2006 Media Information Page

On this page, you'll find the press release, reviews, and cover scans of the winners of the 2006 National Outdoor Book Awards.  Traditional media outlets, websites, and other forms of the media are welcome to use any of the materials found here. For the most current press release, see: Latest Media Information 







    Press Release:

"Winners of 2006 National Outdoor Book Awards Annouced"


Art for Use by Media Sources:

National Outdoor Book Award Medallion


Other Media Information:

Web Master Information: Website owners and developers are welcome to use our press releases, reviews and book scans.

      Mailing List:

Media Mailing List: Receive NOBA press releases.  Only two press releases are sent out annually.


Media Contact Information: 

For more information, or to be placed on a media mailing list, contact: Ron Watters, 921 South 8th Ave, Stop 8128, Idaho State University, Pocatello, ID 83209.

Phone: 208- 232-6857.

Email: wattron@isu.edu.










A Note to Members of the Media and Web Site Developers

We invite you to sign up for our media email list.  Our email list is highly confidential and not shared with any other sources.  We send out only two press releases per year.  One release announces the opening of nominations for the new year's program--and the other announces the winners (in the fall immediately after the judge's decisions are finalized).  To get on the mailing list, send an email to NOBA Chair Ron Watters at wattron@isu.edu.


Press Release


NOTE: High & low resolution cover scans of all books mention below are available for download.

  • See also the announcement of the winners & reviews on our website

The following release consists of  three sections:
General Release | Complete Reviews of Winners

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                   

Contact: Ron Watters  (208) 282-3912 - wattron@isu.edu

Pocatello / Boise, Idaho – A mystery of a missing backcountry park ranger.  A newly married couple spending their honeymoon on a five-month wilderness journey following the Alaskan caribou migration. And Caterpillars. Lots of caterpillars.

These are some of the themes found among the winners of the 2006 National Outdoor Book Awards (NOBA).  The winners of this annual award program represent some of the finest outdoor writing and artwork being published today. The NOBA Foundation, Idaho State University and the Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education sponsor the awards program.

The announcement of the award winners were made in early November at the National Conference on Outdoor Recreation and Education held at Boise State University in Idaho.

Awards were given in ten categories. 

One of the categories is the History/Biography category, and this year’s winner is “The Last Season,” by Eric Blehm. In this outstanding work of investigative journalism, Blehm reconstructs the disappearance of a backcountry ranger on patrol in the California Sierras.  Was it an accident?  Was it foul play?  Or was it all just a ruse?  Could the ranger still be alive?

“The Last Season” is a fascinating story of an individual comforted by his solitary time in the wilderness but increasingly troubled by life in civilization. Blehm’s book unravels the truth of this absorbing mystery of the Sierra Mountains.

The winner of the Outdoor Literature category is Karsten Heuer’s “Being Caribou.”  Heuer has just married and he has an idea for the perfect honeymoon: a five-month, 1,000 mile journey following the caribou migration from their winter range to their calving grounds in the Arctic and back again.

No stranger to adventure, his wife agrees. “Being Caribou” is Karsten’s sensitively done book of the couple’s adventurous and inspiring journey. The book captures, like no other, the exquisite beauty and stark realities of that timeless and most celebrated of all mammal migrations. 

This year was also the year of caterpillars. Two new books, and both winners in this year’s contest, are about caterpillars. One is a new identification guide to the caterpillars east of the Mississippi. The other, a combination of science and art, is a marvelous portfolio of photographs of the colorful caterpillars of Costa Rica.

Complete reviews of the books and more information on the awards program can be found on the National Outdoor Book Award Web site at http://www.noba-web.org/
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Full Reviews Follows . . .

History/Biography Category.  Winner.  The Last Season.  By Eric Blehm.  HarperCollins Publishers, New York.  ISBN 9870060583002

Randy Morgenson is an experienced backcountry ranger in Kings Canyon National Park of the California Sierras.  He leaves on a routine patrol to an area, which after 28 seasons, he knows as well as anyone alive, but Morgenson never returns.  An extensive air and ground search ensues.  No sign of the ranger is found.  Was it an accident?  Was it foul play?  Or was it all just a ruse?  Could Morgenson still be alive?  In this outstanding work of investigative journalism, author Eric Blehm pieces together a fascinating story of an individual comforted by his solitary time in the wilderness but who is increasingly troubled by life in civilization.  Blehm spent eight years researching this book and it clearly shows.  He sets the stage, draws you in, and slowly unravels the truth of this absorbing mystery of the Sierra mountains.  
Outdoor Literature Category. Winner.  Being Caribou.  By Karsten Heuer.  The Mountaineers Books, Seattle.  ISBN 1594850100
Karsten Heuer has just married and he has an idea for the perfect honeymoon: a 5 month, 1,000 mile journey following the caribou migration from their winter range to their calving grounds in the Arctic and back again.  No stranger to wilderness adventure herself, his wife and film maker, Leanne Allison readily agrees.  Being Caribou is Karsten's sensitively done book of the couple's adventurous and inspiring journey.  This a book full of heart and soul, capturing, like no other, the exquisite beauty and stark realities of that timeless and most celebrated of all mammal migrations. 
Natural History Literature.  Winner.  Condor:  To the Brink and Back. By John Nielsen.  HarperCollins Publishers, New York.  ISBN 9780060088620
This book is a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the efforts to save the condor, North America's largest flying land bird.  Condor is a story waiting to be told, and there could have been no better person for the job than John Nielsen.  Nielsen has penned a natural history book that is fun to read, mixing humor, science and human interest in just the right portions.  In short, it's a brilliant telling of a compelling environmental saga.
Nature and the Environment Category.  Winner.  Life in the Underground.  By David Attenborough.  Princeton University Press, Princeton.  ISBN 0691127034
Beautifully illustrated, this book takes the reader on a tour of the cloak-and-dagger underworld of creatures without backbones, the invertebrates.  The tour guide is naturalist David Attenborough, prolific author and producer of popular nature documentaries for television.  In Life in the Underground, Attenborough guides us past scampering scorpions, albino termites, sex-starved slugs, blood sucking ticks, and ravenous, lizard-eating spiders.  Well, you get the picture.  It's a scary world down there at our feet.  But it's also a wondrous world, and the ever-curious Attenborough is clearly in his element telling us about it. 
Nature and the Environment Category.  Winner.  Illustrated Atlas of the Himalaya.  By
David Zurick and Julsun Pacheco.  University of Kentucky Press, Lexington.  ISBN 9780813123882
The Himalayas: the word itself can send our thoughts soaring to dizzy heights, and now there's a reference work worthy of the range's summits.  The Illustrated Atlas is the first full-color comprehensive atlas to the entire 2,700 kilometer length of the Himalaya.  It's attractively designed and includes 300 specially created maps, including maps of the range's national parks and preserves.  The facts are there too, of course.  Along with a wealth of photographs, the book includes textual information on the natural environment, conservation, resources, exploration, and culture and society. 

Nature and the Environment Category.  Honorable Mention.  Carving Grand Canyon: Evidence, Theories, and Mystery.  By Wayne Ranney.  Grand Canyon Association, Grand  Canyon, AZ.  ISBN 0938216821
How and when was the Grand Canyon formed?  For nearly a century and a half, scientists have debated that question, but the answer remains elusive.  They do, however, agree on one thing:  the canyon was carved by the Colorado River.  In this stylish, full-color book by the Grand Canyon Association, Wayne Ranney describes and summarizes the various geological theories of the canyon's origins. 

Design and Artistic Merit Category.  Winner.  100 Caterpillars.  By Jeffrey C. Miller, Daniel H. Janzen and Winifred Hallwachs.  The Belnap Press of Harvard University Press, Cambridge.  ISBN  0674021908
This is an exquisite book portraying the caterpillars of Costa Rica in impressively sharp and brilliant color photographs.  The lay-out and design is flawless.  The accompanying text is complete and satisfying.  The authors clearly want to share their discoveries and wonders of their work with everyone -- not just with fellow biologists, but with all who are fascinated with the infinite variety of the natural world -- and in that effort, they have succeeded beyond measure.

Design and Artistic Merit Category.  Winner.  Wings of Spring: Courtship, Nesting and Fledging.  Photographs by Tom Vezo.  Text by Chuck Hagner.  Stackpole Books, Mechanicsburg, PA.  ISBN 9780811701419
Wings of Springs represents some of the finest photography of birds ever published:  a Great Egret tossing a stream of brightly lit water droplets, a Wilson's Snipe standing on one leg forlorn in June snowfall, a Western Screech-Owl dangling a lizard from its beak.  One is amazed at the days and countless hours photographer Tom Vezo spent patiently waiting for these moments that he has so elegantly captured.  Complementing Vezo's photography is a comfortable and inviting design, and just the right amount of text to make the book useful as a bird guide as well as work of artistry.
Children's Category.  Winner.  Kelly of HazelRidge.  Text by Robbyn Smith van Frankenhuysen.  Illustrations by Gijsbert van Frankenhuysen.  Sleeping Bear Press, Chelsea, MI  ISBN #1585362689
Kelly is in trouble.  Her fourth grade teacher has asked her to write about something that's been important in her life.  But she can't think of a thing until her father tells her to take a walk around their small farm.  As she walks, she sees all the wild animals that share the farm, and she remembers helping her parents dig ponds, create wetland areas, and, oh yeah, plant a gazillion little trees!  This book is a pure delight with a suffused gentle innocence, heartfelt text, and warm, luminous illustrations, all of which will surely excite young minds and imaginations.  Ages 4-10.
Children's Category.  Winner.  Gaia Girls Enter the Earth.  By Lee Welles.  Daisyworld Press, Corning, NY.  ISBN 1933609001
In this 320-page novel, a young girl takes on a corporation that threatens to pollute the air and water of her upstate New York home.  She is helped by a fantasy creature by the name of Gaia who she learns is the embodiment of the earth and of all living things.  But can she, only a fourth grader (but soon to be a fifth grader!), stop a big corporation?  Find out in Lee Welles' page-turner for young girls.  Ages 9 to 14. 
Outdoor Adventure Guidebook Category.  Winner.  The Middle Fork of the Salmon River: A Comprehensive Guide.  By Matt Leidecker.  Idaho River Publications, Hailey, ID.  ISBN 1424302668
More than any, river guidebooks get used --and abused.  All day, they are in and out of ammo cans, passed around, and used to keep track of mileage, to re-check routes through rapids, and to find the night's camp.  They have to be tough, conveniently sized, able to withstand a soaking or two, have easy-to-read maps, and clear and concise descriptions.  Matt Leidecker's Middle Fork  If you have a trip planned on Idaho's Middle Fork of the Salmon, this is the guide written and built for the job.
Classic Category.  Honorable Mention.  Sleeping Island:  A Journey to the Edge of the Barrens.  By P.G. Downes.  Heron Dance Press, New Ferrisburg, VT.  ISBN 1933937033  
Sleeping Island is the story of P.G. Downes' 1939 canoe expedition through unmapped country in the remote northern corner of Manitoba and Saskatchewan.  His journey takes him to the edge of the Canadian Barrens, a desolate arctic wasteland known to the Indians as the "Land of Little Sticks."  What helps elevate this book over many of the chronicles of early twentieth century canoe excursions is Downes' intimate knowledge of the trappers, traders, and especially the Indians who live off the land.  This is what it was like on the cusp of change, just before the advance of civilization and titanic forces that would forever transform the face of Canada's north country.
Instructional Category.  Winner.  Extreme Kids.  By Scott Graham.  Wilderness Press, Berkeley.  ISBN 0899973736  
Healthy, adventurous outdoor activities are a great way to connect with your children.  And here's a book to help you make that happen.  Extreme Kids has the low-down on how parents and children can safely participate together in sports like rock climbing, surfing, canoeing, mountain biking, hiking, kayaking and many others.
Nature Guidebooks.  Winner.  Yellowstone Expedition Guide: The Modern Way to Explore America's Oldest National Park.  By Charissa Reid.  TravelBrains, Inc., Bedford, NH.  ISBN 1933763000  
This is a state-of-the-art, technologically savvy guidebook for visitors of Yellowstone National Park.  It's packed full of beta, including information on the area's geology, its hydrothermal features, plants, animals, and hiking trails.  Topping it off are two included CD's:  one is an audio tour which can be played as you visit different parts of the park, and the other contains movies and panoramic photo tours which can be played on your computer. 
Nature Guidebooks.  Winner.  Caterpillars of Eastern North America.  By David L. Wagner.  Princeton University Press, Princeton.  ISBN # 0691121443  
It's a caterpillar lover's delight:  a copiously illustrated guide to the caterpillars of nearly 700 butterflies and moths found east of the Mississippi.  Many of the caterpillars included in the volume have never been photographed.  The guide is nicely designed and easy to use with clear and crisp photographs of both the larva and adult stages.
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NOBA Medallion

The following links will download a high resolution scan of the NOBA medallion.  The medallion is copyrighted.  However, media sources (such as newspapers, periodicals and other news outlets) may use it without permission to illustrate informational articles on the NOBA program. The scan was saved in a TIFF file format. 

When downloading the following TIFF image files, we suggest using your browser's SAVE option.  On some browsers, you can do this by right clicking and selecting SAVE LINK AS. 

To download, click on the following:


Winner Medallion
National Outdoor Book Awards Winner Medallion
(Scanned as a TIFF file and available for download in two file types)

Winner Medallion TIFF format (300 dpi):  MedalWin.tif (878 Kbytes)
Winner Medallion TIFF format (300 dpi) (In ZIP file): MedalWin.zip (281 Kbytes)

Winner Medallion TIFF format (600 dpi):  MedalWin600.tif (4.8 MBytes)
Winner Medallion TIFF format (600 dpi) (In ZIP file): MedalWin.zip (1.8 MBytes)

Note that versions of medallion for use on the web are available: here

Honorable Mention Medallion
National Outdoor Book Awards Honorable Mention Medallion
(Scanned as a TIFF file and available for download in two file types)

Honorable Mention Medallion TIFF format (300 dpi): MedalHon.tif (744 Kbytes)
Honorable Mention Medallion TIFF format (300 dpi):  MedalHon.zip (283 Kbytes)


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