and Culture at Fishing Bridge: A History of the Fishing Bridge Development in Yellowstone National Park. National Park Service, Yellowstone Center for Resources, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming.
2011. A History of Native Elk in Mount Rainier National Park. Createspace/Amazon/the author.
2012. The Time Traveler's Tale: Chronicle of a Morlock Captivity. Createspace/Amazon/the author.
2013. The Fishing Life: An Angler's Tales of Wild Rivers and Other Restless Metaphors. Skyhorse Publishers, New York.
2015. Past and Future Yellowstones: Finding Our Way in Wonderland. University of Utah Press, Salt Lake City, Utah.
2016. Diamond Jubilee: Sherlock Holmes, Mark Twain, and the Peril of the Empire. Createspace/Amazon/the author. Trade paperback revised edition, MX Publishing, London, 2018.
2019. A Fish Come True: Fables, Farces, and Fantasies for the Hopeful Angler. Stackpole Books, Guilford, Connecticut.
2021. Real Work: The Ditchman's Tale. KDP/Amazon/the author.