"The Wildfire Reader: A Century of Failed Forest Policy provides the general public, as well as professional land managers, politicians, and conservationists, insights into the essential role that wildfire has played in shaping our native ecosystems and how a century of misdirected forest policy has led to impoverished forests and greater fire hazard. With essays by some of the country's leading scientists, policy analysts, and conservationists, this book describes management, policy, and cultural changes that, if adopted, will lead simultaneously to healthier natural communities as well as human communities. It is a must read for all who care about forests and wildfire." - Mike Dombeck, Ph.D., former chief of the U. S. Forest Service
By Sara E. Jensen and Guy R. McPherson, the amazon book review states: "Fire, both inevitable and ubiquitous, plays a crucial role in North American ecosystems. But as necessary as fire is to maintaining healthy ecosystems, it threatens human lives and livelihoods in unacceptable ways. This volume explores the rich yet largely uncharted terrain at the intersection of fire policy, fire science, and fire management in order to find better ways of addressing this pressing dilemma. Written in clear language, it will help scientists, policy makers, and the general public, especially residents of fire-prone areas, better understand where we are today in regard to coping with wildfires, how we got here, and where we need to go. Drawing on abundant historical and analytic information to shed new light on current controversies, Living with Fire offers a dynamic new paradigm for coping with fire that recognizes its critical environmental role. The book also tells how we can rebuild the important ecological and political processes that are necessary for finding better ways to cope with fire and with other complex policy dilemmas." - amazon book review
"Stephen J. Pyne compels our admiration for his gargantuan ambition and richly informed intelligence. He tells us more than anyone else to date has about the role of fire in the landscape, tells us we have been wrong in assuming a pristine state of nature before the white man's invasion, tells us what fire has meant to the rise of civilization and this nation. No one interested in environmental history can afford to ignore this massive achievement." --Journal of American History
"Introduction to Wildland Fire, Second Edition provides a comprehensive resource for studying the fundamentals of fire behavior, its ecological effects, and its cultural and institutional framework. This new Second Edition expands and updates the coverage of the field and explores the subject of wildfire management in a broad scientific, technical, and social context. Written by recognized authorities on fire management, it presents the fundamental physics and chemistry of fire, fire behavior, wildland fuels, the interaction of fires and weather, the ecological effects of fires, the structure of fire management programs, planning efforts, suppression strategies, prescribed fires, and global fire management. The new edition also includes such current problems as the burning of the Amazon rain forest and the implications of the recent drought-related fires that have plagued urban areas bordering on wilderness land." - amazon book review
"Tending Fire" by Steve Pyne is a landmark work. Modern society has lost its connection to the natural world, a connection that our ancestors depended upon and nurtured with fire. Pyne reveals the price of our foolish Faustian bargain to ignore our fire roots, and how our self-proclaimed "sophisticated" culture is continually staggered by natural forces we have forgotten how to deal with. Pyne's point is that man is a fire creature, unique among animals in our ability to create fire and to manipulate our world with fire. Our disconnect from our fire roots has had unfortunate consequences, including the catastrophic destruction of our forests and the wholesale alteration of other ecosystems. If we do not relearn how to tend fire, to produce it where and when we need to, then we will not be able to prevent or control the most destructive fires, the firestorm holocausts that threaten rural and urban America alike." - amazon review
By William L. Baker: "Fire Ecology in Rocky Mountain Landscapes brings a century of scientific research to bear on improving the relationship between people and fire. In recent years, some scientists have argued that current patterns of fire are significantly different from historical patterns, and that landscapes should be managed with an eye toward reestablishing past fire regimes. At the policy level, state and federal agencies have focused on fuel reduction and fire suppression as a means of controlling fire. Geographer William L. Baker takes a different view, making the case that the available scientific data show that infrequent episodes of large fires followed by long interludes with few fires led to naturally fluctuating landscapes, and that the best approach is not to try to change or control fire but to learn to live with it. In Fire Ecology in Rocky Mountain Landscapes, Baker reviews functional traits and responses of plants and animals to fire at the landscape scale; explains how scientists reconstruct the history of fire in landscapes; elaborates on the particulars of fire under the historical range of variability in the Rockies; and considers the role of Euro-Americans in creating the landscapes and fire situations of today. In the end, the author argues that the most effective action is to rapidly limit and redesign people-nature interfaces to withstand fire, which he believes can be done in ways that are immediately beneficial to both nature and communities."
"Even before the myth of Prometheus, fire played a crucial ecological role around the world. Numerous plant communities depend on fire to generate species diversity in both time and space. Without fire such ecosystems would become sterile monocultures. Recent efforts to prohibit fire in fire dependent communities have contributed to more intense and more damaging fires. For these reasons, foresters, ecologists, land managers, geographers, and environmental scientists are interested in the behavior and ecological effects of fires. This book will be the first to focus on the chemistry and physics of fire as it relates to the ways in which fire behaves and the impacts it has on ecosystem function. Leading international contributors have been recruited by the editors to prepare a didactic text/reference that will appeal to both advanced students and practicing professionals." - amazon book description
"Derrick Jensen, prize-winning author of A Language Older than Words and The Culture of Make Believe, and George Draffan, activist, researcher, and co-author with Jensen of Railroads & Clearcuts, collaborate again to expose the escalating global war on trees. Ever since Gilgamesh cut down the ancient cedar forests of Mesopotamia, civilizations and empires have foundered and collapsed in the wake of widespread deforestation. Today, with three quarters of the world’s original forests gone and the pace of cutting, clearing, processing, and pulping ever accelerating, Jensen and Draffan lay bare the stark scenario we face—we being not only people, but the nonhuman fabric of life itself—unless deforestation is slowed and stopped. A must-read for anyone who wants to understand the relationship between deforestation and our ecological crisis as well as an essential "handbook" for forest and anti-globalization activists." - amazon review
"Railroads And Clearcuts is the fascinating story of the Congressional 1864 Northern Pacific Railroad Land Grant, the biggest land grant in U. S. history. Beginning with an over and general historical background, Railroads And Clearcuts goes on to cover the land-grant timber corporations with a photographic essay. It takes up the subjects of overcutting, log exports, options to intervene, and a summary of conclusions based on the data and history of the grant. An appendices features the 1864 Land Grant (13 Stat. 366); 1870 Land Grant (16 Stat. 378); President Coolidge's request for Congressional investigation; corporate interlocks; a chronology of events; a bibliography; and an index. Railroads And Clearcuts is exceptionally well researched, written, and presented -- a highly recommended recommendation for railroad bookshelves, environmental and American history reading lists." -- Midwest Book Review
Perlin has accumulated what seems every reference to the use and misuse of forests in the period beginning with Gilgamesh and ending with the 1880 U.S. census. In between, he chronicles the deforestation of Asia, the Mediterranean, Europe, the West Indies, and the United States by kings, warlords, and robber barons for purposes ranging from building navies to smelting iron to clearing land for cash crops. The research is exhaustive, but the book disappoints in two ways. First, the style is flat. All information is treated as equal in weight, without interpretation or expert opinion. This makes for heavy reading; the hundreds of subheadings in the text accentuate a sense of the book as a compilation, rather than a narrative. Second, given how deforestation has recently become a hot topic, one wishes for a connection to the present time, so that the information might be applied, rather than simply noted. - Mark L. Shelton, Columbus, Ohio (amazon website)
"Deforestation—the thinning, changing, and wholesale clearing of forests for fuel, shelter, and agriculture—is among the most important ways humans have transformed the environment. Surveying ten thousand years to trace human-induced deforestation’s effect on economies, societies, and landscapes around the world, Deforesting the Earth is the preeminent history of this process and its consequences.
Beginning with the return of the forests after the ice age to Europe, North America, and the tropics, Michael Williams traces the impact of human-set fires for gathering and hunting, land clearing for agriculture, and other activities from the Paleolithic age through the classical world and the medieval period. He then focuses on forest clearing both within Europe and by European imperialists and industrialists abroad, from the 1500s to the early 1900s, in such places as the New World, India, and Latin America, and considers indigenous clearing in India, China, and Japan. Finally, he covers the current alarming escalation of deforestation, with our ever-increasing human population placing a potentially unsupportable burden on the world’s forests." - book review, amazon
By David A. Perry From a review on amazon by Joe Elenbaas: "I recently took a class in which this book was used as the primary text. I found it to be an outstanding and indispensable tool which will be an ongoing resource for years to come in my quest for a working and applied knowledge of forest science. The authors systematically weave together the essential principles and concepts of empirical research informed by thoughtful integration of present environmental concerns, giving the reader a deep appreciation and awareness of the interconnected "web" of ecosystems, implications for sustainability, and the incredible vitality and vulnerability of planet earth. I was left with a greater sense of personal responsibility and awe, and am inspired to continue my quest to be a life-long student of earth sciences. Obvious mastery of content by it's authors; Perry, Hart and Oren, from detailed analysis to global implications, place the book on a level of importance for students and working scientists that will cause it to be pulled from the shelf for reference time and time again."
"Palmer, an award-winning photographer, writer, and conservationist, creates books that combine art and science in the hope of evoking awe, increasing understanding of the life sciences, and stepping up environmental awareness. In this volume, he brings readers deep into the woods, the green cathedrals of nature that sustain life on earth. Palmer traveled all across America to contemplate native trees still standing in and supporting healthy ecosystems, which means he went to state and national parks, wilderness areas and nature reserves, of which he avers we need many more. His knowledge of the inner workings of trees, the planet’s most majestic and oldest living organisms, sharpens his eye and underlies the cogent, wide-ranging narration that accompanies his sylvan landscapes and portraits of individual trees, each distinct and vital. As Palmer explains why forests are essential to our survival, he also details all that threatens their viability, concluding, “Forests are the keepers of soil, water, and climate. . . . Trees produce the air we breathe. . . . We need them, and they are beautiful.” Enough said." --Donna Seaman
"The tallest species of spruce, hemlock, fir, cedar and pine trees on Earth coexist in the old growth of the Andrews Forest, in central Oregon, where decades of research by a cluster of scientists has raised the question, as Luoma puts it: "How does an entire ecosystem work?" Following some of those scientists through their woods, Luoma has created both a guide to the Andrews Forest and a book about why and how ecologists and foresters came to know the importance of old growth. In 1970, the Forest Service wanted to clear "inefficient" ancient forests, and even to scrap rotting logsAbut ancient trees, experts were even then discovering, host irreplaceable flora and fauna, and rotten floating logs are key to healthy streams. Luoma shows how the Andrews team discovered the gaps, perils and horrors of the old pro-logging "scientific forestry," and what the new students of forests know instead. Hurt by the 1980 eruptions of Mt. St. Helen's, the Andrews area provoked political blowups later on, when it turned out to shelter the endangered spotted owl. And beyond the owls' fame lurk thousands of species whose importance to forest life is still being explored. Everything on or in the Andrews soil, for example, depends on the detritus-grinding work done by the jaws of one type of millipede. Like John McPhee, Luoma writes a clear reportorial prose, affable and supple enough to accommodate his range of facts, quotes and ideas. And, like McPhee, he explains natural science's recent discoveries by telling the stories of the discoverers. The result is an engaging yet serious outline of what we know about forests and what experts are still finding out. Agent, the Young Agency." - Publishers Weekly
“David Haskell’s The Forest Unseen is a ‘nature book,’ and a great one, but it’s also and less obviously a book about human nature. You can’t read its lyrical, tactile prose without confronting the whole question of our place in the natural order, and of what we’re doing here. If we want to last much longer on this planet, we’ll have to learn to think differently and more deeply about those things, and Haskell can be one of our guides.” —John Jeremiah Sullivan
"Understanding Forests, Forests Forever offers a clear and readable survey of forest history and management. Berger draws upon diverse sources in law, ecology, economics, politics, and anthropology to argue that ecology, rather than the marketplace, should be the driving force behind forest management. Historical case studies of forests worldwide support this contention, the book reveals, as does the history of governments’ forest policy. Keeping pace with today’s issues, Berger critically evaluates government policy over the last seven years, including a contrast between the destructive policies of the Bush Administration and model programs instituted by the Canadian Boreal Initiative and others. Ultimately, he offers us the guiding principles of sustainable forestry as an answer to the ever-increasing demand for wood products." - amazon review
Langston, an ecologist and assistant professor of environmental studies at the University of Wisconsin, presents a history and analysis of forest management in the Blue Mountains of eastern Oregon and Washington. Beginnning her story before the arrival of whites, she reminds us that although we think of the land as "wild" and "natural" before our arrival, in fact the Natives had been changing it for thousands of years to suit their own needs. She chronicles U.S. Forest Service management, and mismanagement, from the beginning of the 20th century yet advises that this is a story without villains or heroes. Langston contends that the situation is more complicated than represented by either environmentalists or traditional foresters. She suggests that we find a way to let the natural constraints of a place shape our efforts toward it, so that we work with the land rather than trying to play God with it. An excellent selection for forestry and environmental collections.-William H. Wiese (taken from amazon.com)
"Salvage Logging and Its Ecological Consequences brings together three leading experts on forest ecology to explore a wide range of issues surrounding the practice of salvage logging. They gather and synthesize the latest research and information about its economic and ecological costs and benefits, and consider the impacts of salvage logging on ecosystem processes and biodiversity. The book examines• what salvage logging is and why it is controversial• natural and human disturbance regimes in forested ecosystems• differences between salvage harvesting and traditional timber harvesting• scientifically documented ecological impacts of salvage operations• the importance of land management objectives in determining appropriate post-disturbance interventions." - amazon review
"This is the revealing story of a U.S. Government agency long applauded as protector of a vital natural resource, until it began to alarm its once admiring and trusting public by expanding large-scale clearcutting in our national forests during the 1950s. Lawsuits and legislation led to the National Forest Management Act of 1976, which outlined forest policies and encouraged public involvement. Clary's meticulously documented account demonstrates that from its birth in 1905, the Forest Service, ever fearful of a timber famine, perceived, and still perceives, its mission to be the conversion of our virgin national forest to young sustained yield. Clary's important book provides historical perspective for all concerned with regulation of forest use, and urges the public to stay involved." - amazon book description
Knock On Wood: Nature as Commodity in Douglas Fir Country - W. Scott Prudham "Scott Prudham investigates a region that has in recent years seen more environmental conflict than perhaps anywhere else in the country--the old-growth forests of the Pacific Northwest. Prudham employs a political economic approach to explain the social and economic conflicts arising from the timber industry's presence in the region. As well, he provides a thorough accounting of the timber industry itself, tracing its motivations, practices, and labor relations." - amazon book description
"From its establishment in 1905 under the auspices of the Department of Agriculture, timber and grazing management dominated the agency's agenda. Due to high consumer demand for wood products and meat from livestock, the USFS built a formidable system of forest managers, training procedures, and tree science programs to specifically address these needs. This strong internal organization bolstered the agency during the tumultuous years in the final one-third of the century—when citizens and scientists were openly critical of USFS policies—yet it restricted the agency's vision and adaptability on environmental issues. A dearth of ecological capabilities tormented the USFS in 1960 when the Multiple-Use and Sustained-Yield Act set new statutes for the preservation of wildlife, recreation, watershed, and aesthetic resources. This was followed by the National Forest Management Act of 1976, which established standards for the oversight of forest ecosystems. The USFS was ill equipped to handle the myriad administrative and technological complexities that these mandates required." - review from amazon
"In George W. Bush's Healthy Forests, Jacqueline Vaughn and Hanna Cortner detail how the Bush administration, by changing the terms and processes of debate, sidestepped opposition and put in place policies that restrict public and scientific involvement in environmental decisions. Their groundbreaking study analyzes the context and legal effects of the Healthy Forests Initiative, Healthy Forests Restoration Act, and related regulatory changes.The authors show how the administration used news events such as wildfires to propel legislation through Congress. Focusing blame for wildfires on legal obstacles and environmentalists' use of appeals to challenge fuel-reduction projects, the administration restricted opportunities for environmental analysis, administrative appeals, and litigation. The authors argue that these tools have a history of use by diverse interests and have long protected Americans' right to question government decisions." - amazon book review