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Forests for the People: The Story of America's Eastern National Forestsby Christopher Johnson
Synopses & Reviews
Forests for the People tells one of the most extraordinary stories of environmental protection in our nations history: how a diverse coalition of citizens, organizations, and business and political leaders worked to create a system of national forests in the Eastern United States. It offers an insightful and wide-ranging look at the actions leading to the passage of the Weeks Act in 1911—landmark legislation that established a system of well-managed forests in the East, the South, and the Great Lakes region—along with case studies that consider some of the key challenges facing eastern forests today.
The book begins by looking at destructive practices widely used by the timber industry in the late 1800s and early 1900s, including extensive clearcutting followed by forest fire that devastated entire landscapes. The authors explain how this led to the birth of a new conservation movement that began simultaneously in the Southern Appalachians and New England, and describe the subsequent protection of forests in New England (New Hampshire and the White Mountains); the Great Lakes region (Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota), and the Southern Appalachians.
Following this historical background, the authors offer eight case studies that examine critical issues facing the eastern national forests today, including timber harvesting, the use of fire, wilderness protection, endangered wildlife, oil shale drilling, invasive species, and development surrounding national park borders.
Forests for the People is the only book to fully describe the history of the Weeks Act and the creation of the eastern national forests and to use case studies to illustrate current management issues facing these treasured landscapes. It is an important new work for anyone interested in the past or future of forests and forestry in the United States.
At the turn of the twentieth century, widespread clearcutting resulted in ecological ruin and devastating fires in Americas Eastern forests. A coalition of citizens, organizations, and business and political leaders fought against this pattern, and in 1911, they achieved a landmark victory with the Weeks Act, which protected millions of acres of Eastern forests. Forests for the People tells the fascinating story of this vital legislation and the citizens and organizations that made it a reality.
While these protected forests survive today, many of the critical issues facing American forests in the twentieth century persist, and new threats have arisen—including oil shale drilling, invasive species, and development around national parks. In Forests for the People, Christopher Johnson and David Govatski draw upon the lessons and victories of the past to examine the vital issues facing American forests today and illuminate paths to better forest management.
About the Author
Christopher Johnson writes on conservation issues and is the author of This Grand and Magnificent Place: The Wilderness Heritage of the White Mountains. David Govatski retired from the U.S. Forest Service after a career as a forester, silviculturist and fire management officer on several national forests.
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