Click on the photo for more information about each author.
Beth Maynor Young has been working as a conservation photographer in Alabama for many years. Her interest in the longleaf pine eco-system solidified in July of 2005 having dinner with Rhett and Kathy Johnson at the Dixon Center, listening to stories of what seemed to the biggest restoration effort in the country, on the ground, happening under the radar and being told with either early 1900's photography or something less than professional. A story that was southern, about one of the most diverse ecosystems in North America second only to the rain forest and maintained by fire. It's a great story. She and Rhett decided to do a book to support the efforts of the Longleaf Alliance.
"The photography was a journey of discovering this diverse ecosystem lead by many guides and teachers, through some amazing stands of longleaf from Virginia to Texas. Rhett is one of the hardest working people I know and it became clear that he would not have time to write the book himself so we brought in our friends Bill Finch and John Hall. Bill sank his teeth into this project with a tenacity that defies logic, a deep understanding of the mystery of coastal plain ecosystems and the cultural history that has shaped them. We handed the amazing team at University of North Carolina Press the elements of a very complex book which they turned in to a work of art. This book has many authors, only four of which are recognized on the cover, that have helped to tell this story by giving generously of their time, access to property or by covering the expenses."
Dr. John Hall is the Director of the University of West Alabama's Black Belt Museum. He is retired from the University of Alabama Museum of Natural History where he was Director of Natural History for more than 20 years. There, he led yearly archaeological and paleontological excavations where the teams camped in the Alabama backwoods for six weeks at a stretch.
For years, John has been fascinated with the prehistoric appearance of the Southeast - particularly in pre-Columbian Indian times - the canebrakes of the river bottoms, the prairies of the limestone areas and the endless longleaf pine uplands. His research and writing is often concerned with the intersection of history and natural science.
He was delighted to be invited to participate in the new Longleaf book.
He is a frequent contributor to Alabama Heritage Magazine, where he has traced the stories of William Bartram, Prince Madoc, Alabama Geology and the fall of the Sylacauga 1954 Meteorite.
With Beth Maynor Young, he is the co-author of the University of Alabama Press's prize-winning 2009 book Headwaters: A Journey on Alabama Rivers.