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Trees of the Great Basin.

Trees of the Great Basin

Obdurately harsh and lonely country: this is what the Great Basin seems. It's the land from which rivers never emerge, a bare white patch on maps. Last part of the continental United States to be explored and settled, it's been neglected, too, by writers of natural histories. Now the University of Nevada Press is remedying that with its Max C. Fleischmann Series in Great Basin Natural History.

Three of the 10 volumes projected have been published. Well written and photographed, they present a region far more varied and alive than you might imagine. They'll enliven any trip through this area.

The books are available at bookstores or from the University of Nevada Press, Reno 89557. Make out checks to University Board of Regents; add $1 for postage.

Trees of the Great Basin, by Ronald M. Lanner (University of Nevada Press, Reno, 1983; $19.50; $12.50 paperback). This guide's enthusiasm makes you want to seek out the forests (yes, there are forests in the Basin) the author so engagingly clescribes.

When it comes to talking about trees, one thing leads to another: the essay on the limber pine leads to Clark's nutcracker, which hides pine seeds by the thousands yet remembers where each cache remains; the essay on the pinon pine leads to talk about Nevada's 19th-century charcoal industry.

Included are relatively well-known species like the bristlecone pine, a symbol of this arid region; of it, Lanner says, "Adversity begets longevity.' Also included are some surprises, like the canyon maples that, Lanner asserts, put on a show of fall color that New England would not be ashamed of; the photographs seem to bear him out.
COPYRIGHT 1986 Sunset Publishing Corp.
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Copyright 1986 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Sunset
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Jun 1, 1986
Words:280
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