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Wars in the Woods

Wars in the Woods: The Rise of Ecological Forestry in America

Copyright Date: 2007
Pages: 320
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  • Book Info
    Wars in the Woods
    Book Description:

    Wars in the Woodsexamines the conflicts that have developed over the preservation of forests in America, and how government agencies and advocacy groups have influenced the management of forests and their resources for more than a century. Samuel Hays provides an astute analysis of manipulations of conservation law that have touched off a battle between what he terms "ecological forestry" and "commodity forestry." Hays also reveals the pervading influence of the wood products industry, and the training of U.S. Forest Service to value tree species marketable as wood products, as the primary forces behind forestry policy since the Forest Management Act of 1897.

    Wars in the Woodsgives a comprehensive account of the many grassroots and scientific organizations that have emerged since then to combat the lumber industry and other special interest groups and work to promote legislation to protect forests, parks, and wildlife habitats. It also offers a review of current forestry practices, citing the recent Federal easing of protections as a challenge to the progress made in the last third of the twentieth century.

    Hays describes an increased focus on ecological forestry in areas such as biodiversity, wildlife habitat, structural diversity, soil conservation, watershed management, native forests, and old growth. He provides a valuable framework for the critical assessment of forest management policies and the future study and protection of forest resources.

    eISBN: 978-0-8229-7312-6
    Subjects: Biological Sciences, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

Table of Contents

  1. CHAPTER 1 New and Old Forestry: A Confrontation in the Making
    (pp. 1-19)

    Late-twentieth-century controversies over forest management—the “wars in the woods”—emerged in clear form in the 1970s, but they had significant roots in previous decades. They developed out of two divergent tendencies: an ecological approach to forest management based in a prior environmental perspective, expanding the focus on outdoor recreation in a natural setting into emphasis on forests as complex ecological entities; and more traditional commodity forestry, emphasizing wood production, whose proponents resisted the acceptance of ecological objectives and gradually sharpened their own strategies to defend a more limited commodity production role for American forests.

    Ecological forestry grew out of...

  2. CHAPTER 2 Shaping an Ecological Forestry Program
    (pp. 20-54)

    The debates over forest policy in the last third of the twentieth century identified the elements of ecological forestry so that by the beginning of the twenty-first century they constituted a coherent and well-established set of specific objectives. These were shaped by influences from both citizen reform organizations and ecological scientists. The reform organizations were much involved in critiquing forest plans and tended to formulate their views in terms of forest characteristics such as flora and fauna; the areas that might be managed as old forests; and specific threats such as wood harvest practices, pollution, or motorized vehicles. Hence their...

  3. CHAPTER 3 The National Response to Ecological Forestry
    (pp. 55-87)

    My objective in this book is not only to describe ecological forestry as a reflection of changes in social values and biological science but also to identify its impact on traditional forest institutions. In what ways was it incorporated into customary thinking and activities in private and public forest affairs, and in what ways was it not? In this chapter I examine relative degrees of acceptance and rejection of ecological ideas, policies, and programs. On one end of the continuum of reactions are those forest leaders and institutions that reflected a dominant focus on wood production; I explore their strong...

  4. CHAPTER 4 Ecological Forestry in the States
    (pp. 88-118)

    Commodity forestry was far more deeply entrenched in the state forest agencies than in the national forest system. Tomas Koontz has elaborated on this inFederalism in the Forest: National versus State Natural Resource Policy. He emphasizes two factors: the greater dominance of commodity objectives at the state level, and the far less frequent citizen involvement in forest decisions through which ecological forest objectives might well exercise more influence. I have already observed the general isolation of the National Association of State Foresters from ecological forest activities, in support of Koontz’s conclusions. His observations, however, do not provide the detail...

  5. CHAPTER 5 The Pennsylvania Story: Missed Opportunities
    (pp. 119-153)

    Pennsylvania constitutes one of the nation’s most celebrated cases of state forest management. The Pennsylvania Forestry Association, organized in 1875, was the oldest such state organization in the United States. The state legislature established the state forest system in the late l890s; its first state forester, Joseph T. Rothrock, is acclaimed as one of the nation’s pioneers in forest conservation. By the 1970s the state forests totaled over 2 million acres, along with Michigan and Washington comprising the largest state forest systems in the country, and by the 1980s the state planning system had made considerable progress. These achievements, however,...

  6. CHAPTER 6 The Skirmishes Become a Full-Scale War
    (pp. 154-189)

    As the twentieth century turned into the twenty-first, the interplay between ecological and commodity forestry reached a new level of intensity. The context of issues which continued to play themselves out at the level of individual forest management became more generalized and manifest in a contest over the regulations to implement the 1976 act, a process of revision and counter-revision of regulations in place since 1982. This process now was shaped by the accumulated tendency over the preceding years to organize debate and action around partisan politics.

    In the late 1970s the forest industry began to establish closer ties with...

  7. CHAPTER 7 In Search of the Future Forest
    (pp. 190-196)

    The rise of ecological forestry and its engagement with more traditional commodity forestry created intense debates over public forest policy in the last third of the twentieth century. This continuing debate will undoubtedly shape public forest affairs for much of the foreseeable future.

    The ecological forestry drive involved two sets of forces, one from ecological science and the other from the citizen reform movement, both of which sprang from the same large-scale cultural changes that are described variously as environmental and ecological. The scientists and the reformers rarely worked in formal association but took parallel courses of action and thereby...