" With over 100 glorious full-color photographs and insightful text, Kentucky's Last Great Places highlights the incredible natural beauty found in the Commonwealth's old-growth forests, prairies, wetlands, and other distinctive biological habitats. Many types—more than 3,000 vascular plants, 230 fish, 105 amphibians and reptiles, 350 birds, 75 mammals, and 12,000 insects—make Kentucky their home. Many of these species and their habitats are considered rare, threatened, or endangered. Overall, less than one percent of Kentucky is classified ecologically as being in a "pre-European" condition that deserves significant protection. Award-winning photographer and author Thomas G. Barnes combines his striking photographs with essays describing the splendor found in more than forty of Kentucky's diverse natural preserves or ecological areas, including the old-growth Blanton Forest near Pine Mountain in Harlan County, Axe Lake Swamp in Ballard County near the Mississippi River, Red River Gorge, the Kentucky River Palisades, Mammoth Cave, and many others. This spectacular oversized book explores the biodiversity of Kentucky, the challenges to protecting its biological heritage, and the ways that organizations such as The Nature Conservancy, Kentucky Nature Preserves Commission, the National Park Service, and others are continuing to protect the state's unique biological legacy. Thomas G. Barnes, an associate extension professor of forestry at the University of Kentucky, is the author of Gardening for the Birds.
"One cannot leaf through the pages of this book without feeling a strong urge to see these wild places."~Indiana Magazine of History
"With over 100 glorious full-color photographs and insightful text, Kentucky's Last Great Places highlights the incredible natural beauty found in the Commonwealth's old-growth forests, prairies, wetlands, and other distinctive biological habitats. Kentucky's Last Great Places is both a stunning collection of nature photographs and a means for increasing our understanding of the fragile beauty of Kentucky."~Kentucky Books Blogspot
"Does substantial justice to the beauty and biodiversity of our commonwealth."~David Hawpe, Louisville Courier Journal
"This isn't a memorial to lost places; it's a call to action, a reminder to readers of what exactly there is to lose if economic development continues to take precedence over the environment in both social and political arenas."~Back Home in Kentucky
"Whether [Barnes is] describing a hike with his young son, or his delight in spotting an unexpected cluster of wildflowers, his joy in Kentucky's natural beauty is contagious."~Madelynn Coldiron, Kentucky Monthly
"The beauty of this book is not only chronicling the rich history but also providing an outstanding photo essay of Kentucky's fauna and flora."~Jeff Hohman, Kentucky Living
"Thomas Barnes' love of this land shines clearly through his lens and pen."~Virginia Quarterly Review