Synopses & Reviews
Wildfires are an awe-inspiring natural phenomenon that
have shaped North America's landscapes since the dawn
of time. They are a force that we cannot really control,
and thus understanding, appreciating, and learning to
live with wildfire is ultimately our wisest public policy.
With more than 150 dramatic photographs, Wildfire: A
Century of Failed Forest Policy covers the topic of wildfire
from ecological, economic, and social/political perspectives
while also documenting how past forest policies
have hindered natural processes, creating a tinderbox of
problems that we are faced with today.
More than 25 leading thinkers in the field of fire ecology
provide in-depth analyses, critiques, and compelling
solutions for how we live with fire in our society. Using
examples such as the epic Yellowstone fires of 1988, the
ever-present southern California fires, and the
Northwest's Biscuit Fire of 2002, the book examines the
ecology of these landscapes and the policies and practices
that affected them and continue to affect them, such
as fire suppression, prescribed burns, salvage logging,
and land-use planning. Overall, the book aims to promote
the restoration of fire to the landscape and to
encourage its natural behavior so it can resume its role as
a major ecological process.
About the Author
George Wuerthner is a professional photographer and the author of more than two dozen books on natural history and other environmental topics, including Wildfire: A Century of Failed Forest Policy (Island Press 2006). He is the co-author of Welfare Ranching: The Subsidized Destruction of the American West (Island Press 2002).
Table of Contents
PART I. Wildfire Myths
PART II. Wildfire: Perspectives and Visions
Introduction: Humans and Fire
The Fire of Life: Thinking About the Biological Basis for Fire \ Stephen J. Pyne, Ph.D.
A Spiral Dance: The Necessity of Fire to Wildness \ Mollie Matteson
Fire and Native Peoples: A Natural or Humanized Landscape? \ Thomas R. Vale, Ph.D.
Coyote Wildfire: Evolving Firefighters into Fire Guiders \ Joe Fox, Ph.D.