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NOBA Medallion Press Release: 2007 NOBA Winners

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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 confidential and not shared with any other sources.  We send out only three press releases per year.  One release announces the opening of nominations for the new year's program--and the other two announce the winners (one in the fall immediately after the judge's decisions are released to the press, and a follow-up release in the spring which re-caps the winners).  To get on the mailing list, send an email to NOBA Chair Ron Watters at wattron@isu.edu.


NOTE: Cover scans of all books mention below are available for download.

  • See also the announcement of the winners & reviews on our website
  • To download the following release (in Microsoft Word format), click here: PressNOBA07.doc
  • The following release consists of  three sections:

  •     General Release | Quick Summary of Winners | Complete Reviews of Winners


    2007 NATIONAL OUTDOOR BOOK AWARD WINNERS ANNOUNCED

    A father and son reconnecting on an Alaskan river.  A biography of a river running legend.  An investigation into one of North America's worst mountaineering disasters.
     
    These are some of the themes found among the winners of the 2007 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.
     
    Awards are given in ten individual categories.
     
    "The overall quality of the entries was very high this year," said Ron Watters, a professor emeritus at Idaho State University and the chairman of the National Outdoor Book Awards.  "Consequently, the judges awarded two winners in several of the categories."
     
    One of those categories is the Literature category.  Sharing top honors is "Blue Horizons" by Beth Leonard.  "Blue Horizons" is a beautifully written collection of vignettes about a six-year, 50,000-mile ocean voyage that she and a companion took from one end of the world to the other.
     
    The other winner in the Literature Category is a book about fishing, rivers and fatherhood.  Entitled “Backcast” and written by Lou Ureneck, the book takes place on a remote Alaskan River. As the trip progresses, Ureneck reflects back on his own life while adroitly capturing the sometimes hilarious and sometimes serious interactions between himself and his son. 
     
    The two winners of the History/Biography category include "The Very Hard Way" and "Forever on the Mountain." 
     
    Authored by Brad Dimock, "The Very Hard Way," is a biographical work about Bert Loper, a legendary Grand Canyon river runner. 

    Loper, however, wasn't the easiest subject to write about.  He was an ordinary person, not particularly educated, never quite successful at anything.  Yet Dimock artfully combines his own exhaustive research with interviews, first-person stories, letters, and Loper's own writing to fashion an absorbing portrait of his life.
     
    "Forever on the Mountain" is an engrossing narrative of one of North America's most controversial mountaineering accidents.  In 1967 seven climbers were caught in a storm on Mt. Mckinley.  All died. 
     
    Extensive investigations by author James M. Tabor shed new light on the tragedy.  But Tabor is more than a good investigative journalist, he is also an outstanding story teller, and once started, this is a book that is hard to put down.
     
    Complete reviews of these and the other 2007 winners may be found at National Outdoor Book Award Web site at:  www.noba-web.org.
     
    Here is a list of winners. 
    • Outdoor Literature Category.  Winner.  Backcast: Fatherhood, Fly-fishing, and a River Journey Through the Heart of Alaska.  By Lou Ureneck.  St. Martins Press, New York.  ISBN 9780312371517.
    • Outdoor Literature Category.  Winner.  Blue Horizons: Dispatches from Distant Seas.  By Beth A. Leonard.  International Marine/McGraw-Hill, Camden, ME.  ISBN 9780071479585.
    • History-Biography Category.  Winner.  The Very Hard Way:  Bert Loper and the Colorado River.  By Brad Dimock.  Fretwater Press, Flagstaff, AZ.  ISBN  9781892327697.
    • History-Biography Category.  Winner.  Forever on the Mountain: The Truth Behind One of Mountaineering's Most Controversial and Mysterious Disasters.  By James M. Tabor.  W. W. Norton & Company, New York.  ISBN 9780393061741.
    •  Natural History Category.  Winner.  Sky Time in Gray's River:  Living for Keeps in a Forgotten Place.  By Robert Michael Pyle.  Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston.  ISBN 978039582812.
    • Natural History Category.  Honorable Mention.  Last Stand:  George Bird Grinnell, the Battle to Save the Buffalo, and the Birth of the New West.  By Michael Punke.  Smithsonian Books, New York.  ISBN 9780060897826.
    • Nature and Environment Category.  Winner.  Condors in Canyon Country: The Return of the California Condor to the Grand Canyon Region.  By Sophie A. H. Osborn.  Grand Canyon Association, Grand Canyon, AZ.  ISBN 9780938216988.
    • Nature and Environment Category.  Winner.  White Paradise:  Journeys to the North Pole.  By Francis Latreille.  Abrams, New York.  ISBN 9780810930940.  
    • Design and Artistic Merit Category.  Winner.  Yosemite in the Sixties.  Photographs by Glen Denny.  Essays by Kevin Starr, Steve Roper and Glen Denny.  Patagonia and T. Adler Books, Santa Barbara, CA.  ISBN 0979064909.
    • Design and Artistic Merit Category.  Winner.  Arctic Wings:  Birds of the Artic National Wildlife Refuge.  Edited by Stephen Brown.  The Mountaineers Books, Seattle.  ISBN 0898869765.
    • Outdoor Adventure Guidebook Category.  Winner.  Guide to the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon.  By Tom Martin and Duwain Whitis.  Vishnu Temple Press, Flagstaff, AZ.  ISBN 9780977674985.
    •  Children's Category.  Winner.  Peak.  By Roland Smith.  Harcourt, Orlando, FL.  ISBN 9780152024178.
    •  Instructional Category.  Winner.  The Complete Mountain Biking Manual.  By Tim Brink.  Ragged Mountain Press, Camden, ME.  ISBN 9780071493901.
    • Nature Guidebook Category.  Winner.  Birds of Northern South America: An Identification Guide.  By Robin Restall, Clemencia Rodner and Miguel Lentino.  Yale University Press, New Haven and A & C Black, London.  ISBN 9780300108620.
    • Work of Significance Award.  Connecticut Walk Book: The Guide to the Blue-Blazed Hiking Trails of Western Connecticut.  By Ann T. Colson.  Connecticut Forest and Park Association, Rockfall, CN  06481.  ISBN 0961905263.
    • Outdoor Classic Award.  A Natural History of North American Trees.  By Donald Culross Peattie.  Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston.  ISBN 9780618799046.

    More information on the awards program is found on the National Outdoor Book Award website at:  www.noba-web.org. 
     
    # # #



     
    Full Reviews Follows . . .

    Reviews of Winners of the 2007 National Outdoor Book Awards

    Outdoor Literature Category.  Winner.  Backcast: Fatherhood, Fly-fishing, and a River Journey Through the Heart of Alaska.  By Lou Ureneck.  St. Martins Press, New York.  ISBN 9780312371517.

    Backcast plays out like the long and splendid arc of a fly line, unfurling on an Alaskan river trip that Lou Ureneck has arranged to re-connect with his son.  As the trip progresses, Ureneck reflects back on his own life while adroitly capturing the sometimes hilarious and sometimes serious interactions between himself and his son.  The result is a realistic and heartwarming story of a father and his son -- and a work of outdoor literature of the highest order. 


    Outdoor Literature Category.
      Winner.  Blue Horizons: Dispatches from Distant Seas.  By Beth A. Leonard.  International Marine/McGraw-Hill, Camden, ME.  ISBN 9780071479585.

    This is a beautifully written series of vignettes about life and the sea.  You'll follow along, experiencing the ebb and flow, as Beth Leonard and her partner Evans Starzinger travel from port to port, and through calm and storm, on their six-year, 50,000-mile voyage from one end of the world to the other.

    History-Biography Category.  Winner.  The Very Hard Way: Bert Loper and the Colorado River.  By Brad Dimock.  Fretwater Press, Flagstaff, AZ.  ISBN  9781892327697.

    Brad Dimock tackled this book like a tough rapid where success is uncertain.  Not only did he come through intact as an author, but he produced a marvelous work, certainly registering among the most creative of outdoor biographies.  The subject of the book is Bert Loper, a legendary Colorado River boatman who died on the river at 80-years old while oaring his own boat.  Loper, however, wasn't the easiest subject to write about.  He was an ordinary person, not particularly educated, never quite successful at anything, even at building a proper river boat.  Yet Dimock artfully combines his own exhaustive research with interviews, first-person stories, letters, and Loper's own writing to fashion an absorbing portrait of his life. 

    History-Biography Category.  Winner.  Forever on the Mountain: The Truth Behind One of Mountaineering's Most Controversial and Mysterious Disasters.  By James M. Tabor.  W. W. Norton & Company, New York.  ISBN 9780393061741.

    In 1967, a storm with winds of unimaginable ferocity caught seven climbers high on the slopes of Alaska's Mt. McKinley.  When a rescue was finally mounted over a week later, all seven were dead.  What actually happened and why so many died in one of North America's worst mountaineering disasters is still debated to this day.  James Tabor's Forever on the Mountain sheds a new light on the tragedy.  In addition to his extensive investigative work, Tabor is an outstanding story teller, and once started, this is a book that is hard to put down. 

     

    Natural History Category.  Winner.  Sky Time in Gray's River:  Living for Keeps in a Forgotten Place.  By Robert Michael Pyle.  Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston.  ISBN 978039582812.

    In this beautifully designed, hand-sized volume, Robert Michael Pyle describes his life in the little, out-of-the-way village of Gray's River in southwest Washington.  He follows the lives of his neighbors -- birds, butterflies, cats and people -- season by season, over a thirty year period.  His keen curious eye and generous whimsical spirit combine with his gifts as a writer to make a lovely meditation on one's own backyard.


    Natural History Category.  Honorable Mention.  Last Stand:  George Bird Grinnell, the Battle to Save the Buffalo, and the Birth of the New West.  By Michael Punke.  Smithsonian Books, New York.  ISBN 9780060897826.

    Last Stand is an engrossing story about the destruction of the great buffalo herds.  It's an all too familiar story of greed and arrogance, but Michael Punke explores a little known part of that history -- that of the contributions of conservationist George Grinnell.  Colorful and imminently readable, the book helps establish Grinnell's place among the leaders of America's conservation movement.

     

    Nature and Environment Category.  Winner.  Condors in Canyon Country: The Return of the California Condor to the Grand Canyon Region.  By Sophie A. H. Osborn.  Grand Canyon Association, Grand Canyon, AZ.  ISBN 9780938216988.

    It's impossible to page through this book without catching Sophie Osborn's passion for the condor.  It's a passion that runs deep for her, for she was one of the scientists who played a role in the successful effort to return this magnificent bird to the Grand Canyon area.  The book's intelligent design backed up by Osborn's superb photographs combine to create the perfect vehicle to celebrate this environmental success story.

     

    Nature and Environment Category.  Winner.  White Paradise:  Journeys to the North Pole.  By Francis Latreille.  Abrams, New York.  ISBN 9780810930940.

    This lavish, large format volume by French adventurer and photojournalist, Francis Latreille unveils the Arctic hinterlands like no other.  Introductory text covers expeditions, research and the peoples of the North, but mostly Latreille shows us the Arctic--and the effects of global warming--through a stunning collection of photographs.

     

    Design and Artistic Merit Category.  Winner.  Yosemite in the Sixties.  Photographs by Glen Denny.  Essays by Kevin Starr, Steve Roper and Glen Denny.  Patagonia and T. Adler Books, Santa Barbara, CA.  ISBN 0979064909.

    This is Yosmite in the golden age: the big walls, the climbing action, the quiet times, the high times, the whole gamut of life and rock.  Glen Denny, no slouch as a climber himself, was the era's premier photographer.  The book's crisp and clear, black and white reproductions are perfectly complemented by insightful essays by Denny, Steve Roper and Kevin Starr.  Yosemite in the 1960s ushered in a period of fast-paced growth, advancing technique, and a lifestyle of total commitment.  Thankfully Glen Denny was there to capture it.

     

    Design and Artistic Merit Category.  Winner.  Arctic Wings:  Birds of the Artic National Wildlife Refuge.  Edited by Stephen Brown.  The Mountaineers Books, Seattle.  ISBN 0898869765.

    Arctic Wings establishes a new benchmark in the art and literature of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.  This is not only a book of exceptional photography, but it also includes solid and factual information, along with a series of essays by noted biologists and conservationists.  Topping off this stylish, impressively designed book is an included CD of the birdsongs of the refuge.

    Outdoor Adventure Guidebook Category.  Winner.  Guide to the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon.  By Tom Martin and Duwain Whitis.  Vishnu Temple Press, Flagstaff, AZ.  ISBN 9780977674985.

    For whitewater river runners, the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon is the pinnacle experience.  Now there's a river map and guide to match that reputation.  It's built upon a series of 7.5 minute topographic maps, correctly oriented and large enough to read easily from the seat of your boat.  Outstanding cartographical work combined with accurate descriptions of rapids, camps and landmarks make this the state-of-the-art of river guides.

     

    Children's Category.  Winner.  Peak.  By Roland Smith.  Harcourt, Orlando, FL.  ISBN 9780152024178.

    This novel for teens is about a boy who joins his father to climb the highest mountain in the world, Mt. Everest.  If he makes it, he'll be the youngest person to reach the summit.  It's a fast-paced story that ranges from the hustle and bustle of New York to the great, high plateau of Tibet.  Does he make it?  There's only way to find out.

     

    Instructional Category.  Winner.  The Complete Mountain Biking Manual.  By Tim Brink.  Ragged Mountain Press, Camden, ME.  ISBN 9780071493901.

    One look at this book and you'll want to grab your bike and head for the trail.  Colorful, comprehensive and competently written, the Complete Mountain Biking Manual lives up to its title.


    Nature Guidebook Category.
      Winner.  Birds of Northern South America: An Identification Guide.  By Robin Restall, Clemencia Rodner and Miguel Lentino.  Yale University Press, New Haven and A & C Black, London.  ISBN 9780300108620.

    This remarkable work consists of two volumes: the first with written descriptions of the birds, and the second with color plates portraying over 2,300 species in almost every distinct plumage.  Quite simply, Birds of Northern South America is a tour de force. 


    Outdoor Classic Award.  A Natural History of North American Trees.  By Donald Culross Peattie.  Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston.  ISBN 9780618799046. 

    Donald Culross Peattie died in 1964, but he left us with the classical work on trees.  His Natural History is not a field identification guide, but rather it goes far deeper.  Through a lovely and poetic series of essays, Peattie describes the very essence of trees and our relationship with them.  Each chapter covers a different tree, ranging from the sequoias to the pines to the hard woods--his rich descriptions exciting our imagination and reminding us of their utility and beauty.

     

    Work of Significance Award.  Connecticut Walk Book: The Guide to the Blue-Blazed Hiking Trails of Western Connecticut.  Edited Ann T. Colson.  Connecticut Forest and Park Association, Rockfall, CN  06481.  ISBN 0961905263.

    No doubt about it.  The Connecticut Walk Book is among the top tier of long-standing, tried-and-true guidebooks.  With map accuracy assured by global positioning, and trail descriptions backed-up by the work of an army of volunteers, this is one dependable book.  Guidebooks aren't any more comprehensive and useful than this.

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    To download the above release (Microsoft Word format), click here: PressNOBA07.doc

    If you are unable to use the Microsoft Word document, above, a simple way to transfer the press release to your word processor is to highlight the text of the above press release with your mouse, choose EDIT--COPY, and then paste it in your word processor.  Another way is to choose FILE--SAVE AS (TEXT) on your Browser Menu.  This method saves the entire page, but once you open the file in your word processor, you can delete any text you don't want. Note that both of the above methods will not retain formatting. 



    Cover Scans of all 2007 Winning Books

    For your convenience, we have made high resolution scans of all 2006 NOBA winners.  The covers were scanned with a graphic-quality scanner at 300 dpi, a resolution suitable for most print media work.* All scans were saved in a TIFF file format.

    Outdoor Literature Winner  Backcast
    Outdoor LiteratureWinner  Blue Horizons
    History/Biography Winner The Very Hard Way
    History/Biography Winner Forever on the Mountain
    Natural History Winner Sky Time in Gray's River
    Natural History Honorable Mention  Last Stand
    Nature and the Environment Winner  Condors in Canyon Country
    Nature and the Environment Winner White Paradise
    Design and Artistic Merit Winner  Yosemite in the Sixties
    Design and Artistic Merit Winner  Arctic Wings
    Outdoor Adventure Category Winner Guide to the Colorado River
    Children's Winner  Peak
    Instructional Winner  The Complete Mountain Biking Manual
    Nature Guidebook Winner  Birds of Northern South America
    Work of Significance  Connecticut Walk Book
    Classic Category The Natural History of Trees

    National Outdoor Book Awards Medallion

    * Low resolution (72 dpi) scans suitable for website images are also available: 2007 Winners




    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 medallion was scanned with a graphic-quality scanner at 300 dpi, a resolution suitable for most print media work.  The scan was saved in a TIFF file format.  To download, click on the following:

    Winner Medallion
    National.Outdoor Book Awards Winner Medallion
    (Scanned as a TIFF file and available for download in three file types)
    Winner Medallion TIFF format:  MedalWin.tif (878 Kbytes)
    Winner Medallion TIFF format (placed in a zip file): MedalWin.zip (281 Kbytes)
    Winner Medallion TIFF format (placed in a self-extracting zip file: MedalWin.exe (310 Kbytes)

    (Note on self-extracting zip file:  After downloading, select START, RUN "MedalWin.exe" to extract MedalWin.tif)

    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: MedalHon.tif (744 Kbytes)
    Honorable Mention Medallion TIFF format (placed in a zip file):  (MedalHon.zip) (283 Kbytes)

     


     



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