Official website of the Idaho-based speaker, writer and conservationist. "Good As Given", his debut full-length novel, was released in 2022.
Graeff's life experiences as a resource professional illuminates this story as very truthful despite it being fictional. I couldn't put the book down and read it in one day on either side of a horse ride in the Sawtooth mountains, a centerpiece of the book. Well done.
Todd Graeff is an exceptional writer who draws you into the story right away. I couldn’t put it down. His characters are well-developed and real. His vivid descriptions of the land are deeply personal, clearly indicative of his love for and experience in the outdoors.
The story is spell binding and entertaining, and it is true to life based on the author’s personal experiences in natural resource management! Todd devoted his own professional career to protecting and managing wildlife and park lands.
GOOD AS GIVEN
About "Good As Given":
At the apex of his career Doug Diehl becomes superintendent of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and just in time to watch Congress drill it out from under him. The largest refuge in the country. The largest terrestrial megafauna migration on the planet. Turned into an oil patch, and on his watch.
And now he has to live with it. If he can.
Good as Given is the story of one man's illusions, disillusionment, journey to hell and back, and eventual redemption. It tracks Doug Diehl's rise through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, scapegoating for a huge oil spill on the Arctic refuge, and demotion and exile to Stanley, Idaho - a place where nothing ever happens.
But, of course, something happens.
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A new novel
Todd Graeff is a long-established writer who has written for a wide variety of publications. He has covered Idaho's backcountry hiking trails and white water routes, advocated for Western conservation issues, and confessed the trials and tribulations of his attempts to train bird dogs. His first published piece was "Paying Our Own Way" in Backpacker Magazine in 1980 which he followed with 20+ non-fiction and fiction pieces in the 1980s and 90s. Begun in 1986, "Good as Given" is his first full length novel. A highlight of his published pieces:
National Wildlife Magazine “Whitewater Wardens”
National Wildlife Magazine “Sagebrush”
Gun Dog Magazine “Chicken of the Sea of Grass”
Outside Magazine “Paddle-Yourself River Trips”
Boise Magazine “Whitewater!”
Outdoors Magazine “Papa’s Idaho”
Backpacker Magazine “Paying Our Own Way”
Idaho Wildlife Magazine “No Trace Camp”
Kansas Wildlife and Parks “Quail Hunting the Hard Way”
Parks and Recreation Magazine “MBO: A Method to the Madness”
Idaho Fiction at the Centennial: High Sky Overall "A Book About It" (short story)
About Todd Graeff
A believer that anything worth doing is worth overdoing, Todd Graeff has dedicated the early chapters of his life—also known as his first 71 years— to conserving wild places, pursuing adventure beyond the borders of good judgment, and writing about the lessons he’s learned in the process.
After earning a BA in English literature from Ohio's Otterbein College and an MS in natural resources from The Ohio State University, he invested himself in a 40-year career in conservation land management in four mostly western states and held director or deputy director positions in agencies in Kansas, Oregon, and Arizona. During those years he raised $17,000,000 and preserved one of the most
environmentally significant sites in the American Southwest and permanently protected the stream flows in several of Idaho's most important recreational rivers. He also taught in the Forestry Department at Northern Arizona University and the Outdoor Programs Department at Boise State University.
Graeff has rafted much of the West’s big whitewater, backpacked extensively in the Rocky Mountains and adjacent ranges, and pursued upland game birds behind a 50-year succession of wild-eyed pointing dogs.
He first put pen to paper in 1986 to begin "Good As Given" and worked on it for several years before taking a 20-plus year dive down the rabbit hole of modern American life where he encountered job changes, a divorce, ever-worsening workaholism, a second marriage, an excessive enthusiasm for alcoholic beverages, and a one-round bout with cancer before resurfacing in Idaho and completing "Good As Given", his debut novel.
He, his wife Mary, two high-test English setters, and one lap dog live in Boise, Idaho where he continues to push at the boundaries of good judgment. His next novel is fermenting in the back 40 of his imagination.