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Forest dreams, forest nightmares : the paradox of old growth in the Inland West

Author: Nancy Langston
Publisher: Seattle : University of Washington Press, ©1995.
Series: Weyerhaeuser environmental book.
Edition/Format:   Book : State or province government publication : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
Across the inland West, forests that once seemed like paradise have turned into an ecological nightmare. Fires, insect epidemics, and disease now threaten millions of acres of once-bountiful forests. Yet no one can agree what went wrong. Was it too much management - or not enough - that forced the forests of the inland West to the verge of collapse? Is the solution more logging, or no logging at all? In this  Read more...
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Details

Genre/Form: History
Material Type: Government publication, State or province government publication
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Nancy Langston
ISBN: 0295974567 9780295974569 0295975504 9780295975504
OCLC Number: 32590404
Description: xii, 368 p. : ill., maps ; 25 cm.
Contents: Foreword / William Cronon --
Place and Ecology --
Before the Forest Service --
The Feds in the Forests --
Making Sense of Strangeness: Silvics in the Blues --
Liquidating the Pines --
Animals: Domestic and Wild Nature --
Fire --
Restoring the Inland West --
Conclusion: Living with Complexity
Series Title: Weyerhaeuser environmental book.
Responsibility: Nancy Langston.

Abstract:

Across the inland West, forests that once seemed like paradise have turned into an ecological nightmare. Fires, insect epidemics, and disease now threaten millions of acres of once-bountiful forests. Yet no one can agree what went wrong. Was it too much management - or not enough - that forced the forests of the inland West to the verge of collapse? Is the solution more logging, or no logging at all? In this gripping work of scientific and historical detection, Nancy Langston unravels the disturbing history of what went wrong with the western forests, despite the best intentions of those involved. Focusing on the Blue Mountains of northeastern Oregon and southeastern Washington, she explores how the complex landscapes that so impressed settlers in the nineteenth century became an ecological disaster in the late twentieth. Federal foresters, intent on using their scientific training to stop exploitation and waste, suppressed light fires in the ponderosa pinelands. Hoping to save the forests, they could not foresee that their policies would instead destroy what they loved. When light fires were kept out, a series of ecological changes began. Firs grew thickly in forests once dominated by ponderosa pines, and when droughts hit, those firs succumbed to insects, diseases, and eventually catastrophic fires.

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