Old-growth forests represent a lofty ideal as much as an ecosystem—an icon of unspoiled nature, ecological stability, and pristine habitat. These iconic notions have actively altered the way society relates to old-growth forests, catalyzing major changes in policy and management. But how appropriate are those changes and how well do they really serve in reaching conservation goals?
Old Growth in a New World untangles the complexities of the old growth concept and the parallel complexity of old-growth policy and management. It brings together more than two dozen contributors—ecologists, economists, sociologists, managers, historians, silviculturists, environmentalists, timber producers, and philosophers—to offer a broad suite of perspectives on changes that have occurred in the valuing and management of old-growth forests in the Pacific Northwest over the past thirty years. The book
• introduces the issues and history of old-growth values and conservation in the Pacific Northwest;
• explores old growth through the ideas of leading ecologists and social scientists;
• addresses the implications for the future management of old-growth forests and considers how evolving science and social knowledge might be used to increase conservation effectiveness.
By confronting the complexity of the old-growth concept and associated policy and management challenges, Old Growth in a New World encourages productive discussion on the future of old growth in the Pacific Northwest and offers options for more effective approaches to conserving forest biodiversity.