Winner of the Forest History Society's 2017 Charles A. Weyerhaeuser Book Award
American Indians and National Forests tells the story of how the U.S. Forest Service and tribal nations dealt with sweeping changes in forest use, ownership, and management over the last century and a half. Indians and U.S. foresters came together over a shared conservation ethic on many cooperative endeavors; yet, they often clashed over how the nation’s forests ought to be valued and cared for on matters ranging from huckleberry picking and vision quests to road building and recreation development.
Marginalized in American society and long denied a seat at the table of public land stewardship, American Indian tribes have at last taken their rightful place and are making themselves heard. Weighing indigenous perspectives on the environment is an emerging trend in public land management in the United States and around the world. The Forest Service has been a strong partner in that movement over the past quarter century.
The year 2005 marked the centennial of the founding of the United States Forest Service (USFS). Samuel P. Hays uses this occasion to present a cogent history of the role of American society in shaping the policies and actions of this agency.
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.
In The American People and the National Forests, Hays chronicles three distinct periods in USFS history, provides a summarizing “legacy” for each, and outlines the public and private interests, administrators, and laws that guided the agency's course and set its priorities. He demonstrates how these legacies affected successive eras, how they continue to influence USFS policy in the twenty-first century, and why USFS policies should matter to all of us.
Nearly 430 million acres of forests in the United States are privately owned, but the viability, and indeed the very existence, of these forests is increasingly threatened by population growth, sprawling urbanization, and patchwork development. Scientists, policymakers, and community leaders have begun to recognize the vital role of private forests in providing society with essential goods and services, from sustainable timber supplies to clean water. Yet despite the tremendous economic and ecological importance of private forests, information about their status and strategies for their protection have been in short supply.
America's Private Forests addresses that shortcoming, presenting extensive data gathered from diverse sources and offering a concise overview of the current status of privately owned forests in the United States. As well as describing the state of private forests, the book sets forth detailed information on a wide range of approaches to conservation along with an action agenda for implementing those strategies likely to be most effective. The book:
identifies the major threats to private forests in the United States
considers barriers to conservation
outlines the available tools and programs for promoting conservation
presents a "road map" to guide collective efforts for the conservation of private forests and their native biodiversity
Based on extensive research of existing literature as well as interviews and consultation with leading forestry and conservation experts, America's Private Forests is a unique sourcebook that offers a solid basis for discussion of threats to private forests along with an invaluable compendium of potential solutions. It will serve as an invaluable reference for all those working to conserve and steward forest resources, including forest owners and their consultants, conservation organizations, and agency personnel, as well as researchers and students involved with issues of forestry, biodiversity, land use, and conservation.
Sarah B. Pralle takes an in-depth look at why some environmental conflicts expand to attract a lot of attention and participation, while others generate little interest or action. Branching Out, Digging In examines the expansion and containment of political conflict around forest policies in the United States and Canada.
Late in 1993 citizens from around the world mobilized on behalf of saving old-growth forests in Clayoquot Sound. Yet, at the same time only a very few took note of an even larger reserve of public land at risk in northern California. Both cases, the Clayoquot Sound controversy in British Columbia and the Quincy Library Group case in the Sierra Nevada mountains of northern California, centered around conflicts between environmentalists seeking to preserve old-growth forests and timber companies fighting to preserve their logging privileges. Both marked important episodes in the history of forest politics in their respective countries but with dramatically different results. The Clayoquot Sound controversy spawned the largest civil disobedience in Canadian history; international demonstrations in Japan, England, Germany, Austria, and the United States; and the most significant changes in British Columbia's forest policy in decades. On the other hand, the California case, with four times as many acres at stake, became the poster child for the "collaborative conservation" approach, using stakeholder collaboration and negotiation to achieve a compromise that ultimately broke down and ended up in the courts.
Pralle analyzes how the various political actors—local and national environmental organizations, local residents, timber companies, and different levels of government—defined the issues in both words and images, created and reconfigured alliances, and drew in different governmental institutions to attempt to achieve their goals. She develops a dynamic new model of conflict management by advocacy groups that puts a premium on nimble timing, flexibility, targeting, and tactics to gain the advantage and shows that how political actors go about exploiting these opportunities and overcoming constraints is a critical part of the policy process.
A love for nature and the forest drew Tomas Koontz to develop a keen interest in the workings of public forest management and forest policy. Beyond policy, however, this book is also about the very human issues of federalism, decentralization of control over public lands, citizen participation, and how agency policies, both state and federal, are formulated and exercised.
Federalism in the Forest is the first book to examine and compare public policy performance across both state and national levels, explaining why state agencies excel at economic outputs and profitability, the management of land with state income in mind-while national agencies are stronger in citizen participation and the inarguably important role of environmental protection. Instead of focusing on historical development of federal-state roles or on state officials as affected by national polices, Koontz shows how officials, when given authority, both make and implement policy at the state versus the national level. Although arguments fly about the decentralization of public lands-most often based on ideology-Koontz offers empirical evidence that demonstrates not only that devolution matters, but how.
"Frightening...Firestorm comes alive when Struzik discusses the work of offbeat scientists." —New York Times Book Review
"Comprehensive and compelling." —Booklist
"A powerful message." —Kirkus
"Should be required reading." —Library Journal
For two months in the spring of 2016, the world watched as wildfire ravaged the Canadian town of Fort McMurray. Firefighters named the fire “the Beast.” It acted like a mythical animal, alive with destructive energy, and they hoped never to see anything like it again. Yet it’s not a stretch to imagine we will all soon live in a world in which fires like the Beast are commonplace. A glance at international headlines shows a remarkable increase in higher temperatures, stronger winds, and drier lands– a trifecta for igniting wildfires like we’ve rarely seen before.
This change is particularly noticeable in the northern forests of the United States and Canada. These forests require fire to maintain healthy ecosystems, but as the human population grows, and as changes in climate, animal and insect species, and disease cause further destabilization, wildfires have turned into a potentially uncontrollable threat to human lives and livelihoods.
Our understanding of the role fire plays in healthy forests has come a long way in the past century. Despite this, we are not prepared to deal with an escalation of fire during periods of intense drought and shorter winters, earlier springs, potentially more lightning strikes and hotter summers. There is too much fuel on the ground, too many people and assets to protect, and no plan in place to deal with these challenges.
In Firestorm, journalist Edward Struzik visits scorched earth from Alaska to Maine, and introduces the scientists, firefighters, and resource managers making the case for a radically different approach to managing wildfire in the 21st century. Wildfires can no longer be treated as avoidable events because the risk and dangers are becoming too great and costly. Struzik weaves a heart-pumping narrative of science, economics, politics, and human determination and points to the ways that we, and the wilder inhabitants of the forests around our cities and towns, might yet flourish in an age of growing megafires.
The devastating fire that swept through Los Alamos, New Mexico, in the spring of 2000 may have been caused by one controlled burn gone wild, but it was far from an isolated event. All through the twentieth century, our national forests have been under assault from all sides: first ranchers and loggers laid their claims to our national forests, then recreationists and environmentalists spoke up for their interests. Who are our national forests really for?
In this book, leading environmental historians show us what has been happening to these fragile woodlands. Taking us from lumber towns to Indian reservations to grazing lands, Forests under Fire reveals the interaction of Anglos, Hispanics, and Native Americans with the forests of the American Southwest. It examines recent controversies ranging from red squirrel conservation on Mt. Graham to increased tourism in our national forests. These case studies offer insights into human-forest relationships in places such as the Coconino National Forest, the Vallecitos Sustained Yield Unit, and the Gila Wilderness Area while also drawing on issues and concerns about similar biospheres in other parts of the West.
Over the past century, forest management has evolved from a field dominated by the "conservationist" perspective—with humans exploiting natural resources-to one that emphasizes biocentrism, in which forests are seen as dynamic ecosystems. Yet despite this progressive shift, the assault on our forests continues through overgrazing of rangelands, lumbering, eroding mountainsides, fire suppression, and threats to the habitats of endangered species. Forests under Fire takes a closer look at the people calling the shots in our national forests, from advocates of timber harvesting to champions of ecosystem management, and calls for a reassessment of our priorities—before our forests are gone.
Introduction: Toward a Twenty-First-Century Forest Ecosystem Management Strategy / Christopher J. Huggard
Industry and Indian Self-Determination: Northern Arizona’s Apache Lumbering Empire, 1870-1970 / Arthur R. Gómez
A Social History of McPhee: Colorado’s Largest Lumber Town / Duane A. Smith
The Vallecitos Federal Sustained-Yield Unit: The (All Too) Human Dimension of Forest Management in Northern New Mexico, 1945-1998 / Suzanne S. Forrest
Grazing the Southwest Borderlands: The Peloncillo-Animas District of the Coronado National Forest in Arizona and New Mexico, 1906-1996 / Diana Hadley
America’s First Wilderness Area: Aldo Leopold, the Forest Service, and the Gila of New Mexico, 1924-1980 / Christopher J. Huggard
"Where There’s Smoke": Wildfire Policy and Suppression in the American Southwest / John Herron
Struggle in an Endangered Empire: The Search for Total Ecosystem Management in the Forests of Southern Utah, 1976-1999 / Thomas G. Alexander
Biopolitics: A Case Study of Political Influence on Forest Management Decisions, Coronado National Forest, Arizona, 1980s-1990s / Paul W. Hirt
Epilogue: Seeing the Forest Not for the Trees: The Future of Southwestern Forests in Retrospect / Hal K. Rothman
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.
This readable study identifies the players, events, and strategies that expedited the policy shift and contextualizes it in the president's career and in legislative and administrative history. Revealing a policy change with major implications for the future of public lands and public process, George W. Bush's Healthy Forests will become required reading in environmental studies and political science.
Over the past three decades, governments at the local, state, and federal levels have undertaken a wide range of bold innovations, often in partnership with nongovernmental organizations and communities, to try to address their environmental and natural resource management tasks. Many of these efforts have failed. Innovations, by definition, are transitory. How, then, can we establish new practices that endure?
Toddi A. Steelman argues that the key to successful and long-lasting innovation must be a realistic understanding of the challenges that face it. She examines three case studies—land management in Colorado, watershed management in West Virginia, and timber management in New Mexico—and reveals specific patterns of implementation success and failure. Steelman challenges conventional wisdom about the role of individual entrepreneurs in innovative practice. She highlights the institutional obstacles that impede innovation and its longer term implementation, while offering practical insight in how enduring change might be achieved.
More Tree Talk is an insightful and compelling look at the human dimension of the challenges facing forestry. First published in 1981, Tree Talk was widely hailed as the most even-handed and well-written introduction to forestry issues available. More Tree Talk is an entirely revised edition of that classic volume that brings the book up-to-date with the current situation.Like the original, More Tree Talk features a running narrative punctuated by individual portraits that personalize the issues. It translates political and academic aspects of forestry into human terms, focusing on those whose lives and livelihoods depend on the outcome of the debates currently raging -- old-time woodsmen, loggers, naturalists, restoration workers, timber company executives.Ray Raphael explores the new forestry practices, theories, and controversies that have emerged in the past decade as he addresses problems of a declining resource base and increasing regulatory policies. He examines the impact of ecological and economic concerns on rural communities, and considers the possibility of large structural changes in the ways in which timber companies operate. Throughout, he emphasizes that without an understanding of the economic and political factors that interfere with good forest management, all the scientific knowledge -- and all the best intentions of on-site workers -- will come to no avail.
Not by Timber Alone presents the findings of the Harvard Institute for International Development study, commissioned by the International Tropical Timber Organization, that examined the economic value of tropical hardwood forests as productive living systems and the potential for their multiple use management.
The national forests lay across America's diverse ecological and political geography, their 191 million acres ocuppying about 10 percent of the nation's land base. On the occasion of the centennial of the National Forest System, Origins of the National Forests examines the issues that have confronted the development, management, and use of the national forests since their inception in 1891. The national forests are a major source of wood, water, minerals, forage, animal life and habitat, and wilderness. Yet questions of who controls and who benefits from the resources have posed problems and conflicts from the origins of the Forest Service to the present. Based on a 1991 Forest History Society conference, the essays collected here discuss a range of important topics surrounding our national forests, including the relationship between the federal and state systems that regulate the forests; the privately owned lands within the forests that are governed by federal statutes, state laws, and county ordinances; the ill-defined rights of those who lived on the land long before it was a national forest and were forced off the land; and the effect of early policymaking decisions made within the framework of the emerging Conservation Movement.
Contributors. Ron Arnold, Pamela A. Conners, Mary S. Culpin, Stanley Dempsey, Peter Gillis, Donn E. Headley, Robert L. Hendricks, Stephen Larrabee, Patricia Nelson Limerick, Dennis L. Lynch, Michael McCarthy, Char Miller, Joseph A. Miller, James Muhn, Kevin Palmer, Donald Pisani, John F. Reiger, William Rowley, Michael Ryan, William E. Shands, Harold K. Steen, Richard White, Gerald W. Williams
Following the 1917 Mexican Revolution inhabitants of the states of Chihuahua and Michoacán received vast tracts of prime timberland as part of Mexico's land redistribution program. Although locals gained possession of the forests, the federal government retained management rights, which created conflict over subsequent decades among rural, often indigenous villages; government; and private timber companies about how best to manage the forests. Christopher R. Boyer examines this history in Political Landscapes, where he argues that the forests in Chihuahua and Michoacán became what he calls "political landscapes"—that is, geographies that become politicized by the interactions between opposing actors—through the effects of backroom deals, nepotism, and political negotiations. Understanding the historical dynamic of community forestry in Mexico is particularly critical for those interested in promoting community involvement in the use and conservation of forestlands around the world. Considering how rural and indigenous people have confronted, accepted, and modified the rationalizing projects of forest management foisted on them by a developmentalist state is crucial before community management is implemented elsewhere.
Roadless Rules is a fast-paced and insightful look at one of the most important, wide-ranging, and controversial efforts to protect public forests ever undertaken in the United States.
In January 2000, President Clinton submitted to the Federal Register the Roadless Area Conservation Rule, prohibiting road construction and timber harvesting in designated roadless areas. Set to take effect sixty days after Clinton left office, the rule was immediately challenged by nine lawsuits from states, counties, off-road-vehicle users, and timber companies. The Bush administration refused to defend the rule and eventually sought to replace it with a rule that invited governors to suggest management policies for forests in their states. That rule was attacked by four states and twenty environmental groups and declared illegal.
Roadless Rules offers a fascinating overview of the creation of the Clinton roadless rule and the Bush administration’s subsequent replacement rule, the controversy generated, the response of the environmental community, and the legal battles that continue to rage more than seven years later. It explores the value of roadless areas and why the Clinton rule was so important to environmentalists, describes the stakeholder groups involved, and takes readers into courtrooms across the country to hear critical arguments.
Author Tom Turner considers the lessons learned from the controversy, arguing that the episode represents an excellent example of how the system can work when all elements of the environmental movement work together—local groups and individuals determined to save favorite places, national organizations that represent local interests but also concern themselves with national policies, members of the executive branch who try to serve the public interest but need support from outside, and national organizations that use the legal system to support progress achieved through legislation or executive action.
The Soviets are often viewed as insatiable industrialists who saw nature as a force to be tamed and exploited. Song of the Forest counters this assumption, uncovering significant evidence of Soviet conservation efforts in forestry, particularly under Josef Stalin. In his compelling study, Stephen Brain profiles the leading Soviet-era conservationists, agencies, and administrators, and their efforts to formulate forest policy despite powerful ideological differences.
By the time of the revolution of 1905, modern Russian forestry science had developed an influential romantic strand, especially prevalent in the work of Georgii Morozov, whose theory of “stand types” asked forest managers to consider native species and local conditions when devising plans for regenerating forests. After their rise to power, the Bolsheviks turned their backs on this tradition and adopted German methods, then considered the most advanced in the world, for clear-cutting and replanting of marketable tree types in “artificial forests.” Later, when Stalin’s Five Year Plan required vast amounts of timber for industrialization, forest radicals proposed “flying management,” an exaggerated version of German forestry where large tracts of virgin forest would be clear-cut. Opponents who still upheld Morozov’s vision favored a conservative regenerating approach, and ultimately triumphed by establishing the world’s largest forest preserve.
Another radical turn came with the Great Stalin Plan for the Transformation of Nature, implemented in 1948. Narrow “belts” of new forest planted on the vast Russian steppe would block drying winds, provide cool temperatures, trap moisture, and increase crop production. Unfortunately, planters were ordered to follow the misguided methods of the notorious Trofim Lysenko, and the resulting yields were abysmal. But despite Lysenko, agency infighting, and an indifferent peasant workforce, Stalin’s forestry bureaus eventually succeeded in winning many environmental concessions from industrial interests. In addition, the visionary teachings of Morozov found new life, ensuring that the forest’s song did not fall upon deaf ears.
Stretching across southern Mexico, northern Guatemala, and Belize, the Maya Forest, or Selva Maya, constitutes one of the last large blocks of tropical forest remaining in North and Central America. Home to Mayan-speaking people for more than 5,000 years, the region is also uncommonly rich in cultural and archaeological resources.Timber, Tourists, and Temples brings together the leading biologists, social scientists, and conservationists working in the region to present in a single volume information on the intricate social and political issues, and the complex scientifc and management problems to be resolved there. Following an introductory chapter that presents GIS and remote sensing data, the book: considers perspectives on managing forest resources and the forestry and conservation policies of each nation examines efforts by communities to manage their forest resources explains the connections between resource conservation and use by local people highlights research projects that integrate baseline biological research with impact assessments explains the need to involve local people in conservation effortTimber, Tourists, and Temples explores methods of supporting the biological foundation of the Maya Forest and keeping alive that unique and diverse ecosystem. While many areas face similar development pressures, few have been studied as much or for as long as the Maya Forest. The wealth of information included in this pathbreaking work will be valuable not only for researchers involved with the Maya Forest but for anyone concerned with the protection, use, and management of tropical forest ecosystems throughout the world.
Through lively, engaging narrative, Understories demonstrates how volatile politics of race, class, and nation animate the notoriously violent struggles over forests in the southwestern United States. Rather than reproduce traditional understandings of nature and environment, Jake Kosek shifts the focus toward material and symbolic “natures,” seemingly unchangeable essences central to formations of race, class, and nation that are being remade not just through conflicts over resources but also through everyday practices by Chicano activists, white environmentalists, and state officials as well as nuclear scientists, heroin addicts, and health workers. Drawing on two years of ethnographic fieldwork and extensive archival research, he shows how these contentious natures are integral both to environmental politics and the formation of racialized citizens, politicized landscapes, and modern regimes of rule.
Kosek traces the histories of forest extraction and labor exploitation in northern New Mexico, where Hispano residents have forged passionate attachments to place. He describes how their sentiments of dispossession emerged through land tenure systems and federal management programs that remade forest landscapes as exclusionary sites of national and racial purity. Fusing fine-grained ethnography with insights gleaned from cultural studies and science studies, Kosek shows how the nationally beloved Smokey the Bear became a symbol of white racist colonialism for many Hispanos in the region, while Los Alamos National Laboratory, at once revered and reviled, remade regional ecologies and economies. Understories offers an innovative vision of environmental politics, one that challenges scholars as well as activists to radically rework their understandings of relations between nature, justice, and identity.
Wars in the Woods examines the conflicts that have developed over the preservation of forests in America, and how government agencies and advocacy groups have influenced the management of forests and their resources for more than a century. Samuel Hays provides an astute analysis of manipulations of conservation law that have touched off a battle between what he terms “ecological forestry” and “commodity forestry.” Hays also reveals the pervading influence of the wood products industry, and the training of U.S. Forest Service to value tree species marketable as wood products, as the primary forces behind forestry policy since the Forest Management Act of 1897.
Wars in the Woods gives a comprehensive account of the many grassroots and scientific organizations that have emerged since then to combat the lumber industry and other special interest groups and work to promote legislation to protect forests, parks, and wildlife habitats. It also offers a review of current forestry practices, citing the recent Federal easing of protections as a challenge to the progress made in the last third of the twentieth century.
Hays describes an increased focus on ecological forestry in areas such as biodiversity, wildlife habitat, structural diversity, soil conservation, watershed management, native forests, and old growth. He provides a valuable framework for the critical assessment of forest management policies and the future study and protection of forest resources.
Forests have been at the fault lines of contact between African peasant communities in the Tanzanian coastal hinterland and outsiders for almost two centuries. In recent decades, a global call for biodiversity preservation has been the main challenge to Tanzanians and their forests.
Thaddeus Sunseri uses the lens of forest history to explore some of the most profound transformations in Tanzania from the nineteenth century to the present. He explores anticolonial rebellions, the world wars, the depression, the Cold War, oil shocks, and nationalism through their intersections with and impacts on Tanzania’s coastal forests and woodlands. In Wielding the Ax, forest history becomes a microcosm of the origins, nature, and demise of colonial rule in East Africa and of the first fitful decades of independence.
Wielding the Ax is a story of changing constellations of power over forests, beginning with African chiefs and forest spirits, both known as “ax–wielders,” and ending with international conservation experts who wield scientific knowledge as a means to controlling forest access. The modern international concern over tropical deforestation cannot be understood without an awareness of the long–term history of these forest struggles.
Wild Forests presents a coherent review of the scientific and policy issues surrounding biological diversity in the context of contemporary public forest management. The authors examine past and current practices of forest management and provide a comprehensive overview of known and suspected threats to diversity.
In addition to discussing general ecological principles, the authors evaluate specific approaches to forest management that have been proposed to ameliorate diversity losses. They present one such policy -- the Dominant Use Zoning Model incorporating an integrated network of "Diversity Maintenance Areas" -- and describe their attempts to persuade the U.S. Forest Service to adopt such a policy in Wisconsin.
Drawing on experience in the field, in negotiations, and in court, the authors analyze the ways in which federal agencies are coping with the mandates of conservation biology and suggest reforms that could better address these important issues. Throughout, they argue that wild or unengineered conditions are those that are most likely to foster a return to the species richness that we once enjoyed.
The Wildfire Reader presents, in an affordable paperback edition, the essays included in Wildfire, offering a concise overview of fire landscapes and the past century of forest policy that has affected them.
The controversy over the management of national forests in the Pacific Northwest vividly demonstrates the shortcomings of existing management institutions and natural resource policies. The Wisdom of the Spotted Owl explores the American policymaking process through the case of the spotted owl -- a case that offers a striking illustration of the failure of our society to cope with long-term, science-intensive issues requiring collective choices.Steven Lewis Yaffee analyzes the political and organizational dynamics from which the controversy emerged and the factors that led to our stunning inability to solve it. He examines the state of resource management agencies and policy processes, providing insight into questions such as: What caused the extreme polarization of opinion and lack of communication throughout the 1980s and early 1990s? How can the inadequate response of government agencies and the failure of the decisionmaking process be explained? What kinds of changes must be made to enable our resource policy institutions to better deal with critical environmental issues of the 1990s and beyond? By outlining a set of needed reforms, the book will assist those who are involved in re-creating natural resource agencies and public policy processes for the challenges of the next century. In explaining the policymaking process -- its realities and idiosyncrasies -- The Wisdom of the Spotted Owl provides a framework for understanding policies and institutions, and presents a prescription for change to allow for more effective handling of current and future environmental problems.