Pre-order a guidebook, support Natural Bloomington and the Sierra Club now

A Guide to Natural Areas of Southern Indiana is moving through the production process. (See one of the back-cover blurbs below.) And I'm ready to start reserving copies for the patient among us who would like to support the work we do at both Natural Bloomington and the Sierra Club Hoosier Chapter. Click here for details and ordering, but here's the upshot.

I invested a lot of time and money in this project. But let's be honest. I wrote a book in the digital age. Any return on investment is way down the road and not likely to be very substantial, which I knew going in. But there's good work to do now that also takes resources. For example, next Friday I am interviewing Hoosier National Forest Supervisor Mike Chaveas at his office in Bedford. We will videotape the interview and share it with the public through Community Access Television Services and other venues.

I've been looking over the agency's management priorities -- timber sales, wildfire reduction, wildlife habitat, trails, recreation, etc. -- and noticed that between 2008 and 2011, the Forest Service harvested between 350,000 and 600,000 cubic feet of timber from the Hoosier. Since then it's been in the low 7,000s. Mike's been there a year now. I look forward to hearing about and sharing his vision.

So, here's my proposition. If you will support my work with a $35 contribution today, I will mail mail you a guidebook next June when it comes out. And since the book is part of my Natural Bloomington ecotourism project, and a key component of ecotourism is supporting conservation organizations, I will contribute 10% of the estimated $28 list price to the Sierra Club Hoosier Chapter today.

Hoosier National Forest, Lick Creek TrailI've been a member of the state chaper's Executive, Conservation and Communications Committees since January and can attest to the great work they do. I've known and worked with several of the folks there in the past, have known of others for decades, and am getting to know the rest. I edited the Summer edition of their newsletter The Sierran and am working with them on long-term communications and natural resource projects. I hiked with a few through the Charles C. Deam Wilderness Area a couple weeks ago. Here's a Photo Album.

I am likewise working with the Hoosier Chapter on the Hoosier National Awareness Project, of which next week's interview is the project's first formal action.

Here's one of the blurbs that will appear on the back cover of A Guide to Natural Areas of Southern Indiana, courtesy of Johnny Molloy, author of several nature guides, including Top Trails: Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

“Steven Higgs has done an excellent job of not only compiling the places, but also detailing the important flora and fauna located therein along with recreational opportunities for visitors to these preserves. I cannot imagine the amount of time that went into exploring all these places! Anyone with a general interest in the outdoors including hikers, birders, campers and fisherman will find this book useful.”

Charles C. Deam Wilderness


Hoosier National Photographs: Left, Lick Creek Trail; Bottom, Sierra Club Ecotour, Charles C. Deam Wilderness


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