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Forests Forever: Their Ecology, Restoration, and Protection (Center Books on Natural History)

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1930066519
ISBN-10: 1930066511
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Editorial Reviews


“If you've ever loved a verdant woodland or a lush rainforest, this book will warm your heart. John Berger has produced a wonderful introduction to how forests work and why they are so important. The book both informs and inspires, conveying a sophisticated understanding of the forces affecting the health of our forests and the ways the reader can help to preserve them.”—Dr. Jonathan G. Koomey, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Consulting Professor, Stanford University

(Dr. Jonathan G. Koomey, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Consulting Professor, Stanford University 2007-03-06)

“For thousands of struggling communities, Forests Forever provides a practical, compelling blueprint for increasing prosperity by restoring and nurturing their forest economy. It’s an essential tool for local politicians, civil servants, economic developers, and activists.”—Michael Shuman, author of Going Local:Creating Self-Reliant Communities in a Global Age



(Michael Shuman, author of Going Local: Creating Self-Reliant Communities in a Global Age 2007-03-06)

“The best introductory guide to forestry practices and the issues surrounding the preservation of American forests.”—Adam Werbach, former president of the Sierra Club

(Adam Werbach, former president of the Sierra Club 2007-03-06)

"Magnificently done. I am impressed with the importance of the book as a contemporary statement on the status of the management of publicly owned and managed forests, especially in the U.S. and Canada. The book’s emphasis on forestry as opposed to the management of land and landscapes is a perspective that must emerge quickly if we are to preserve ourselves and our natural heritage."—Dr. George M. Woodwell, Founder, Director Emeritus, and Senior Scientist, Woods Hole Research Center

(Dr. George M. Woodwell, Founder, Director Emeritus, and Senior Scientist, Woods Hole Research Center 2007-03-06)

"An in-depth look at the history and present dangers facing American forests. . . . Berger carefully considers the way in which people misunderstand their dependence upon trees and woods. An excellent treatise on a subject that is often discussed but rarely studied, Forests Forever is the go-to guide for serious readers seeking to understand the politics of forestry."
(Colleen Mondor Booklist 2007-09-15)

"This is not a book to enchant but one to incite. Sure to get the reader's attention is Berger's discussion of the current Bush administration's baleful rollback of fundamental environmental laws and regulations; likewise, Berger's examination of the behemoth that is the U.S. Forest Service. Berger's analysis of a complex topic brings a few key dichotomies into stark relief, i.e., the political cycle of four to six years vs. the forest tree cycle of hundreds to thousands of years; the value of wood pulp vs. the value of standing trees; and clear-cut logging vs. more sustainable harvesting methods. The final chapter on how to plant trees may strike some readers as superfluous, though others may consider this simple act the ultimate activist gesture. A recommended purchase for any library where forest-policy wonks, concerned citizens, activists, and students are among its patrons."
(Robert Egan Library Journal 2007-09-15)

"John Berger's superb book rapidly becomes an old friend.  For most of my life walking through the woods was a nearly daily activity.  Now, the abundant beautiful pictures throughout the book serve the same purpose--connecting to nature on a regular basis.  The other major strength of the book is the reestablishment of humankind's relationship with natural systems upon which its survival depends.  Berger's book benefits both the mind and the soul."
(John Cairns, University of Virginia Polytechnic)

"Society has learned little from history, in part because the cumulative tyranny of unwise decisions, which led to catastrophic events, has seldom been chronicled. In his book, Forests Forever, John Berger provides a rare archive of such myopic political/economic actions that, if taken seriously, can help prevent further destruction of the world¹s forests, which, after all, constitute part of the global commons. As such, sustainable forests are everyone¹s birthright."

(Chris Maser, author of Our Forest Legacy: Today's Decisions, Tomorrow's Consequences)

“In this meticulously researched and magnificent book . . . Berger has taken the fate of the forests out of the woods and placed it where it squarely belongs, at the heart of civilization.  Communities of trees are our kith and kin, herein given the voice and grace we have too long ignored.”--Paul Hawken, author of The Ecology of Commerce
(Paul Hawken)

“In clear and eloquent language, John Berger presents a powerful case for protecting and restoring forests: the future of our planet depends on it.  Berger's carefully researched book, filled with striking  photographs and compelling case studies of forests under threat from California to Siberia, examines the political and economic causes of the threats, and proposes actions that can be taken at both the policy level and individual level.  This is a valuable resource for anyone not yet convinced of the threat, and for those ready to take action.”--Seymour I. Schwartz, University of California, Davis

(Seymour I. Schwartz)

“John Berger's Forests Forever provides enough forest ecology to truly appreciate trees, enough political economy to understand the interests and processes behind deforestation, enough conservation history to document how to save trees, and enough inspiring prose and beautiful pictures to motivate our weary souls. If post-Bush politics do not radically change how we live with nature, we should take to the streets . . . again . . . to see that they do. Berger shows how we can do much better.”--Richard B. Norgaard, University of California, Berkeley
(Richard B. Norgaard)

"Beautifully illustrated with dozens of color and historic black-and-white photos, and with sections summaraizing forest history, policy, economics, and restoration, this is an important, readable book, equally valuable as a course resource and reference. Highly recommended."

About the Author

John L. Berger has served as a consultant to the National Research Council of the National Academy of Science and to the Office of Technology Assessment of the U.S. Congress. He has also taught at the University of San Francisco and the University of Maryland. He is also the author of Restoring the Earth, Charging Ahead, and Beating the Heat.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 424 pages
  • Publisher: Center for American Places (December 15, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1930066511
  • ISBN-13: 978-1930066519
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 7 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,212,706 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By Arthur Digbee VINE VOICE on April 29, 2013
Format: Paperback
This book provides a textbook treatment of forests, emphasizing those in the United States. The topics fall roughly in three parts: the ecology of forests, the history of mismanagement, and practices that can provide the foundation for responsible, sustainable forestry in the future. Though he discusses the economic benefits of forest harvests, the book is consistently environmental in its focus and concerns.

Not surprisingly, then, the book is highly critical of the G. W. Bush administration throughout. Berger dislikes Bush's overall policy directions as well as the staff he appointed to carry it out. The venom is somewhat greater because Bush's people also worked to undo some of the Clinton administration's reforms that changed the direction of the U.S. Forest Service away from a single-minded focus on harvest.

The breadth of topics is impressive. Berger draws from both the natural sciences and social sciences, while always keeping his eye on the big picture of forest health.

Like most textbooks, it's rather long. Fortunately it is readable and has an abundance of photographs. You could read it all the way through, dip into the chapters you want, or just leave it on your bookshelf for reference. However you use it, it should serve you well.
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Format: Paperback
Fragile Kingdoms of innumerable organisms and rich beauty, forests today are among our most endangered natural resources. John Berger urges us to learn what can be done to restore, protect the complex issues surrounding forest ecology, policies and conservation. Berger evaluates the governments policies over the past decade, and compares the destructive policies and President George W. Bush Administration with other Administrations.
Adam Werbach, former president of the Sierra Club, declares this book to to be "the best introductory guide to forest practices and the issues surrounding the preservation of our American forests."
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