The Laws Field Guide to the Sierra Nevada

The most comprehensive field guide to the natural wonders of the Range of Light!

In this groundbreaking and meticulously field-tested guide, the rich variety of Sierra life—trees, wildflowers, ferns, fungi, lichens, fish, reptiles, amphibians, birds, mammals, and insects—comes alive.Easy-to-use features include:

  • Intuitive organization, color tabs, and simple keys
  • Similar-looking species side by side
  • Over 2,800 full-color illustrations. See artwork and sample pages.
  • Range maps of species that are otherwise difficult to distinguish
  • Index of common and scientific names
  • Lightweight and compact—ideal for backpacking

Impressively detailed and comprehensive, the guide includes:

  • More than 1,700 species
  • Descriptions of behavior, adaptations, and interactions between species
  • Species and topics not found in most guides, including aquatic life, spiders and webs, plankton, plant galls, bark beetle galleries, animal tracks and evidence, seasonal star charts, weather patterns, and cloud formations


John Muir said that “when we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe”- My first summer in the Sierra. Even if we first go out to look at birds, we find a whole community of plants, insects, mushrooms and other organisms all interacting with each other. The Sierra Nevada hosts a rich diversity of species. This field guide allows everyone to more deeply appreciate and enjoy this treasure. As the population of California grows, it will only become more important that people understand, respect, and love this biodiversity. I have created an easy to use, fully illustrated (2,710 original watercolor paintings), pocket size guide to over 1,700 species found in the Sierra Nevada.  The guide was rigorously field tested and reviewed by educators, naturalists, and scientists throughout the country. The final book is co-published by Heyday Books, a wonderful non-profit press in Berkeley, and the California Academy of Sciences.


Read published reviews. Read discussions in blogs: Sierra ClubBoingboing, Chris Blanc’s Blog, Chris Coldewey OnlineJakedogLeft of the AltarFuturatronicsArt Predator, See the September 29th, 2007 interview on KRON TV. See slideshow of presentation to CNPS in Monterey.