Everything in nature invites us constantly to be what we are.” Gretel Ehrich


Environmentalist, adventurer, writer, woman…

The Understory: A Female Environmentalist in the Land of the Midnight Sun

By M. E. Schuman

One of our own ya’ll. Who will connect with this memoir? Free spirits, old souls, adventurers, nurturers, environmentalists, survivors, marginalized folks, animal rights protectors, mental health warriors, nature connoisseurs. Travelers to distant places and those who ache to do so. Frustrated fighters on the front lines of climate change, citizens who confront government bureaucracy, narcissistic men, religious men, confident women with the wild inner child still solidly intact. Those who have ever hugged a tree or simply sat beneath one, those whose lips have felt the ocean dry to a salty kiss or just swam in it. Those who birdwatch, or those who have desperately wiped black ooze from between feathered wings. In other words, any of us. All of us will relate to this book and be haunted and heartened by Michelle’s story. Everyone except Dawn. Not your friend Dawn or the rising sun kind. The dishwashing liquid. Dawn will not like it. What do I possibly mean by that? Read the book. The Understory is our story. Order it. Enjoy it. Own up to it.

Pamela Weiss, December 18, Facebook

#iykyk #theunderstory #amazonbooks #memoir #whattoread #writerscommunity #screenwriters #michelleshuman #meschuman #alaska #alaskalife#womanvsnature #womensupportingwomen #womenempoweringwomen


Hi Michelle,

Today we published “45 Books We’re Excited About from Indie Presses & Indie Authors (2022 Releases),” and this book has been featured in it! 

In case you and your author are looking for some promotion, I figured I’d pop in and share the links with you. Thanks for sending your book our way. 🙌

Kind regards,


Joe WaltersEditor-In-Chief,

IndependentBookReview.com, Join our Facebook group “On Writing”

The Independent Book Review


The Understory just made the #1 New Release in Ecology and #1 New Release in Animal Rights on Amazon. Please purchase a book and then leave a review! See BOOKS for a direct link to Amazon.

Excerpt from The Understory…


My Favorite All Time Nature Reads

  • A Life on Our Planet: My Witness Statement and a Vision for the Future by Sir David Attenborough
  • Silent Spring by Rachel Carson
  • When You Trap a Tiger by Tae Keller
  • Gorillas in the Mist by Diane Fossey
  • Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey
  • Out of Africa by Isak Dinesen
  • Jane Goodall: all of her books!

Ravenous Butterflies

January 28 at 11:27 PM  · “Tell your story. Shout it. Write it. Whisper it if you have to. But tell it. Some won’t understand it. Some will outright reject it. But many will thank you for it. And then the most magical thing will happen. One by one, voices will start whispering, ‘Me, too.’ And your tribe will gather. And you will never feel alone again.”L.R. KnostLennart Helje – Tomte (gnome) Horse Whisperer.


A few things to clarify and to ponder after listening to the unscripted MEN podcast, which was so beautifully put together by the editor, Carla:

  • NEPA – National Environmental Policy Act. Not protection, a subconscious slip I made during the podcast as I referred to NEPA as “National Environmental Protection Act”. We used to refer to NEPA, jokingly as, the “Non-environmental Protection Act.” Two important sections of NEPA: Substantive requirements of NEPA’s section 101 and the procedural requirements of section 102. It is 102 that is most important.
  • CWA – Clean Water Act and Jurisdictional Wetlands, Section 404. Not all wetlands are protected under the CWA.

I am frequently asked about what laws are in place for environmental protection. Rather than me ramble, let’s pick one law and one environmental issue: the loss of wetlands. I will leave it to the reader, without getting into too much detail, to decide if wetlands are protected:

  • Clean Water Act and Protection of Wetlands. There are four federal agencies that signed an agreement to protect wetlands: Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) (used to be Soil Conservation Service or SCS), Army Corps of Engineers, (COE), Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
  • The lead federal agency for protection of wetlands is the Army Corps of Engineers. The EPA oversees this process.

Your Task:

  • For each of the four agencies above, google the agency Mission Statement and write it down. The Mission Statement might have changed for example, for NRCS which was SCS, so write that down as well.
  • Look up the Clean Water Act as it pertains to wetland protection. Hint: Section 404. And if you want a real challenge, look at the Food Security Act.
  • Answer the following questions: Which agency, according to their Mission Statement, should be responsible for Protecting Wetlands? What loopholes exist under section 404? What agency is responsible for developing wetland mitigation regulation and policy?
  • Other concerns to ponder: Who appoints the head of a federal agency? How are federal agencies managed? Who decides the budget of a federal agency?
  • Where does enforcement for the health, safety, and the environment fit into the agency’s budget?

After what you have found, looking at wetland protection one question: Can we minimize greenhouse gas emissions and slow climate change under our current environmental policies and government structure?