Resource Building - Approved Candidate Book List

Hello everyone!

I’m assembling an Approved Candidate Book List that Members will be able to access on the website! This list can be used by new Candidates to help them select their own books for approval, and help Members new to a region find books to explore. Currently I am looking for your approved Earth Path books. There are a few posts that have been archived in the forums regarding books lists like this. I will also be rounding those up to add to the book list as well.

The information, and books I’m looking for are:
Which 9 books did you get approved (titles and author please)?
Which region are they for?
If you had other books approved for your studies, could you share those books, and topics they covered?


I dwell in Oregon’s Tualatin Valley located between Portland’s West Hills and the Coast Range. I read these nine books on nature in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest as I was unable to find any that were specific to the Tualatin Valley.

The Restless Northwest by Hill Williams is a geological history of the region.

Northwest Trees by Stephes F. Arno and Ramona P. Hammerly describes characteristics and habitat of many trees native to the Pacific Northwest.

Nature in the Northwest, An Introduction to the Natural History of the Northwestern United States from the Rockies to the Pacific by Susan Schwartz, Photographs by Bob and Ira Spring

Mammals of the Northwest by Earl J. Larrison includes physical descriptions of animals, their habits and the environments they live in.

The Climate of Oregon by George H Taylor and Chris Hannan describes the weather patterns of the nine climate zones in Oregon.

Shrubs to Know in the Pacific Northwest by Edward C. Jensen describes terminology and features found throughout the Pacific Northwest

Mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest by Steve Trudell and Joe Ammiriti is a useful field guide for identifying fungi.

The Pacific Coastal Wildlife Region by Charles Yocom and Ray Dassman describes conifers, hardwoods, mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians found west of the Cascades.

Plants and Animals of the Pacific Northwest by Eugene M. Kozloff An Illustrated Guide to the Natural History of Western Oregon, Washington and British Columbia.


I am in the Texas Northern Blackland Prairie. The following list was approved for me:

  1. Prairie Time: A Blackland Portrait by James A Grimshaw Jr.

  2. The Nature of Oaks: The Rich Ecology of Our Most Essential Native Trees by Douglas W Tallamy

  3. Field Guide To Common Texas Grasses by Stephan L. Hatch, Kelly C. Umphres, A. Jenét Ardoin

  4. Native Bees of Texas by Michael D. Warriner

  5. Wildflowers of Texas by Michael Eason

  6. Natural Wonders of Texas: A Guide to Parks, Preserves & Wild Places by Paul Cooke with a companion pamphlet of the birds of our nearest State Park which we visit often - Birds of Palmetto State Park by Rose Ann Rowlett

  7. Texas Snakes: A Field Guide by James R. Dixon, John E. Werler, and Regina Levoy

  8. General Background on the Blackland Prairie for Teachers by the Austin College Center for Environmental Studies

  9. Birds and Other Wildlife of South Central Texas by Edward A Kutak and S. Christopher Caran


I’m in the PNW, Puget Sound lowlands, traditional Coast Salish territories, western Washington. As well as some mentioned above, (NW Trees and The Restless NW are both fantastic) these also:

Birds of the Puget Sound Region, by Morse, Aversa, and Opperman

The Sibley Guide to Birds, by David Allen Sibley (used as a supplemental text with the above title).

Wild Berries of Oregon and Washington, by T. Abe Lloyd and Fiona Hamersley Chambers.

Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast: Washington Oregon, British Columbia and Alaska, by Pojar & Mackinnon

Flora of Mount Rainier National Park, by David Biek

Roadside Geology of Washington, by Alt and Hyndman (used as supplemental for field trips)

Marine Weather of Western Washington, by Kenneth Lilly, Jr.

Pacific Northwest Weather, by George Miller


I’m in the Piedmont region of North Carolina:

  • Exploring the Geology of the Carolinas: A Field Guide to Favorite Places from Chimney Rock to Charleston by Kevin Stewart and Mary-Russell Roberson
  • How to Read a North Carolina Beach: Bubble Holes, Barking Sands, and Rippled Runnels by Orrin H. Pilkey, Tracy Monegan Rice and William J. Neal
  • Mushrooms of the Southeast by Todd Elliott and Steven Stephenson
  • North Carolina’s Wild Piedmont: A Natural History by Adam Morgan
  • Wild North Carolina: Discovering the Wonders of Our State’s Natural Communities by David Blevins and Michael Schafale
  • North Carolina Weather and Climate by Peter Robinson
  • Looking for Longleaf: The Fall and Rise of an American Forest by Lawrence Earley
  • Native Trees of the Southeast: An Identification Guide by L. Katherine Kirkman, Claud Brown, and Donald Leopold
  • Wildflowers of the Atlantic Southeast by Laura Cotterman, Damon Waitt, and Alan Weakley

I am in the Midwest - Central IL to be more exact since the Midwest covers quite a bit of the states lol

  1. Trees of Illinois by Linda Kershaw (ISBN: 9781551054759)
  2. Spring Woodland Wildflowers by Robert H. Mohlenbrock, Department of Botany at the Southern Illinois University through the Department of Conservation Division of Forestry (18676-5M-6-80)
  3. The Natural Heritage of Illinois: Essays on Its Lands, Waters, Flora, and Fauna by John E. Schwegman (ISBN 9780809334858)
  4. Geology of Illinois by D.R. Kolata and C. Nimz (ISBN 9780615417394)
  5. The Heart of the Sangamon: An Inventory of the Region’s Resources by Illinois Department of Natural Resources (Online Catalog ID: 4579549 and URI IDEALS @ Illinois: The heart of the Sangamon: an inventory of the region's resources )
  6. Atlas of Illinois Resources Section 1: Water Resources and Climate by Department of Registration and Education, Division of Industrial Planning and Development (Online ID 5270182 Atlas of Illinois resources : University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign campus). Dept. of Geography : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive )
  7. Atlas of Illinois Resources Section 2: Mineral Resources by Department of Registration and Education, Division of Industrial Planning and Development (Online ID 5270182 Atlas of Illinois resources : University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign campus). Dept. of Geography : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive )
  8. Atlas of Illinois Resources Section 3: Forest, Wildlife, and Recreational Resources by Department of Registration and Education, Division of Industrial Planning and Development (Online ID 5270182 Atlas of Illinois resources : University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign campus). Dept. of Geography : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive )
  9. Guide to the Geology of the Decatur area, Macon, and Christian Counties by David L. Reinertsen, Illinois State Geological Survey (Call Number 3276874 Guide to the geology of the Decatur area, Macon and Christian counties : Reinertsen, David L : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive )

My community sits in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem in Montana. This is my approved list:

  • Hodges, M. (2015). Rockhounding Montana: A Guide to 100 of Montana’s Best Rockhounding Sites, 3rd ed. Falcon Guides.

  • Johnson, J. (2010). Knowing Yellowstone: Science in America’s First National Park. Rowman & Littlefield.

  • Johnsgard, P. A. (2013). Yellowstone Wildlife: Ecology and natural history of the greater Yellowstone ecosystem. Boulder: University Press of Colorado.

  • Matthews, D. (2003). Rocky Mountain Natural History: Grand Teton to Jasper.( Portland: Raven Editions.

  • Montanans for Gallatin Wilderness. (2013). Proposed Gallatin Range Wilderness and Wildlife Conservation Area : Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem: Gallatin National Forest, Montana; Yellowstone National Park, Montana & Wyoming.

  • Quammen, D. (2016). Yellowstone: A Journey Through America’s Wild Heart. National Geographic Books.

  • Schiemann, D. A. (2005). Wildflowers of Montana. Mountain Press Publishing.

  • Schullery, P. (2004). Searching for Yellowstone: ecology and wonder in the last wilderness. Montana Historical Society.

  • Smith, R. B., & Siegel, L. J. (2000). Windows into the Earth: the geologic story of Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. Oxford University Press.

  • Wallace, L., & Ebrary, Inc. (2004). After the fires : The ecology of change in Yellowstone National Park. New Haven: Yale University Press.


I live in the Kawartha Lakes region of Ontario. My approved book list of nine earth path related books includes:

  • Nature’s Year in the Kawarthas: A Guide to the Unfolding Seasons by Drew Monkman
  • A Natural History of Lake Ontario by Susan P. Gateley
  • Nature in the Kawarthas edited by the Peterborough Field Naturalists
  • Peterborough and the Kawarthas edited by Peter Adams & Colin Taylor
  • Legacy: The Natural History of Ontario edited by John B. Theberge
  • The Explorer’s Guide to Algonquin Park by Michael Runtz
  • Up North: A Guide to Ontario’s Wilderness from Blackflies to the Northern Lights by Doug Bennet and Tim Tiner
  • Ontario Nature Guide by Krista Kagume
  • Mammals of Ontario by Tamara Eder

I love this idea! It can take some of the mystery out of getting started. Not that mystery is a bad thing, but…

I live in the San Francisco Bay Area bioregion in California. Here is my approved list, with notes from the ones I have completed:

Book 1:

California’s Salmon and Steelhead
Alan Lufkin (Ed.)
University of California Press, 1991
This is an old book, but still relevant. It’s sad that the salmon situation is still dire after years of work. There are signs of hope, but the increasing pressure of climate change and ongoing drought keeps the politics of water resources management front and center, thirty years after this book was published. To compensate for the age of this book, the most recent I could find on the topic, I have subscribed to regular emails from the California Water Commission. One of the creeks mentioned in the book is Wildcat Creek, and this is one I walk by on a regular basis. It was a mistake to tackle this book first. It was a slog at times, and contributed to my lack of focus in the beginning of the candidate “year.”

Book 2: Bay Area Forager - Your Guide to Edible Wild Plants of the San Francisco Bay Area (not started yet)

Book 3: Introduction to Trees of the San Francisco Bay Region (in progress)

Book 4: Natural History of San Francisco Bay (not started)

Book 5: San Francisco Birds (Pocket Guide)
Small, but highly informative. I also added the Nature of San Francisco & the Bay Area pocket naturalist guides. These get pulled out as needed, for reference, but I have already memorized a fair number of the birds in my neighborhood

Book 6: Weather of the San Francisco Bay Region by Harrold Gilliam. 2nd Edition. University of California Press, 2002

Interesting, although I still have questions… Like how to read the cold/front warm front maps. Why don’t they all show cold on one side and warm on the other? Why do the lines representing fronts just end sometimes? This book is great in some respects, but isn’t really a substitute for a good introduction to meteorology

Book 7: Tilden Regional Park - A History
Lots of socialite-page stuff about the bigwigs who first conceived and funded the parks, but the last several chapters have a lot of good stuff about the features of the park, the various zones within the park and how they are managed vis-à-vis non-native species, fire risk mitigation, etc. This park is where I spend a lot of my “time in nature.”

Book 8: Hike the East Bay by John McKinney
I’m mostly interested in places that I can hike together with my dog, preferably areas that allow him to be off-leash. This book mentions dogs at times, but not methodically. I had to look up each park on the internet to see the details. I scared up a few new possibilities with this book. The book has a few flaws—the maps don’t have scales and sometimes there are no maps, only a photo or two. I give it 3 out of five sprigs of mistletoe. A better resource is The Bay Area Dog Lover’s Companion.

Book 9: Mushrooms of the Redwood Coast by Noah Siegel This is basically a reference work. It’s fascinating, has great photos, and I have consulted it widely, but honestly have not read it cover-to-cover. I’ve learned enough from it to know that I don’t really want to take on foraging for edible mushrooms. I enjoy attempts at identification, but as entertainment only. I’m not interested in risking my health when I have so many good sources for mushrooms in my local stores, including,, and I am also participating in a couple of online mushroom forums that have a local focus.


I’m in the north Georgia mountains.

  1. Rambling Through Old Growth Forests Past and Present: A Personal Survey of Surviving Old-Growth Forests on the Blue Ridge Ranger District, Chattahoochee National Forest by Clifford Alpheus Shaw

  2. Mountain nature : a seasonal natural history of the Southern Appalachians
    by Frick-Ruppert, Jennifer

  3. Peachtree Creek : A Natural and Unnatural History of Atlanta’s Watershed
    by Kaufman, David R.

  4. Hey Bug Doctor!: The Scoop on Insects in Georgia’s Home and Gardens by Jim Howell

  5. Mountains of the Heart: A Natural History of the Appalachians by Scott Weidensaul

  6. Common Birds of Greater Atlanta by Jim Wilson and Anselm Atkins

  7. The Appalachian Forest by Chris Bolgiano

  8. The Georgia Conservancy’s Guide to the North Georgia Mountains by Fred Brown and Nell Jones (editors)

  9. Wildflowers & Plant communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains & Piedmont : A Naturalist’s Guide to the Carolinas, Virginia, Tennessee, & Georgia by Timothy P. Spira


I live in the Central Texas Hill Country region west of Austin. Here are my books:

Trees, shrubs, and vines of the Texas Hill Country by Jan Wrede
Grasses of the Texas Hill Country by Brian Loflin, Shirley Loflin, and Stephen Hatch
Memories from a Hill Country garden by Jim Truchard
Central Texas Wildflowers by E. L. Botha
Cedar whacker: Stories of the Texas Hill Country by Charles W. Wimberley
Yesterday in the Texas hill country by Gilbert J. Jordan
A Naturalist’s Guide to the Texas Hill Country by Mark Gustafson
The Natural History of the Edwards Plateau: The Texas Hill Country by Brian Chapman and Eric Bolen
Nature Watch Austin: Guide to the seasons in an urban wildland by Lynne and Jim Weber


I am in the Sandhills region of South Carolina.

Report on the Geology of South Carolina, by M. Tuomey, printed 1848

Carolina Rocks: The Geology of South Carolina by Carolyn Hanna Murphy

Native Trees of the Southeast by Katherine Kirkman, Claud Brown, and Donald J. Leopold

Wildflowers in the Carolinas by Wade T. Batson

Mammals of the Carolinas, Virginia, and Maryland by William David Webster, James F. Parnell, and Walter C. Biggs, Jr.

A Guide to the Genera of Plants of Eastern North America by Wade T. Batson

Field Guide to Common Macrofungi in Eastern Forests and Their Ecosystem Functions by Michael E. Ostry, Neil A. Anderson, and Joseph G. O’Brien

Carolina Starwatch: The Essential Guide to Our Night Sky by Mike Lynch (This book was approved, but after reading it, I don’t recommend it.)

A New Voyage to Carolina, containing the exact description and natural history of that country: together with the present state thereof. And journal of a thousand miles, travel’d thro’ several nations of Indians giving a particular account of their customs, manners, etc. by John Lawson (published 1709)

The Natural History of Carolina, Florida, and the Bahama Islands by Mark Gatesby (published 1731)

Travels through North and South Carolina, Georgia, East and West Florida, the Cherokee Country, the Extensive Territories of the Muscogulges, or Creek Confederacy, and the Country of the Chactaws; Containing an Account of the Soil and Natural Productions of those Regions, Together with Observations on the Manners of the Indians by William Bartram (published 1793)

Handbook of South Carolina, Resources, Institutions, and Industries of the State, a Summary of the Statistics of Agriculture, Manufactures, Geography, Climate, Geology, Physiology, Minerals and Mining, Education, Transportation, Commerce, Government, Etc. published by the South Carolina Department of Agriculture, Ebbie Julian Watson (Commissioner), 1907


I am in the northern Nevada part of the Great Basin desert.

  1. Geology of the Great Basin, Bill Fiero

  2. Wild Horse Country, David Philipps

  3. Honest Horses: Wild Horses In The Great Basin, Paula Morin

  4. Shrubs Of The Great Basin: A Natural History, Hugh N. Mozingo

  5. Basin and Range, John McPhee

  6. Fishes of the Great Basin: A Natural History, John W. Sigler

  7. Great Basin Riparian Ecosystems: Ecology, Management, and Restoration, Jeanne C. Chambers

  8. Birds of the Great Basin: A Natural History, Fred A. Ryser

  9. Preliminary Analysis of Greater Sage-Grouse Reproduction in the Virginia Mountains of Northwestern Nevada, U.S. Department of the Interior


Like @YsbrydArthGwyn , I’m am in the SF Bay area too. Specifically in San Jose and l loved finding out more about the history and development of my area! So much that I am still dragging out my last pages I was also fortunate to find most of them in eBook form and borrow from the San Jose Public library ( via Hoopla app) or Contra Costa Library. This was all during the beginning of COVID time so I was able to get a virtual library card for free and never set foot in a real library. Although I would highly recommend getting a paper copy of #7 California Foraging for your crane bag if you intend on actually foraging while you are exploring. :face_with_hand_over_mouth:

1.Mountains and Marshes by David Rains Wallace

2.California Changing Landscapes by Michael Barbour, Bruce Pavlik

3.Natural History of San Francisco Bay by Ariel Rubissow and Kathleen Wong

4.California Drought by Laura Perdew

5.California Apricots by Robin Chapman

6.The Ohlone Way by Malcolm Margolin

7.California Foraging by Judith Lowry

8.South Santa Clara County by Sam Shueh

9.Wild Trees by Richard Preston


Fun! I read The Ohlone Way a long time ago, so it wasn’t part of my candidate year studies. What an idyllic place this was before the settlers came! Amazing that we only have one book in common on our lists, Natural History of San Francisco. It just goes to show you how much there is to learn.


For the Great Basin Region (Cold/ High Desert) - Specifically Northeastern NV (Although the Great Basin Covers areas in Oregon, Idaho, Utah, and Nevada)

  • I’ve changed some of my books so I am including all of the books that have been approved for me.
  1. The Great Basin: A Natural Prehistory by Donald Grayson
  2. The Sagebrush Ocean: A Natural History of the Great Basin by Stephen Trimble
  3. Trees of the Great Basin: A Natural History by Ronald M. Lanner
  4. Shrubs of the Great Basin: A Natural History by Hugh Nelson Mozingo
  5. Birds of the Great Basin: A Natural History by Fred Ryser
  6. Wild Nevada: Testimonies on behalf of the desert by Roberta Moore
  7. Earthtones: A Nevada Album by Ann Ronald and Stephen Trimble
  8. Great Basin: The Story Behind the Scenery by Michael L. Nicklas
  9. Trails to Explore in Great Basin National Park by Rose Houk
  10. Mule Deer Country by Valerius Geist
  11. Mule Deer: Behavior, Ecology, Conservation by Erwin Bauer
  12. Edible & Medicinal Plants of the Rockies by Linda Kershaw

Nature Spirituality - Druid Studies
Believing in Place: A Spiritual Geography of the Great Basin by Richard V. Francaviglia


I live on the Northern coast of Long Island Sound, in a wooded tidal zone along the Niantic Bay (EPA 8.1.7). My list of approved books were:

Stone by Stone by Robert Thorson
Reading the Forested Landscape by Tom Wessels
The Nature of Oaks by Douglas W. Tallamy
Bark by Michael J. Wojtech
Dinosaurs, Dunes, and Drifting Continents by Richard D. Little
Connecticut Wildlife by Geoffrey A. Hammerson
Cod by Mark Kurlansky
The Great Sperm Whale by Richard Ellis
Birds of Connecticut Field Guide by Stan Tekiela

Hope this helps! And feel free to reach out if you’re local!


Thanks for the lists guys! I really appreciate it :smiley:

I also wanted to point out that this is not purely for North American regions. We have members all over the world, so all countries, regions, etc are welcome! If you have books in your native language that’s fine, simply let me know the language used in the book. These books may be helpful for other/future members who speak/read the same language.


Okay, so here is a list of Dutch books that have been approved for my candidate studies. More than 9 due to a move. I am located in the western part of the Netherlands, in an urban environment. Some of the books could apply to a larger part of the Netherlands or other environments in NW Europe as well (Belgium, Germany, England). I’ve given them as: Translated title | Original Dutch title - Author.

  • The Rhine from Lobith to Katwijk | De Rijn van Lobith tot Katwijk - Marja Dirkzwager
  • Nature in the Netherlands | Natuur in Nederland - Frank Berendse
  • Straight through the Green Heart | Dwars door het Groene Hart - Adriaan Haartsen
  • Blooming dunes from Delta to Wadden | Bloeiende duinen van Delta tot Wadden - Rolf Roos
  • Ponds, ditches and puddles, guide to underwater nature | Vijver, sloot en plas, gids voor de onderwaternatuur - Marten Scheffer
  • Polder atlas of the Netherlands, Pantheon of the Low Countries | De Polderatlas van Nederland, Pantheon der Lage Landen - C. Steenbergen
  • Dutch landscape, a historical-georaphical approach | Het Nederlandse landschap, een historisch-geografische benadering - Sonja Barends (red)
  • Physical geography ot he Netherlands, formation of the land, introduction tot geology and geomorphology | Fysische geografie van Nederland, de vorming van het land, inleiding in de geologie en de geomorfologie - H.J.A. Berendsen
  • River land, the Netherlands from Aa to Waal | Rivierenland, Nederland van Aa tot Waal - Sunny Jansen & Martin van Lokven
  • Weather to enjoy | Weergenieten - Reinier van den Berg
  • Plants in the polder, fieldguide for grassland, banks, ditches and puddles | Planten in de polder, veldgids voor grasland, oever, sloot en plas - Nico Jonker & Walter Menkveld
  • Fieldguide of flora and fauna in the Northsea | Veldgids flora en fauna van de zee, strand- en duikgids voor de Noordzee - Rob Leewis
  • Leiden nice and wild, on nature in the city | Leiden lekker wild, over natuur in de stad - no specific author
  • Pocket guide sidewalk plants | Zakgids stoepplanten - Hortus Botanicus Leiden

I’m also in Central Texas, located within the city of Austin.

Three of my four approved books are the same (A Naturalist’s Guide to the Texas Hill Country, The Natural History of the Edwards Plateau, and Nature Watch Austin) and the fourth is:

Hill Country Ecology: Essays on Plants, Animals, Water, and Land Management by Jim Stanley

Related question, for anyone who knows the answer: I am moving out of the country (!!!) in May…for my last five books, I can choose books that correspond to my new bioregion, right?