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Recommended Reading List


Hit the trail to your public library to find one of these books below, which are recommended by staff of the Rivers, Trails & Conservation Assistance (Rivers & Trails) program as great resources for locally-led conservation efforts.

1. How to Save a River: A Handbook for Citizen Action
by David M. Bolling
Island Press, May 1994

Provides examples, tips and inspiration for those working on river protection campaigns with concise and readable information on how a citizen group can get organized, plan a campaign, build public support, and put a plan into action. It shows that ordinary citizens have the power to create change when they know how to organize themselves.

2. The Experience of Place
by Tony Hiss
Vintage Books, October 1991

Reflections about improving our cities and countryside by perceiving our everyday surroundings in a new way -- at a time when the places around us need it most.

3. Greenways for America
by Charles Little
Johns Hopkins University Press, October 1990

A journalistic account of existing greenways and how they came to be, the book also offers many practical ideas and inspiration for those who want to develop greenways in their community.

4. Lightly on the Land: The Student Conservation Association Trail-Building and Maintenance Manual
by Robert C. Birkby
Mountaineers Books, July 1996

Designed as a resource for backcountry workers of all skill levels. Offers a wealth of information on trail maintenance and construction, crew leadership and safety, trail specifications, site restoration and revegetation, and more.

5. Organizing Outdoor Volunteers
by Roger Moore, Vicki LaFarge and Charles L. Tracy
Appalachian Mountain Club, August 1992

Practical, pocket-sized, and quick reading make this handbook invaluable for the for the budding conservation or outdoor volunteer group. Details in simple terms what needs to be done in the first two years of a group's life to put it on the road to success.

6. The Economic Benefits of Parks and Open Space: How Land Conservation Helps Communities Grow Smart and Protect the Bottom Line
by Steve Lerner and William Poole
The Trust for Public Land, 1999

This casebook presents data and examples that can help leaders and concerned citizens make the economic case for parks and open space conservation.

7. Lifelines: The Case for River Conservation
by Tim Palmer
Island Press, December 1994

Provides compelling arguments for the need to conserve natural rivers not just because of their beauty and majesty but because of the broad ecological impact of river degradation. An enlightening, energizing study; includes photos, sources, and a list of groups involved in protecting the nation's rivers.

8. Collaboration Handbook: Creating, Sustaining, and Enjoying the Journey
by Michael Winer and Karen Ray
Amherst H. Wilder Foundation, April 1994

A practical guide to creating, sustaining or improving an existing collaborative effort. Learn how to meet challenges in a way that strengthens your group and achieve the results you're after. Includes a case study illustrating the concepts and worksheets for real-life practice.

9. Secrets of Successful Rail-Trails
edited by Karen-Lee Ryan and Julie A Winterich
Rails-To-Trails Conservancy, June 1994

Outlines a step-by-step process of how to organize citizen support, work with government agencies, generate publicity for your project, negotiate with a railroad company, find funds to acquire an abandoned rail corridor, and more.

10. Greenways: A Guide to Planning, Design, and Development
by Charles A. Flink and Robert M. Searns
Island Press, October 1993

A compilation of practical information and advice about developing greenways and linear parks in cities, suburbs and rural areas. It helps professionals and citizen activists understand the overall process for creating a greenway while providing as much detail and guidance as possible about each step along the way.

11. Streamkeeper's Field Guide: Watershed Inventory and Stream Monitoring Methods
by Tom Murdoch and Gary Larson (illustrator)
Adopt-A-Stream Foundation, July 1996

Provides background information on how streams and their surrounding watersheds function and details methods of watershed inventory and stream monitoring that volunteers can use. Also shares stories from real streamkeepers who have used the inventory and monitoring methods to protect and restore the nation's streams. Lots of cartoons.

12. Doing Deals: A Guide to Buying Land for Conservation
by The Trust for Public Land
The Land Trust Alliance, June 1995

Know what developers know after you read this insightful book about buying real estate for conservation. Includes information on working with landowners, surveys, appraisals, working with government agencies and negotiating.

13. How to Make Meetings Work
by Michael Doyle and David Straus
Berkley Publishing Group, September 1993

A clear and succinct look into the mechanics of an effective meeting, including not only the "how-to's" but the "why's" of productive groups and meetings. By using the "Interaction Method," the book demonstrates how time and people are most effectively used in all kinds of meetings, from large corporation to local community groups.

14. A View of the River
by Luna Leopold
Harvard University Press, June 1994

Widely regarded as the most creative scholar in the field of river morphology, Leopold presents a coherent description of rivers, their shape, size, organization, and action, along with a consistent theory that explains much of the observed character of channels.

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