Many years in the making, Florida Magnificent Wilderness is a special visual journey through some of the most precious wild areas in the state, presenting the breathtaking beauty preserved in state lands, parks, and natural areas. World-famous nature photographer James Valentine has used his camera to record environmental art images of the state's remote wilderness places, spectacular sites too often missed by Florida's visitors and residents. Valentine also offers his poetic interpretations of the meaning of his images. Dr. D. Bruce Means, founder and president of the Coastal Plains Institute and Land Conservancy, has written the main text, "Florida's Rich Biodiversity." The book is divided into six sections, covering the wildlife and natural ecosystems of Florida, with the introduction to each written by a highly respected Florida writer and conservationist, including Al Burt, Manley Fuller, Steve Gatewood, D. Bruce Means, Victoria Tschinkel, and Bernie Yokel.
James Valentine is an environmental filmmaker, consultant, writer, poet, speaker, and scuba diver. He is president of the Quest Foundation, which advocates nature preservation and environmental education through the arts and sciences. He coordinates his photographic work with leading environmental groups and cultural organizations throughout the world. Florida Magnificent Wilderness, his ninth major book depicting Southern areas, is the recipient of a Governor's Environmental Education Award. D. Bruce Means grew up in Alaska, received his Ph.D. in biology from Florida State University, and is president of the Coastal Plains Institute and Land Conservancy, a nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving the rich biodiversity of the vast coastal plain of the southeastern United States. He is an adjunct professor of biological science at Florida State University, where he has taught courses on the ecology of upland, wetland, and coastal environments of the Southeast, as well as vertebrate biology, ichthyology, mammalogy, herpetology, general biology, tropical ecology, and conservation biology. His research has focused on such diverse topics as fire ecology, the natural history of South American tepuis, biogeography, conservation, endangered species, and the evolution and natural history of amphibians and reptiles. He has published more than 235 scientific articles, technical reports, and popular articles in National Wildlife, International Wildlife, Natural History, BBC Wildlife, National Geographic, Fauna, South American Explorer, and other magazines.