♦ Best Easy Day Hikes Boise
By Natalie Bartley, Falcon Press Publishing, 246 Goose Lane, P.O. Box 480, Guilford, CT 06437, 203-458-4500, www.falcon.com, paperback, 96 pp., $9.95.
From the mountains to the river valley to the high desert of the Snake River plain, the latest book from Bartley features mile-by-mile directions and detailed maps for 17 hikes in and around Boise, Idaho. Hikes range from 30-minute outings to half-day adventures. The book also includes GPS coordinates and a guide for the best hikes for children, dogs, history buffs and those who want a great view. Bartley writes a weekly outdoor column for the Idaho Statesman and is also the author of “Best Rail Trails Pacific Northwest.”
♦ Manatee Insanity
By Craig Pittman, University Press of Florida, 15 NW 15th St., Gainesville, FL 32611, 352-392-1351, www.upf.com, hardcover, 464 pp., 21 black and white illustrations, $27.50.
Subtitled “Inside the War over Florida’s Most Famous Endangered Species,” this book takes readers inside the battle over manatee protection. Pittman flies with scientists trying to count manatees overhead, accompanies the leader of the biggest pro-boater group on a boat trip, and observes biologists dissecting the animals and politicians discussing their fate. The book takes a close look at the major and minor players in the dispute, from Jacques-Yves Cousteau to Jimmy Buffett to a federal lawman who dressed in a gorilla suit for an undercover assignment. Included on the very first endangered species list in 1967, manatees appear on hundreds of Florida license plates, attract hordes of tourists and expose the uneasy relationship between science and the law.
♦ What Your Fossils Can Tell You
By Robert W. Sinibaldi, University Press of Florida, 15 NW 15th St., Gainesville, FL 32611, 352-392-1351, www.upf.com, hardcover, 320 pp., 473 black and white illustrations, $39.95.
This pictorial guide provides both experienced and novice fossil hunters and collectors the information needed to correctly identify and interpret their discoveries. It gives amateur fossil enthusiasts tools to recognize significant, scientifically relevant finds and the knowledge of how to collect vertebrate fossils responsibly and legally. Professionals may find the guide helpful as a pictorial resource to assist them in bridging the fields of pathology and archaeology as they relate to paleontology. Sinibaldi is the former president of the Tampa Bay Fossil Club and also the author of “Fossil Diving: In Florida’s Waters or any other Waters Containing Prehistoric Treasures” and “The Handbook of Paleontological Terms.”