Praise for Forests Forever: Their Ecology, Restoration, and Protection

Author John J. Berger

by John J. Berger

From Forests Forever Foundation and the Center for American Places at Columbia College Chicago

Berger, who has published several books on the environment, provides an in-depth look at the history and present dangers facing American forests. He makes a point of stating that “the nation has neither Democratic nor Republican forests,” and is as likely to cite the Clinton administration as that of George W. Bush for supporting laws that are detrimental to healthy forests. Berger reminds readers that forest conservation does not have its roots in public policy as a “simple love of forests,” but rather is based on “a modern, rational, and scientifically oriented reaction to the unregulated and wasteful destruction of forests and other natural resources so common in early America.” From a definition of the word forest to discussion of the spotted owl and clear cutting, 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

A revised and expanded version of environmental consultant Berger’s 1998 Understanding Forests, this is a short book that reads long: a survey, with an emphasis on U.S. forestry issues, of forest ecology, economics, and management; forest and conservation history; forest laws and policies; timber practices; international forestry; and forest restoration. 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 Eagan, Library Journal, Windsor P.L., Ont.

"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 Blessed Unrest and The Ecology of Commerce

Forests Forever: Their Ecology, Restoration, and Protection is at once an appreciation of the beauty and complexity of forests, and an overview of sustainable forestry, forest history, economics, law, and policy. The book’s guiding principle is that ecology rather than the marketplace must be the touchstone of proper forest management.

“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

"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 preserve them.

–Jonathan G. Koomey, Ph.D., author of Turning Numbers into Knowledge: Mastering the Art of Problem Solving

"I am impressed with the importance of th[is] book as a contemporary statement of the status of management of publicly owned and managed forests in the United States at the moment. It is a smashing, timely, and totally appropriate indictment of the corruption of the public interest in management of land and forests by an administration totally devoted to corporate welfare at public expense. When the Bush administration passes, as it must, its lasting heritage in addition to the misery of unnecessary war and economic impoverishment will be the everlasting impoverishment of the nation's National Parks and Forests, given over to unbridled greed defended by a succession of patent lies, all revealed here."

– Dr. George M. Woodwell, Department of Forestry, Yale University

Buy Your Copy Now!

First Edition Reviews of Understanding Forests (Sierra Club Books, 1998)

Author Biography and Publisher Information

Back to Forests Forever: Their Ecology, Restoration and Protection


Forests Forever:
Their Ecology, Restoration, and Protection
John J. Berger

from Forests Forever Foundation
and the Center for American Places