Rivers of Texas
Natural History - Nature Guide
6.125 x 9.25, 264 pp.
60 b&w photos., Map.
Pub Date: 04/13/2004
Louise Lindsey Merrick Natural Environment Series
Price:        $16.95

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Published by Texas A&M University Press

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2000 T.R. Fehrenbach Book Award, presented by the Texas Historical Commission

Rivers of Texas

By Verne Huser

Texas' rivers are part of the state's history, charm, and lore. Battles have been fought on their banks, cities have been founded along their cool currents, and countless legends have been told of their treacherous crossings and brackish waters. Texas' rivers are showcases of nature's variety. The mossdraped streams in the Big Thicket and bayous of the southeast, the sandy banks of the high plains, and the canyons of the Rio Grande form a diverse backdrop.

In Rivers of Texas, Verne Huser captures the mystery and beauty of the state's waterways. By presenting the landscape, historical accounts, geologic facts, economic development, and recreational opportunities along the many streams, Huser displays how everything in Texas impacts or is impacted by the rivers.

Huser establishes four categories of Texas rivers: Border Rivers, HeartofTexas Rivers, Regional Rivers, and Gulf Coast Rivers. Each specific river is then invested with information about its size, location, tributaries, discharge, and special sites along that system. Narratives about each river are also included, combining documented history with colorful legends and stories and personal anecdotes based on Huser’s own experiences. Brilliant descriptions of the wildlife and vegetation enhance the text, as do the blackandwhite photographs, which capture the distinct beauty of each watershed.

Using straightforward language and an approachable tone, Rivers of Texas is both informative and entertaining. Huser's love for his subject and his wisdom gained from traveling and studying these rivers is evident, while his fresh blend of facts and folklore makes this an excellent traveling companion, useful to anyone who wants to learn more about the waterways of Texas. It is also an excellent guidebook for adventurers and explorers who want to experience the rivers in every aspect.

Verne Huser, a retired English teacher, now archivist at Albuquerque Academy, has been a river guide for more than forty years, a seasonal National Park Service ranger/naturalist, and an environmental mediator. He is the author of five previous books on rivers and river recreation and the editor of an anthology or river literature.

What Readers Are Saying:

“Well written. . .Huser’s passion for the rivers of Texas is evident throughout the book. . . accurate and very thorough. . . .His commentary on major historical events is riveting. I was impressed with the breath of the historical information that is included within the brief chapters on each major river. I was surprised to find interesting historical tidbits that were unfamiliar to me about rivers and areas with which I am quite familiar. . .Mr. Huser obviously is an accomplished canoeist, and his love for the sport is very pronounced throughout this book. I believe anyone interested in canoeing in an unfamiliar area of the State would do well to read this book. . . . Rivers of Texas is an entertaining and generally well-written book. The book includes particularly good discussions of history and physical attributes of the river systems. Mr. Huser is a passionate proponent for free-flowing rivers and provides a good introduction for canoeists considering a trip to a new area.” --Texas Chapter of The Wildlife Society

“Given the importance of rivers in the historical settlement of Texas, and in contemporary conflicting demands for water rights, flood control, an recreational opportunities as Texas continues its rapid population growth, this book ought to be in every library in Texas.” --Review of Texas Books

“History, colorful legends and personal anecdotes merge to form a most interesting text.” --Larry Lawrence

“(Verne Huser)presents a treatise on Texas rivers that is both factual and wonderfully poetic. This is an informative and entertaining book.” --Texas Illustrated Magazine

“Verne Huser’s Rivers of Texas provides the reader with an unique look at the state’s waterways. Public libraries would find this a useful resource in their travel collections.” --E-Streams

"A comprehensive and loving picture of Texas' many rivers . . . [Huser has] an intimate knowledge and a deep concern for their future as man continues to tamper with them." --Elmer Kelton

“Huser is a superb writer, weaving informative prose on floods, irrigation and other historical and ecological concerns in with practical advice on where to launch your canoe.” --Paddler Magazine

“The guts of Rivers of Texas offers almost as much enjoyment as a river trip itself.” --Paddler Magazine

“This book is an interesting blend of facts about Texas rivers. Reading it is nearly as good, maybe better in places, than a lazy river drift across these prairies, canyons, and towering forests.” --East Texas Historical Journal

“When Huser describes a river he can be downright poetic.” --Albuquerque Journal


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