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The Bitterroot and Mr. Brandborg: Clearcutting and the Struggle for Sustainable Forestry in the Northern Rockies Hardcover – March 15, 2011

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Review

In this thoroughly researched study, the author places Minnesota-born Guy Brandborg (1893-1977) at the center of a riveting local story with national implications for the Forest Service. This book deserves a wide reading.

William G. Robbins
Environmental History, January 2012

"An excellent study of the evolution of 20th-century national forest policy and the history of conservation in the United States." -- James G. Lewis, Forest History Today, Spring 2012

"Swanson's elegant prose and insightful analysis tackles a controversial subject to tell an engaging and significant story about a man who devoted his life to building sustainable lives for the ordinary folks who love, work, and protect the West." -- Will Bagley, Roundup Magazine, June 2012

"The Bitterroot and Mr. Brandborg is a tour de force. Swanson opens a much larger story about the meaning of public lands in a democratic society. This book will have a profound impact on our understanding of the environmental dilemmas and political controversies that have rocked the northern Rockies since the mid-twentieth century.”—Char Miller, Director of Environmental Analysis and W. M. Keck Professor of Environmental Analysis, Pomona College, and author of Gifford Pinchot and the Making of Modern Environmentalism

 

 




"'I was so impressed by the time and research that Fred put in for the research of this book," Stewart Brandborg [son of Guy Brandborg] said. "He traveled pretty much all over the West. He was tireless in his efforts to get the story on what my dad had done.'"—Ravalli Republic


"The Bitterroot and Mr. Brandborg provides an apt illustration of how local citizens can affect meaningful and lasting changes on a national level. ...An important contribution to the history of national forest policy."—Western Historical Quarterly


"Fred Swanson's elegant prose and insightful analysis tackles a controversial subject—public lands and the bureaucracies that manage them—to tell an engaging and significant story about a man who devoted his life to building sustainable lives for the ordinary folks who love, work, and protect the West."—Roundup Magazine

About the Author

Frederick Swanson writes about the West from his home in Salt Lake City. His book Dave Rust: A Life in the Canyons (University of Utah Press, 2007) won the David W. and Beatrice C. Evans Biography Award of the Mountain West Center for Regional Studies.

 
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 408 pages
  • Publisher: University of Utah Press; 1st Edition edition (March 15, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1607811014
  • ISBN-13: 978-1607811015
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,491,698 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • Due to this item's unusual size or weight, it requires special handling and will ship separately from other items in your order. Read More

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Format: Hardcover
Fred Swanson has written an award wining account of one of the seminal public lands battles of the 1960s and 1970s; the controversy over out-of-control industrial forestry on our national forests. Guy Brandborg, conservationist and former forest supervisor, fought for balanced use of the Bitterroot National Forest and initiated the change to view forests as ecosystems and not industrial tree farms. Brandborg's efforts led to the passage of the National Forest Management Act of 1974, which allowed the public and not just the forest products industry to participate in choosing the future direction of our public forests.

This book has won the 2010 Wallace Stegner Prize in Environmental and American Western History from the University of Utah.
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Format: Hardcover
"The Bitterroot and Mr. Brandbourg" offers a large and very digestible slice of United States environmental history. It is the story of Guy M. Brandbourg, supervisor of Montana's Bitterroot National Forest from 1935 to 1955, who believed his duty was to guard both trees and people. An eco-warrior decades before anyone dreamed up the expression, he launched a letter-writing and speech-making campaign against timber harvests he regarded as unsustainable. It intensified when the US Forest Service began allowing the industry to denude hillsides.

The forester's campaign for sustainability and courage in confronting a juggernaut - an industry and political system working in tandem - give him an important place in the environmental movement and the history of the western United States. The book explores the many sides of the nation's long-running forest management controversies, and presents the battles over Bitterroot harvests as a local case that illustrated the pressure on all the national forests. The combination adds great depth to the saga, which deserves additional kudos as a primer on folly and on the ways interest groups shape government decisions.

Whatever their reason for picking up "The Bitterroot and Mr. Brandbourg," readers will be well pleased with it. The book is detailed enough for the most demanding researcher into the nation's forest issues, yet is fast paced and eminently accessible to readers less familiar with the story. And the author's quiet writing style makes Brandbourg's struggle more moving. As portrayed by the author, Brandbourg is a likeable man on a mission. Superior story-telling brings both man and quest alive.
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