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Final Forest Paperback – May 26 1993


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Paperbacks; Reprint edition (May 26 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140177507
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140177503
  • Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 1.8 x 19.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 204 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,606,899 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

The chief science correspondent for the Seattle Times here examines the many sides of the ongoing debate over the logging of America's last remaining ancient forest, on Washington State's Olympic Peninsula. Using the town of Forks as a focal point, Dietrich allows the participants in this drama--loggers, truckers, foresters, timber company representatives, environmentalists and politicians--to speak for their own interests. Exploring a dense thicket of social ? with 'social,' seems unnecessary and economic issues, he discovers a human dilemma at the center? since thickets don't have cores? : the plight of the men and women whose livelihood depends on the woods, tragically caught between big industry and environmentalists. The author contends that the U.S. government's shortsighted policies have led not only to these workers' loss of dignity and self-respect but also to the unnecessary destruction of thousands of acres of old-growth trees. Engrossing and well-written, this is a model of balanced reporting and reasoned analysis.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

The local battle scene of this book's subtitle is Washington's Olympic Peninsula, but the conflict raged, and still rages, over the entire Pacific Northwest, Washington, D.C., Alaska, and other locales that face the dilemma of preserving natural resources versus exploiting them. Dietrich, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, presents in an easy-to-read narrative style the point of view of various participants in this war, from the logger whose way of life is threatened to a biologist concerned with saving the Northern spotted owl. The chapters on the owl and the biologist provide the best account this reviewer has read of the biology and behavior patterns of this small, inoffensive, but controversial bird and why it should be the center of so much heated debate. No easy solutions to the struggle between the forest industry and environmentalists emerge from this book, but hopeful signs include the increasing awareness on the part of Forest Service personnel and the logging industry that careless, sometimes ruthless, exploitation of the remaining old growth forest is no longer feasible or even possible. Highly recommended for collections on environmental issues.
- Eleanor Maass, Maass Assocs., New Milford, Pa.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
It is six A.M. and still dark this late September morning when the loggers begin crowding into Jerry's saw shop. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Paperback
Natural resource management, like abortion, is one of those enormously complex political issues that too often gets reduced to dueling slogans and sound bites. William Dietrich does readers a great service by letting people from all sides of the issue (there are many more than two) speak at length, and by juxtaposing their views in ways that highlight similarities as well as differences. One of the book's running themes is that both loggers and environmentalists love the forests, but that each group has great difficulty seeing that quality in the other. Their mutual incomprehension is rooted in their utterly different ideas of why forests are important, and how humans ought to relate to them.
This deep philosophical difference is at least as old as the 20th century. John Muir, founder of the Sierra Club, and Gifford Pinchot, first chief of the US Forest Service, fought battles similar to the ones Dietrich describes back at the (last) turn of the century. Dietrich, a journalist writing about a present-day controversy, says very little about that history, and that choice makes the book less informative (and less helpful as a means to understanding the problem) than it might be.
Still, _The Final Forest_ is a valuable, well-balanced piece of journalism. It's a great resource for open-minded people on either side of the preservation vs. development debate, and a superb introduction for anyone coming to the issue for the first time.
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By A Customer on March 6 2004
Format: Hardcover
I read this book for my research paper on old growth forests. Originally I was going to just try to fly through it and take out the information that I needed for my paper, but as I read it I got really into it and almost forgot about my paper altogether! I think the best thing about this book is that it represents all sides of the issue. William Dietrich talks to cutters, truck drivers, biologists, environmentalists, foresters, and the community itself and tells all sides of the situation in his book. When I originally chose to do my paper on preservation of old growth forests, I was completely against cutting down of trees, and even though I am still not exactly for it, this book really helped me to be more open-minded and understand the different point of views...
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Format: Paperback
Dietrich was introduced to me while I was visiting the Hoh Valley rainforest in Olympic National Park in Washington. Being inside a rainforest was a life-changing experience and Dietrich's 'Final Forest' consolidated all the feelings for me. His well-written account of Pacific Northwest landscape, past and current, along with the excruciating fight to save whatever is left, is important for current and future generations to elevate their cognizance towards environmental stewardship.
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Format: Paperback
I gained a deeper understanding of the conflicts surrounding forestry in the Pacific Northwest. The stories told in this book could never be explained or understood in a 30 second television news broadcast. And while much of the news is depressing, this book offers hope for a brighter future where science, conservation, forestry, and consumer interests can meet for the future use of our forest resources.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 9 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
A balanced view Feb. 21 2005
By C. L Wilson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
"I hope you read it [the book] for whatever understanding it provides. Then, when you get a chance, go and read the living things that it came from."

This, the last sentence in the book, powerfully wraps up an engrossing examination of both sides of the controversy on logging old-growth forests. Always on the side of the environmentalists, I came to understand and sympathize with the loggers who cut them down. Not an easy task for any writer to undertake. But Dietrich has done it, and done it well. No wonder he won a Pulitzer Prize. The writing is clear and sharp, and at times, poetic in imagery. Yes, I have been to the Olympic old-growth forests of which he speaks, and he is right when he says that the minute you enter them, there is magic. Even the loggers feel this. The stories of individuals, both on the side of timber and the side of trees, eloquently speak of passions and lifestyles, battles won and lost. Anita Goos is not someone I will soon forget. Dietrich tells of men and women who choose their battles, sometimes unwillingly, but who enter the fray with hearts and minds wholly in the cause.

It is well to follow this book with "The Hidden Forest" by Jon Luoma, written seven years later.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
this book is great! March 6 2004
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I read this book for my research paper on old growth forests. Originally I was going to just try to fly through it and take out the information that I needed for my paper, but as I read it I got really into it and almost forgot about my paper altogether! I think the best thing about this book is that it represents all sides of the issue. William Dietrich talks to cutters, truck drivers, biologists, environmentalists, foresters, and the community itself and tells all sides of the situation in his book. When I originally chose to do my paper on preservation of old growth forests, I was completely against cutting down of trees, and even though I am still not exactly for it, this book really helped me to be more open-minded and understand the different point of views...
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
All sides of the story Oct. 17 2001
By J. Sullivan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I gained a deeper understanding of the conflicts surrounding forestry in the Pacific Northwest. The stories told in this book could never be explained or understood in a 30 second television news broadcast. And while much of the news is depressing, this book offers hope for a brighter future where science, conservation, forestry, and consumer interests can meet for the future use of our forest resources.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Good educational sourcebook Dec 19 2005
By John Gookin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
We use this book on NOLS expeditions specifically because it treats conservation as a dilemma of competing moral values. It really helps our students, whether they are greenies or industrialists, to see all sides of an issue. And if we choose to carry a book like this at NOLS, it means we literally carry it in a backpack for the entire 30 day expedition, which speaks highly for the value of this book.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A multifaceted, even-handed account of the Northern spotted owl debate that ends too soon Nov. 23 2009
By Arthur Digbee - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Dietrich wrote this book when the controversy over the Northern spotted owl in old-growth forests was at its height. The policy debate was resolved in early 1993, as one of the first major acts of the Clinton administration. Because this book was published in 1992, it misses the end of its own story.

Setting that important limitation aside, Dietrich has given us a well-written, compelling story about the owl and the communities that depend on the forest. Each chapter focuses on a person as a representative of a community - - activists, scientists, political actors, foresters, loggers, and so forth. The owl also gets its own chapter. That's an effective way to capture the various sides of the debate. Dietrich is admirably sympathetic to everyone; I don't think any group would feel they were slighted in some hatchet job here.

That even-handedness doesn't hide Dietrich's basic story. It takes 500-1000 years to grow an ancient forest. We cut 85% of that forest in a century. The logging industry was going to face a major contraction with or without the owl, though the owl may have sped the change up by a decade or so. Because of the owl, we have some lower-elevation old growth left.


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