While it was great to see the Atchafalaya Basin on the cover of last week's Independent, it was very disappointing that the efforts of local authors were overlooked in favor of C.C. Lockwood. In late August The Independent received an advance copy of Inherit the Atchafalaya by Greg Guirard and Ray Brassieur and was offered the exclusive opportunity to publish content from the book and to have complete access to the book's co-authors, but you declined the idea of a feature story on a book about the Basin written by two local authors and published by a local publisher.
Now for the second time in a little over a year The Independent profiles an LSU Press author in a feature-length cover story. One can't help but question your loyalty to Acadiana products and Acadiana people. Even the two major South Louisiana daily newspapers, the Baton Rouge Advocate and the New Orleans Times-Picayune, were independent enough in their coverage of the two books to dedicate equal space to each title. I should also point out that while Inherit the Atchafalaya is almost fifty pages longer that [sic] Lockwood's book, it's [sic] retail price is $11.95 cheaper.
It seems that Mr. Lockwood [sic] commitment to the Atchafalaya Basin was one of the primary reason [sic] for your decision to profile him. Well let's compare the facts. While Mr. Lockwood "virtually lived in the Basin between 1973 and 1981," Greg Guirard, one of the two co-authors of Inherit the Atchafalaya, has maintained a home less than a quarter of a mile from the Basin's western protection levee since before WWII. While "Cactus Clyde" was busy photographing places like the Grand Canyon and the Yucatan Peninsula for the last twenty-five years, Guirard was pulling cypress logs from the bottom of the Basin, commercial crawfishing in the Basin, transporting medicine and supplies to elderly Basin residents like Harold and Myrtle Bigler, and self-publishing five books all primarily on the Basin.
Finally it should be pointed out that Lockwood's recent book was tentatively titled Atchafalaya Revisited ' the true caretakers of the Basin, people like Greg Guirard, never left.