University of Idaho

Manuscript Group 174


Papers, 1959-1989
5 cubic feet

The papers of Michael Frome were donated to the University of Idaho library by Mr. Frome between May 1986 and November 1989. They were processed by Judith Nielsen in November 1989.


Noted writer and conservationist Michael Frome was born in New York City May 25, 1920, the son of William and Henrietta (Marks) Frome. He attended PS 79 and Creston Junior High School, both in the East Bronx. He graduated from the all male DeWitt Clinton High School, located in the north Bronx, in January 1936. While attending high school he began his journalistic career by serving on the staff of the school paper, the Clinton News. Between 1936 and 1939 he attended City College (now City College of the City University of New York), and in 1946 attended George Washington University.

He served as a navigator in the U.S. Army Air Forces Air Transport Command between 1942 and 1945.

On June 19, 1949 he married Thelma Seymour; they have two children, a son William Carrol and a daughter Michele Lloyd. Mike and Thelma separated in 1981.

Frome began his long and distinguished journalistic career as managing editor of the Main Line Times, Ardmore, Pennsylvania, in 1941. Following World War II he was a reporter with the Washington Post. He became the first western reporter to penetrate the iron curtain around Poland when he joined a former Army Pilot on a relief flight carrying eggs. Upon arriving in Poland he interviewed key Polish officials and wrote a series of front page articles for the Post which gave the West its first glimpse of Poland's struggle to rebuild. In 1946 he became managing editor of the Herald Journal, Spartanburg, South Carolina, and in 1947 was a reporter for the Nashville Tennessean.

From 1947 to 1957 he was travel editor for publications of the American Automobile Association, Washington, D.C, and from 1968 to 1974 was conservation editor and columnist for Field & Stream. He was a regular columnist for Changing Times (1959-1981) and Women's Day (1961-1982), and also contributed articles to American Forests, Living Wilderness, Defenders, Western Outdoors.

Frome first became interested in nature reserves as a travel writer. In a 1963 speech, later reprinted in the Congressional Record, he stated, "I have learned that merely by meeting recreational needs alone this country cannot fulfill its obligations toward its natural resources." Gaylord Nelson said "No writer in America has more persistently and effectively argued for the need of national ethics of environmental stewardship than Michael Frome."

Frome began writing articles for American Forests in 1959 and in 1966 was offered a regular column, but because he was often critical of U.S. Forest Service policies he was dropped as a writer in 1971. His outspokenness on conservation issues and his refusal to submit to editorial censorship caused him similar problems at Field & Stream. He joined Field & Stream in 1968 as conservation editor, and during the course of his employment had come to be known as an ardent environmentalist who never hesitated to name individuals, corporations or organizations whom he believed to be guilty of destroying natural resources. He criticized highway builders, strip miners, and timber companies, and frequently used his column to lobby against legislation he felt was harmful to the environment. One of his victories came in 1970 when he helped defeat a bill which would have given timber cutting priority over recreational and other uses in national forests. In 1972 he ran a "Rate Your Candidate" article in which Senators and Congressmen were rated on their attitudes and voting records on conservation issues. In that article Senator John Pastore of Rhode Island, chairman of the Subcommittee on Communications, was rated as "marginal". The Columbia Broadcasting System, which owned Field & Stream, did not want trouble with Pastore's committee, and requested the editors of Field & Stream to have Frome tone down his criticisms. This Frome refused to do and he was eventually removed from the editorial staff.

In addition to his writing, Frome has also been visiting professor at several universities. He was visiting Professor of Environmental Studies at the University of Vermont in 1978; author in residence at the Pinchot Institute for Conservation Studies, Milford, Pennsylvania in 1981; visiting professor in the College of Forestry at the University of Idaho (which honored him by establishing the Michael Frome Scholarship for Excellence in Conservation Writing), 1982-1986; Environmental Scholar in Residence at Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute, Northland College, Ashland, Wisconsin, 1986-1987; visiting professor at Huxley College of Environmental Studies, Western Washington University, Bellingham, Washington, where he developed a program in environmental journalism, 1987 to the present.

Among the awards he has received are the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award, 1967; Trout Unlimited's Trout Conservationist of the Year, 1972; Mort Weisinger Award, presented by the American Society of Journalists and Authors for the best Magazine Article of the Year for his 1981 five part series "The Ungreening of the National Parks," which was published in Travel Agent and subsequently in National Parks Magazine and in the book National Parks in Crisis; and the second Marjory Stoneman Douglas Award, given by the National Parks and Conservation Association, April 1986

Frome delivered the 1982 Wilderness Resource Distinguished Lecture at the University of Idaho entitled "Battle for the Wilderness: Our Forever Conflict." Other lectures include the 1984 Horace M. Albright Lecture at the University of California, Berkeley, "The Twentieth Anniversary of the Wilderness Act: still in Pursuit of the Promised Land", and on April 12, 1988 "Is There a Place for Wilderness in the 21st Century" was the title of his talk at the Distinguished Visitors Seminar at the University of Washington, College of Forest Resources.

Frome is a member of many organizations including the National Parks Association, National Trust for Historic Preservation, American Society of Authors and Journalists, Society of American Travel Writers, Defenders of Wildlife, American Rivers Conservation Council, Environmental Policy Institute, Outdoor Writers Association of America, National Press Club and Cosmos Club.


The papers of Michael Frome span the years 1959 to 1989, with the bulk of the material covering the years 1980 to 1989.

The papers include correspondence, both personal and professional, typescripts for books and articles, published articles by and about Frome, research files, photographs, income tax files, and cassette tape recordings.


The papers of Michael Frome were received on six separate occasions; it was therefore necessary to impose series order during processing.

The first series contains chronologically arranged correspondence and articles. The correspondence contains both incoming and copies of outgoing letters, both personal and professional in nature. Frequently several letters were stapled or otherwise fastened together. Although the fasteners were removed the letters retain their original order. Occasionally photographs are attached to letters. The articles by Frome in this series were published in various journals including Changing Times, Defenders, and Women's Day. Many of the articles are typescripts and were dated from attached correspondence. There are also articles about Michael Frome in this series.

The second series contains topical files which are arranged alphabetically by subject. These include typescripts for books, correspondence with specific individuals, articles, and research files. The research files contain articles written by people other than Frome, photographs, and correspondence. Other items in this series include grant proposals, information on and evaluations of the courses he taught at the University of Idaho and in Wisconsin. In the following inventory books or projected books by Frome are typed in capital letters.

The final series includes income tax data, photographs, and cassette tape recordings. The income tax data includes royalty statements, expense accounts, check registers, and tax returns through 1982. The photographs include pictures taken on a class trip to Elk River Falls, Frome receiving the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Award, slides taken on a trip to England on the Q E II, and Frome with friends. There are also cassette tape recordings of several of Frome's lectures and interviews conducted for PROMISED LAND (1985).

Much of the material in the income tax data files, such as bank statements and paid checks, bank card receipts, mutual fund statements, and insurance invoices were discarded. Also discarded were greeting cards without written messages. In all the records were reduced by 0.5 cubic feet.


America's favorite national parks
Battle for the wilderness
Better vacations for your money
Conscience of a conservationist: selected essays
The Forest Service
Hosteling USA: the official American youth hostels handbook
Issues in wilderness management (editor)
Kodak guide: America's national parks
Kodak guide to colonial America
The national forests of America (with Orville L. Freeman)
The national parks (with David Muench)
Promised Land: adventures and encounters in wild America
Rand McNally National park guide
Strangers in high places; the story of the Great Smoky Mountains
The varmints; our unwanted wildlife
Washington; a modern guide to the Nation's Capital
Whose woods these are: the story of the National Forests


I. 		Chronological Files, 1959-1989			1-2
II. 		Topical Files, 1960-1989				2-5
III. 		Other Papers, 1975-1987				5


I. Chronological Files, 1959-1989

1	1	Correspondence, 1971-1979	17
	2	Correspondence, 1980-1983	18
	3	Correspondence, 1984	9
	4	Correspondence, 1985	41
	5	Correspondence, January-May, 1986	78
	6	Correspondence, June 1986	62
	7	Correspondence, July 1986	42
	8	Correspondence, August 1986	39
	9	Correspondence, September-October 1986	64
	10	Correspondence, November-December 1986	58
	11	Christmas Messages, 1986	55
	12	Correspondence, January-March 1987	79
	13	Correspondence, April-June, 1987	55
	14	Correspondence, July 1987	30
	15	Correspondence, August 1987	41
	16	Correspondence, September 1987	48
	17	Correspondence, October 1987	45
	18	Correspondence, November-December 1987	47
	19	Christmas Messages, 1987	50
	20	Correspondence, January-February, 1988	58
	21	Correspondence, March-April 1988	53
	22	Correspondence, May-June 1988	53
	23	Correspondence, July-August 1988	53
	24	Correspondence, September-October 1988	42
	25	Correspondence, November-December 1988	52
	26	Correspondence, January-February, 1989	43
	27	Correspondence, March-April 1989	40
	28	Correspondence, May 1989	17
	29	Correspondence, June 1989	24
	30	Correspondence, July 1989	22
	31	Correspondence, August 1989	26
	32	Correspondence, September 1989	25
	33	Correspondence, October 1989	15 
2	34	Articles, Undated-1969	7
	35	Articles, 1974-1976	3
	36	Articles, 1978-1979	2
	37	Articles, 1980-1982	8
	38	Articles, 1983-1984	9
	39	Articles, 1985-1986	4
	40	Articles, 1987	3
	41	Articles, 1988	4
	42	Articles, 1989	6
	43	Articles Published in Changing Times, 1959-1981	60
	44	Articles Published in Defenders, 1974-1982	52
	45-46	Articles Published in Women's Day, 1961-1962	175
	47	Articles about Michael Frome, 1970-1975	19
	48	Articles about Michael Frome, 1976-1981	7
	49	Articles about Michael Frome, 1985-1989	17

II. Topical Files, 1960-1989

	50	4th World Wilderness Conference (September 1987), 1980-1985	21
	51	Alaska, Research file, 1973-1984	23
	52	Albright, Horace M., Correspondence & Lecture, 1985	12
	53	American Petroleum Institute: Correspondence and Frome's articles on the "Dixieland Trail."	17
	54	Bevinetto, Tony: Obituaries & Remembrances, 1988	4
	55	BLESSINGS OF THE BACKWARD SOUTH:  Outline and Correspondence with Doubleday, 1974-1977	39
	56	Brochures and Posters Advertising Frome's Speeches and Workshops, 1970-1989	29
	57	Brown, Michael, writings of, 1982-1985	8
	58-59	Calendars, Appointment, 1982-1985	17
	60-66	CONSCIENCE OF A CONSERVATIONIST: Correspondence and Readers' reports, Photocopies of original articles, Foreword and Index, Page-Proof, 1987-1988	62
3	67	Earth Day, Correspondence, Articles, 1987	24
	68	Environment, Research File, 1986-1989	4
	69	ENVIRONMENTALISM AT THE CROSSROADS, Article contributed and Related Correspondence, 1988-1989	13
	70	Fires of 1910, Articles on, n.d.	4
	71	Forests, Research File, 1970-1985	13
	72	Frank Church Wilderness, Forest Service Plan, 1985-1986	5
	73	Grant Proposal Submitted to Alicia Patterson Foundation: "The Future of the National Parks," 1984	4
	74	Grant Proposal Submitted to Association for the Humanities in Idaho, "Humanist Values of Wilderness in Idaho and the Northwest," 1982-1983	15
	75	HOSTELING, U.S.A., Correspondence, 1979-1983	40
	76	Management as a Profession, Forest Service Seminar, 1988	8
	77	Mark Trail/Ed Dodd Foundation, Correspondence, 1987-1989	32
	78	Merrit, Cliff, Notes of a Telephone Interview, ca. 1984	1
	79	MID-ATLANTIC NATIONAL PARKS GUIDEBOOK, Correspondence, 1985-1986	60
	80	Mount Rainier Park Limited, Proposal, 1986	2
	81	NATIONAL FORESTS OF AMERICA. Correspondence, 1967-1972	51
	82	NATIONAL PARK GUIDE, 17th edition, preface & corrections, 1982	24
	83-84	NATIONAL PARK GUIDE, 18th edition, Author's manuscript with changes, 1984	10
	85	NATIONAL PARK GUIDE, 1st edition, 1967	l
	86	NATIONAL PARK GUIDE, 8th edition, 1974	l
	87	NATIONAL PARK GUIDE, 9th edition, 1975	1
	88	NATIONAL PARK GUIDE, 10th edition, 1976	1
	89	NATIONAL PARK GUIDE, 11th edition, 1977	1
	90	NATIONAL PARK GUIDE, 12th edition, 1978	1
	91	NATIONAL PARK GUIDE, 13th edition, 1979	1
	92	NATIONAL PARK GUIDE, 14th edition, 1980	1
	93	NATIONAL PARK GUIDE, 15th edition, 1981	1
	94	NATIONAL PARK GUIDE, 18th edition, 1984	1
	95	New Mexico-Bureau of Land Management Land Transfer, Research File, Correspondence, Photographs, 1967-1977	87
	96	North Carolina Bear Sanctuary, Correspondence, Research file, Photographs, 1974-1980	59
	97	Parks, 1971-1987	2
	98	Pinyon-Juniper Management; Article, Correspondence, Research File, 1968-1972	8
	99	Pritchard, Paul C.  "Voluntary Organizations," 1986	2
	100	Projected Books, Correspondence, 1972-1976	34
	101	PROMISED LAND, Correspondence, 1981-1986	63
4	102-103	PROMISED LAND, original typescript	1
	104-105	PROMISED LAND, Corrected typescript	1
	106	PROMISED LAND, Uncorrected Page Proofs, 1985	1
	107	PROMISED LAND, Master Set, 1985	1
	108-109	Rand McNally & Co., Correspondence, Royalty Statement, 1965-1981	156
	110	Rand McNally & Co., Photobook, Proofs, n.d.	4
	111-112	Range Management, Correspondence & Research File, 1948-1985	71
	113	RARE II, Correspondence, 1978	5
	114	Reviews of Frome's Books, 1971-1978	30
	115	Reviews and reports written by Frome, 1971-1978	11
	116	Schneider, Bill, Correspondence, 1981-1982	8 
	117	Shadduck, Louise, Correspondence, 1963	9
	118	Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute, memos, etc., 1985-1987	23
	119	Southern Forests, Research File, 1974	5
	120	Timber Sales, Research File, 1984-1985	9
	121	TO EVEN THE ODDS, Correspondence, 1974-1975	18
	122	Tonto National Forest, Arizona, Research file, 1973-1982	33
	123	Tourism: A Vital Force for Peace, Correspondence, Program, Frome's Remarks, Vancouver, B.C., 1988	7
	124	University of Idaho, Correspondence concerning Frome's appointment, 1981-1982	24
	125	U of I.  Reports, Student Papers, etc., 1986-1987	6
	126	U of I.  Communications 121, Spring 1983	22
	127	U of I.  Recreation Management, Fall 1984	19
	128	U of I. Recreation Management 400, Spring & Fall 1985	21
	129	U of I.  Wildland Recreation/History 404, 1986	30
5	130	U of I.  Taylor Ranch Wilderness Research Center, Correspondence, Research File, 1974-1985	30
	131	U of I.  Tangen-Foster, Jim.  Dissertation Proposal, 1986	3
	133	VACATIONS U.S.A., Correspondence, Reviews, 1966-1967	28
	134	Western Outdoors, Correspondence, Articles, 1982-1986	61
	135	Western Washington University.  Proposal for an Environmental Journalism Course and other papers, 1987-1988	5
	136	Westview Press, Correspondence, 1983-1985	35
	137	Weyerhaeuser, Correspondence and Research File, 1972-1974	45
	138	WHOSE WOODS THESE ARE, Correspondence, 1959-1963	50
	139	Wilderness Areas, Research File, 1971-1985	6
	140	WILDERNESS AS A NATURAL RESOURCE, Correspondence, 1967-1975	42
	141	Wilderness Management Programs, Southwest Region, 1984-1985	16

III. Other Papers, 1974-1987

	142	Michele Frome, 1976-1977	2
	143	Rental Agreement, Moscow Apartment, 1982	2
	144	Income Tax Data, 1979-1981	31
	145	Income Tax Data, 1982	121
	146	Income Tax Data, 1983	49
	147	Income Tax Data, 1984	32
	148	Income Tax Data, 1985	91
	149-150	Retirement Insurance Policies, 1974-1987	62
	151	Photographs, 1981-1987	56
	152	Tape. Barry Farber & Mike Frome, WMCA, New York, 1975	1
	153	Tape. WRC Talk on National Parks, Washington, D.C., before 1981	1
	154-156	Tape.  Advance Policy Course, University of Vermont, 1982	3
	157	Tape. Frome on Interpretation, in Germany, 1982 or 1983	1
	158	Tape. With Mack Pritchard, March 1983	1
	159	Tape. Elk City, Idaho, April 12, 1983	1
	160	Tape. Nature Conservancy, Tennessee, October 1983	1
	161	Tape. Speech to NPCA, Washington, D.C., Conference on Land Acquisitions and Holdings, 1983 or 1984	1
	162	Tape. Michael Frome. Speech. Annual Meeting Friends of the Columbia Gorge, April 11, 1984	1
	163	Tape. Michael Frome. Pecos Wilderness Workshop, September 13, 1985	1
	164	Tape. Michael Frome.  Huxley College of Environmental Studies, November 1987	1
	165-184	Taped Interviews for PROMISED LAND, 1982-1984	20

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