The Wild Heart of Florida
Florida Writers on Florida's Wildlands

Edited by Jeff Ripple and Susan Cerulean

Foreword by Debbie Drake
Hardcover: $34.95
Paper: $21.95
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Eighteen of Florida’s best-loved writers here share with you their affection for Florida’s wild side--the beautiful heart of a state under siege from development.

Carl Hiaasen, Randy Wayne White, Al Burt, Patrick Smith, the late Archie Carr, and others evoke a Florida thick with pinewoods, alligators, and palmetto scrub; ribboned by miles of coast and dune; blessed with backcountry lakes, rivers, creeks, and springs. Strip malls and concrete cannot tame this wild Florida, but they can kill it. These essays offer passionate argument why that should not be allowed to happen.

Coming from a variety of backgrounds--fiction, journalism, poetry, and environmental writing--the writers turn their talent to one thing they have in common--a love for Florida’s natural beauty and a commitment to preserve it. Their essays--some old favorites, most appearing here for the first time--are both a celebration and a pointed reminder of what we stand to lose.

Many of the areas singled out (the Lake Wales Ridge, the Panhandle’s Topsail Hill, Goethe State Forest, and Tampa’s Brooker Creek) were purchased through Florida’s Preservation 2000, one of the nation’s foremost land acquisition programs. All royalties from the book are being donated to the Florida chapter of The Nature Conservancy.

Printed on recycled paper with soy ink.

Jeff Ripple, natural history writer and photographer, is the author of five books of interpretive natural history, including Sea Turtles, Florida--The Natural Wonders, and Southwest Florida’s Wetland Wilderness: Big Cypress Swamp and the Ten Thousand Islands (UPF, 1996). He lives in Gainesville, Florida.

Susan Cerulean, writer and biologist, is co-author of Florida Wildlife Viewing Guide. In 1997, the Governor’s Council for a Sustainable Florida honored her with an Individual Environmental Educator Award. She lives in Tallahassee, Florida.

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"Contributors include novelists, journalists, poets, and scientists, as well as the editors themselves. Their eloquent essays offer elegies for the past and celebrations of what remains of Florida ecosystems, from the Panhandle pine forsets to the overcrowded Keys. . . . [T]hose interested in environmental writing at its finest, will find this a worthwhile purchase." -- Library Journal
--Library Journal

"The Wild Heart of Florida is a clever little book; filled with humor, insight and thoughts on what in Florida we should value." - Florida Wildlife
--Florida Wildlife

"Nineteen essays that cover the gamut of this state's special places. . . . Like Aldo Leopold with his 'Sand County Almanac,' they trace the unique landscapes and rhythms of this state, a place that has more endemic species and habitat than any other in the Southeast. . . . A rich mental wander, from start to finish. . . . A great textbook for a state that attracts hundreds of newcomers every day." - Orlando Sentinel
--Orlando Sentinel

"This book is packed solid with splendid material. . . . A handy paperback to carry along while exploring our state." -- Stuart News
--Stuart News

"For those who have made that mental shift from curious tourist to protective resident, from a person who sees Florida as one vast recreational expanse to someone who wants to put 'No Vacancy' signs at the border, then The Wild Heart of Florida speaks eloquently." -- St. Petersburg Times
--St. Petersburg Times

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