Exploring the Wild Neches
Photography - Natural History - Environmental History
9 x 10, 224 pp.
126 color, 1 b&w photos. 2 maps. Bib. Index.
Pub Date: 09/05/2018
River Books, Sponsored by The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment, Texas State University
Price:        $35.00

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Exploring the Wild Neches

Charles Kruvand
Introduction by Thad Sitton

In this stunning photographic tribute to one of Texas’ most intriguing and perhaps least understood rivers, Riverwoods: Exploring the Wild Neches takes readers on a unique adventure along, and sometimes into, the wild and murky waters of the Neches River.

The Neches flows through the heart of East Texas, past primordial bottomland forests, timber and oil industries, and elusive denizens—humans, alligators, bobcats, and herons. Although the river and its watershed have inspired authors, artists, and photographers, it can also seem impenetrable, intimidating, or just plain unsightly to outsiders.

Spending many days canoeing the river and nights camping on the banks, Charles Kruvand was drawn to the complicated allure of the Neches river and woods. Once common across the southeastern United States, the Neches bottomland forests exemplify an ecosystem that has almost passed out of existence.

Thad Sitton, an East Texas native and noted historian, opens the book with an introduction to the historical, cultural, and ecological significance of the Neches River. He takes readers through time from early Native American inhabitants to Spanish and Anglo settlers to present-day East Texans. He also describes the environmental battles fought over preserving parts of the river woodlands surrounding the waterway and wildlife that have depended on the river for sustenance.

Through beautiful photographs and stirring recollections of his trip along the river, Charles Kruvand weaves a rare portrait of one of the last wild rivers in Texas.

CHARLES KRUVAND is an Austin-based photographer and writer. His photographs are featured in The Living Waters of Texas by Ken Kramer, and he is the recipient of the 2010 Art in Service to the Environment Award by the Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club. THAD SITTON is a Texas historian and author who is best known for his expertise in oral history and East Texas. He is the author or coauthor of numerous books, most recently the award-winning Caddo: Visions of a Southern Cypress Lake. He lives in Austin, Texas.


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