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The Updated “Final Forest”

by bdietrich on March 6, 2011

Published October 13, 2010

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In 2010, I updated my very first non-fiction book, 1992′s The Final Forest, with a new introduction discussing the changes that have affected Forks, Washington (which became the setting for the Twilight vampire series!) and a new epilogue summarizing changes in the forest and timber industry and the fate of many of the key characters in the book. The book combines discussion of forest ecology, the spotted owl, and forestry with an examination of the politics and personalities that drove the environmental campaign to halt old-growth logging, and the battle by loggers to defend their traditional way of life. My hope is that the revisions will extend the book’s use in classrooms, where it has been used for courses in environment, forestry, political science and sociology. Thanks to University of Washington Press for bringing out this new edition, which keeps The Final Forest in print.

I revisited Forks in early 2011 after the book’s publication. It remains a fascinating example of the currents roiling America, of big business versus small, white collar versus blue, the culture wars, the Twilight publishing phenomena, and the evolution of rural communities from resource-based economies to a combination of that with service jobs, government, and tourism. Thanks to vampires, it has become one of the most famous small towns in America.

Reviews:

“Engrossing and well-written, this is a model of balanced reporting and reasoned analysis.” Publishers Weekly

“A remarkably readable and lucid account.” Audubon Magazine

“The best book about the environment that I’ve read in a year.” Newsday.

“Dietrich 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. Highly recommended.” Library Journal.

“In writing as lush as the threatened forest he describes, William Dietrich captures why the battle isn’t merely for the ancient forests of the Pacific Northwest and California but for the health of the planet itself.” Michael Fischer, former Executive Director, the Sierra Club.

“William Dietrich has gone to the heart of the greatest forest left in North America and returned with a clear and compelling story of why so many people are fighting over it. Like the towering firs of the Olympic Peninsula, this book will stand the test of time.” Tim Egan, author of The Big Burn and The Worst Hard Time.


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