Up in the foggy woods of northwest California, our friends Michael Kauffmann and Allison Poklemba at Backcountry Press are consistently creating beautiful books, webinars, and classes for nature lovers everywhere. Their content runs the gamut from conifers to mushrooms to glaciers to seaweed – and much more!
It all started in 2012 when Michael wrote Conifer Country – an innovative and inviting natural history and hiking guide that introduces readers to the incredible diversity of conifers in the Klamath Mountains, one of the world’s biodiversity hotspots. This book also became his Master’s project at Cal Poly Humboldt. Upon looking for a publisher, Michael realized that with a little extra work he could publish it himself! Backcountry Press was born.
Somehow, between raising two young sons and holding full-time jobs, Michael and Allison have managed to publish ten titles – with two more books slated for release in 2022 – in less than ten years. They have developed numerous webinars and classes – mostly in response to COVID – and they have even hosted a few podcasts!
Backcountry Press’s most popular offering is their 5-part webinar series on Forest Mushrooms of the Pacific Coast. Taught by mycologists Maria Morrow and Christian Schwarz, the series aired in Fall 2021 but is available for replay any time – with extensive class resources – for only $49. With spring on the way, now is a great time to brush up on your fungi-finding skills and knowledge.
More recently, the Sugar Pine Foundation was involved in this winter’s Magnificent Five-Needled Pines of Western North America webinar. Sugar pine is one of the most beloved of the five-needled white pines, and we spoke about our work to restore the species. If you want to learn more about other incredible species of white pine – bristlecone pine or the rare foxtail pine, for example – this seminar is richly informative. Michael and Allison generously donated much of the proceeds from this webinar to the Sugar Pine Foundation and the Whitebark Pine Ecosystem Foundation for the work that we do to save five-needled pines.
California is one of the most biodiverse places on Earth and Backcountry Press is doing a great deal to grow awareness and stewardship of our region’s natural wonders. Delving into Backcountry Press’s offerings will certainly give you a better appreciation for our diverse natural heritage. Whether you are curious about wildflowers, trees, desert plants, or geology, there is something for everyone amongst their material. We recommend subscribing to the fun and informative Backcountry Press Newsletter to stay up to date on their new releases, sales and events. Super exciting: in-person field trips led by experts will soon be happening again!
“Michael Kauffmann has prepared a feast for all conifer lovers. The banquet consists of 35 courses (species), with 29 adventures skillfully roadtested and with clear maps for hikes to savor them all. Novice and professional alike will find much of interest here, and if you do not follow at least a dozen of Michael’s directions for hikes, I would be very surprised.” – David Charlet author of Atlas of Nevada Conifers
This is a special offer while supplies last!