cover of book
by Charles J. Farmer
University of Missouri Press, 1999
Paper: 978-0-8262-1230-6 | eISBN: 978-0-8262-6271-4
Library of Congress Classification QH76.5.M8F37 1999
Dewey Decimal Classification 333.78209778


Tucked within Missouri's borders are eight Congressionally designated Wilderness areas. These magnificent forests, scattered across the southern portion of the state, combine a wide variety of unique ecosystems. In Unspoiled Beauty, Charles Farmer captures the essence of the Missouri Wilderness experience, allowing even those who have never set foot in the wilderness to enjoy its wonders and appreciate its importance.

Farmer begins by describing the wilderness region prior to the Congressional Wilderness designation, providing an overview of the numerous battles that were waged to reclaim the state's wilderness and to assure its preservation. Featured are key players who were instrumental in the acquisition and preservation of Missouri wilderness.

Farmer devotes a chapter to each of the eight Wilderness areas, accompanied by numerous engaging photographs, many in color. He provides a brief history of each and shares his own fascinating personal experiences of camping, hiking, backpacking, hunting, and fishing within each. He discusses trails, fauna, flora, and other colorful details along the way. His adventures take place during different seasons of the year; he is sometimes alone, sometimes in company. Through his eyes, each area is brought vividly to life.

"Wilderness Tips" and a guide with rules for the novice camper, hiker, backpacker, hunter, and fisherman enhance the book's usefulness. The final chapter lists the areas in Missouri that qualify for Wilderness designation in the New Forest Plan. Unspoiled Beauty may well play a part in saving Missouri's remaining wilderness candidates. It will also help other states that are preparing campaigns to save their own wilderness areas.

Wilderness advocates, hikers and backpackers, fishermen and hunters, anyone who appreciates the great outdoors will enjoy this important new book.