Eva-Maria Maggi is a writer, teacher, and packer. Her book "Hush of the Land" with and about outfitter, conservationist and packer Arndold "Smoke" Elser is coming out in Spring 2024 (Bison Books). She holds a Ph.D. in political science and teaches Wilderness Policy and Packing at the University of Montana, Missoula and International Security at the University of Arizona, Tucson. Her research on Europe and the Middle East was published as the book "The Will of Change" (Springer) and in several academic journals. As a Montana Master Naturalist and Interpretive Guide, she loves writing about being outside. She is the President of the Backcountry Horsemen of Missoula and Board Member of the Montana Natural History Center. Before moving to the U.S., she lived in Germany, Italy, and Morocco and speaks four languages. She lives with her husband, two kids, dogs and horses in Missoula, Montana.
Arnold "Smoke" Elser is a legendary packer, author, teacher and U.S. conservationist who traveled each trail of the 1.5 million acres Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex in Western Montana on horseback for sixty years. As a professional wilderness outfitter, he provided a once-in-a lifetime experience deep in the mountains for thousands of people of whom many sat on a horse for the first time. The U.S. Navy Seals, U.S. Army, U.S. National Park Service and U.S. Forest Service as well thousands of civilians and college students took his famous “Horse and Mule Packing Class”. He is co-author of the leading textbook on horse and mule packing “Pack’in on horses and mules”. His skills, life and persistent work to preserve our public lands and wilderness for future generations was featured in the PBS documentary “3 miles an hour”, National Geographic, the Guardian, New York Times and Washington Post among others. Smoke is the recipient of many awards among them the "Distinguished Citizen Award" of Boy Scouts of America, the "Lifetime Conservation Achievement Award" by The Conservation Roundtable and the Backcountry Horseman of America. He is honored to be the only inductee of both the Montana Outdoor and Cowboy Hall of Fame. He lives with his wife Thelma, dog Spunky, horses and mules in Missoula, MT.