We owe much of our economic prosperity to the vast forested landscapes that cover the earth. The timber we use to build our homes, the water we drink, and the oxygen in the air we breathe come from the complex forested ecosystem that many of us take for granted. As urban boundaries expand and rural landscapes are developed, forests are under more pressure than ever. It is time to forgo the thinking that forests can be managed outside of human influence, and shift instead to management strategies that consider humans to be part of the forest ecosystem. Only then can we realistically plan for coexisting and sustainable forests and human communities in the future.
In People, Forests, and Change: Lessons from the Pacific Northwest, editors Deanna H. Olson and Beatrice Van Horne have assembled an expert panel of social and forest scientists to consider the nature of forests in flux and how to best balance the needs of forests and the rural communities closely tied to them. The book considers the temperate moist-coniferous forests of the US Pacific Northwest, but many of the concepts apply broadly to challenges in forest management in other regions and countries. In the US northwest, forest ecosystem management has been underway for two decades, and key lessons are emerging. The text is divided into four parts that set the stage for forests and rural forest economies, describe dynamic forest systems at work, consider new science in forest ecology and management, and ponder the future for these coniferous forests under different scenarios.
People, Forests, and Change brings together ideas grounded in science for policy makers, forest and natural resource managers, students, and conservationists who wish to understand how to manage forests conscientiously to assure their long-term viability and that of human communities who depend on them.
Deanna H. Olson is a research ecologist with the USDA Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station in Corvallis, Oregon. Beatrice Van Horne is a research manager for the USDA Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station in Corvallis. Previously she was a professor of biology at Colorado State University in Fort Collins.
“Many examples and parenthetical definitions make the book quite accessible. This book will appeal to scientists and students in biology, forestry, natural resources, geology, economics, and anthropology …. They will benefit from the contemporary descriptions of issues and examples beyond the well-known owl habitat and clearcutting practices. Public officials who budget funds for research and firefighting would benefit greatly from reading this book because of its scope.”
— Natural Areas Journal
"Authored by a virtual Who's Who of Pacific Northwest forest scientists, this book is the most current synthesis of what we know about the magnificent forests of the Pacific Slope. To ignore it is to know less than you should if you are concerned about the future of this ecologically distinct and economically important resource. From basic natural history and ecology to wood processing, it covers an impressive range of ideas and analysis. David Douglas and George Sudworth would be delighted."
— John C. Gordon, Pinchot Professor Emeritus and former Dean, Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies
"For those of us who lived through the tumultuous changes in forest management in the Pacific Northwest and its effects on rural communities, the forest products industry, and the forestry profession, People, Forests, and Change
offers a kind of catharsis. The book beautifully characterizes the past four decades of change in forest science and management, offering a future rich with promising ideas and tools."
— Sally D. Collins, Cochair, MegaFlorestais, and former Associate Chief, US Forest Service