1999 Media Information Page

On this page, you'll find the press release, reviews, and cover scans of the winners of the 1999 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 1999 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


The engaging and inspiring story of a man carving a masterpiece of a cabin out of the Alaskan wilderness is the winner of the Biography Category of the 1999 National Outdoor Book Awards (NOBA).  One Man's Wilderness, by Richard Proenneke and Sam Keith is a beautifully and simply told story of harmony and life removed from civilization. 

One Man's Wilderness is one of several books which were honored at a special evening ceremony of the International Conference on Outdoor Recreation and Education held in Jackson Hole, Wyoming in early November.  NOBA is the largest and most prestigious national award program for authors and publishers of outdoor books. 

Other 1999 winners include Richard Bang's The Lost River, a gripping story of river rafting deep in the recesses of Africa.  Bang's book won the Outdoor Literature Category. 

The winner of the Children's Category is The Inuksuk Book by Mary Wallace.  A fascinating book for preteens, it is about Inuksuks which are stone structures used by the Inuits of the Arctic to communicate with one another. 

Two books won the Nature and Environment category.  One is Washington's Mount Rainier National Park, a stunning pictorial book with heart-felt prose by author Tim McNulty.  The other book, authored by naturalist Phillip Manning is Islands of Hope, an investigation into ten wildlife preserves that offer hope for protecting animals and ecosystems. 

The winner of the instructional category was Mark Twight's Extreme Alpinism which is a master class for accomplished climbers who risk it all in some of the world's most dangerous places. 

Scats and Tracks of the Rocky Mountains was the judge's favorite for the Nature Guidebook category.  This pocket sized book helps decipher the signs left behind by mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians. 

Winner of the Design category is Wildflowers of the Appalachian Trail by Leonard Adkins, a colorful and elegant guide to the flora of the 2,100-mile trail. 

Trout Unlimited's Guide to America's 100 Best Trout Streams won the adventure guidebook category.  A stylishly written guide by John Ross, it's sure to fire an angler's imagination. 

The Outdoor Classic Award was won by Cache Lake Country.  John Rowland's book, first published in 1947, is about his experiences and explorations in the lake country of the North Ontario woods. 

Honorable mention went to Vermont and New Hampshire Winter Trails by Marty Basch (guidebook category) and Spotted Bear: A Rock Mountain Folktale by Hanneke Ippish (design category) 

Five books were named as "works of significance" in the outdoor field including Walking Softly in the Wilderness by John Hart, Kayaking by William Nealy, How to Rock Climb by John Long, Expedition Kayaking by Derek Hutchinson, and Cowstails and Cobras by Karl Rohnke. 

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Full Reviews Follows . . .

History-Biography Category Winner: 
One Man's Wilderness:  An Alaskan Odyssey.  By Sam Keith from the journals of Richard Proenneke.  Published by Alaska Northwest Books. 

    Lots of books have been published about intrepid souls who head off into the wilderness, build their own cabin, and live a life removed from civilization.  But if you were to pick one which comes closest to truly describing that experience, this is the book.  Richard Proenneke has a refreshingly simple and wonderful outlook on life, and like the warmth from a potbelly wood stove, you can't help but be drawn to him and his engaging story.  You'll be there right alongside him on the shore of Twin Lakes, helping him carve out a masterpiece of a cabin, and then settling in with him for a full and introspective life in the Alaskan bush.
Literature Category Winner: 
The Lost River:  A Memoir of Life, Death, and Transformation on Wild Water.  By Richard Bangs.  Published by Sierra Club Books in conjunction with Random House. 
    Since the early 1970s, Richard Bangs has been in the vanguard of river exploration.  He is particularly known for his bold ventures deep into the recesses of Africa.  In nearly a dozen books, Bangs has written of his experiences, but in this book we see and learn more of him than ever before.  Primarily this book is about his 1996 pioneering run of Ethiopia's Tekeze River, but the most interesting and telling part of the story is the long, and sometimes tragic, path which led him there.
Children's Category Winner: 
The Inuksuk Book.  Text and illustrations by Mary Wallace.  Published by Owl Books. 
    An Inuksuk is a stone structure, a type of road sign, used by the Inuits of the Arctic to communicate important information.  They show the way when travelers are a long way from home, or warn of dangerous places, or point to a place of reverence.  This 64-page book, which will intrigue children of the pre-teen years, consists of a series of short stories about the Inuksuk and its importance in the Inuit culture.
Nature and the Environment Category (Two Winners): 
Washington's Mount Rainier National Park: A Centennial Celebration.  By Tim McNulty.  Photographs by Pat O'Hara.  Published by The Mountaineers. 
    Mount Rainier, published on the 100th anniversary of the founding of the park, is an absolutely stunning book filled with breathtaking photography.  Large format books are often accompanied by dull, inane text, but not this one.  The mountain and its surrounding environment are described in beautiful, heart-felt prose.  A sensitive and synchronous collaboration between writer, photographer and publisher, this books succeeds wonderfully.  Every sacred mountain should have its story so handsomely told. 
Nature and the Environment Category (Second Winner): 
Islands of Hope:  Lessons from North America's Great Wildlife Sanctuaries by Phillip Manning.  Published by John F. Blair. 
    Naturalist Phillip Manning visits ten wildlife preserves in four North American countries, investigating the animals and ecosystems that the sanctuaries protect.  In a simple and understanding style, Manning helps readers learn how refuges work, their history and the challenges facing them.  There is caution, of course, in the book's message, but mostly the message is of abiding hope for the future.
Instructional/How-to Category Winner: 
Extreme Alpinism: Climbing Light, Fast and High.  By Mark Twight and James Martin.  Published by The Mountaineers. 
    In both temperament and content, this book is a clear departure from past instructional texts in mountaineering--and outdoor texts in general.  Directed to accomplished climbers, this a master class for those who risk it all by venturing into some of the most dangerous places in the world.  Content of the class: character, attitude, training, fitness, nutrition, clothing, equipment and technique.  Class instructional aids: well designed book with graphic and dramatic color photographs throughout.
Nature Guidebook Category Winner: 
Scats and Tracks of the Rocky Mountains: A Field Guide to the Signs of 70 Wildlife Species.  By James Halfpenny.  Illustrated by Todd Telander.  Published by Falcon Press. 
    In this book, conveniently sized to fit in the back pocket, nationally renowned tracker, Dr. James Halfpenny helps decipher the signs left behind by mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians.  The 145-page guide is a real bargain and includes clear and understandable drawings and concise descriptions of the scats, tracks and gait patterns of 70 Rocky Mountain species.
Design and Artistic Merit Winner 
Wildflowers of the Appalachian Trail.  By Leonard Adkins.  Photographs by Joe and Monica Cook.  Published by Menasha Ridge Press. 
    From a practical standpoint, this book is a field identification guide of the flora of the 2,100-mile Appalachian trail--and an excellent one at that.  But it is much more than a guidebook.  It is a work of art and a feast for the eyes.  Wildflowers of the Appalachian Trail is designed with grace and elegance and filled with exquisite, full-page color photographs.  It is rare to find a guidebook where every photograph is perfect, but this is one.  If you're hiking or traveling in the Appalachian country, this is one book that you don't want to be without.
Design and Artistic Merit Honorable Mention: 
Spotted Bear: A Rocky Mountain Folktale.  By Hanneke Ippisch. Illustrated by Hedvig Rappe-Flowers.  Designed by Kim Ericsson.  Published by Mountain Press Publishing. 
    This enchanting children's book is the story of how bears, some bears, at least, get their spots.  It is a wonderfully designed book and beautifully illustrated with Hedvig Rappe-Flowers' rich and colorful paintings.  For young children--and adults too--it is certain to provoke wonder and excitement.
Adventure Guidebook Category Winner: 
Trout Unlimited's Guide to America's 100 Best Trout Streams.  By John Ross.  Published by Falcon Press. 
    These are the streams that fire an angler's imagination: 100 of them in 30 states across the US, voted the best places to catch trout by members of Trout Unlimited.  The writing in this well organized guide is strong, lively and stylish.  It makes you want to grab your rod and hit the road.
Adventure Guidebook Category Honorable Mention: 
Vermont and New Hampshire Winter Trails.  By Marty Basch.  Published by The Globe Pequot Press. 
    Designed for all levels, from consummate winter recreational skiers and snowshoers to beginners and families, Winter Trails covers the best places to snowshoe and cross-country ski in Vermont and New Hampshire.
Outdoor Classic Award: 
Cache Lake Country:  Life in the North Woods.  By John J. Rowlands.  Published by The Countryman Press. 
    This book, first published in 1947, carries the reader back to an earlier, simpler time in the twentieth century.  It's about John Rowland's life on Cache Lake, a lake located in forests of northern Ontario reached only by canoe.  Rowlands writes of the seasons, the wildlife, and his explorations with nearby northwoods neighbors including a Cree Indian chief and an artist.  The book is interspersed with descriptions and drawings of Rowland's hand-made backwoods inventions and woodcraft projects of all manner and shape.  Full of a down-to-earth eloquence and commonsensical backcountry wisdom, it's a cozy and heartwarming book to curl up with.
Works of Significance in the Outdoor Field 

Although the following books entered in this year's contest were not selected as winners, the judges wanted to recognize their value and importance in the outdoor field.  All of them have gone through multiple editions and printings.  And all are tried-and-true books which have done much to make outdoor skills, techniques and the outdoor experience more understandable. 

    Walking Softy in the Wilderness: The Sierra Club Guide to Backpacking by John Hart.  Literate, environmentally sensitive, and chocked full of valuable advice, John Hart's book is one of the finest texts ever published on backpacking.

    Kayaking: An Animated Guide of Intermediate and Advanced Whitewater Technique by William Nealy.  Quirky, creative, humorous, and uncommonly useful, this is a classic in the whitewater kayaking world. 

    How to Rock Climb by John Long.  Now in its third edition, John Long's plain-speaking book remains the standard text of rock climbing technique. 

    Expedition Kayaking by Derek Hutchinson.  Thirty-year sea kayaking veteran and inveterate expeditioner, Derek Hutchinson, tells how it's done in this, the fourth edition of his colorful and eminently instructive book. 

    Cowstails and Cobras II: A Guide to Games, Initiatives, Ropes Courses, & Adventure Curriculum by Karl Rohnke.  Penned by one the great innovators of the experiential education field and stuffed to the brim with adventure games and initiatives, this immensely resourceful book is an outdoor education classic. 


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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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