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Saturday, May 15, 2010

"Tree Huggers" now available online for free!

Libertary, a web site designed to publish otherwise out-of-print books online for free, has made Tree Huggers by Kathy Durbin, available HERE.

Below is an excerpt from the new Introduction to the Libertary edition. Anyone who wonders "why bother" expanding North Cascades National Park because they see no threat to the forests in the American Alps study areas, needs to read this book! You may not know how lucky we are to still have most of these areas intact today, and how threatened they could easily be again if we don't protect them permanently.
...There had been losses, but most roadless forests in the Northwest had survived the eight-year onslaught orchestrated by the Bush administration and its timber industry supporters.
The Northwest Forest Plan never met its timber targets. But in the intervening 15 years, the timber industry had changed. Few old-growth mills remain.  A collapsing home construction market has plunged the industry into a deep recession.  Private timber is filling a diminished demand.
Change in national policy come slowly. The mantra of the wilderness movement, “Every victory is temporary, every defeat is permanent,” rings true.
Still, in the fall of 2009 it feels as if a new paradigm has taken hold. The prevailing view of what  constitutes the highest and best use of our public lands has changed, perhaps permanently. In the Northwest, the debate has shifted from whether we should enter the last groves of ancient forest to how we can restore forests ravaged by more than a century of logging and fire suppression.
Credit the evolving science of ecology, credit the progressive politics of a new President, credit an urbanized America that prizes the nation’s shrinking islands of wild nature even as they fall to the backhoe and bulldozer.

Credit too that band of tree huggers from the 1970s who, armed with science, passion and a commitment to future generations, refused to give up.

They changed history. This is their story.

From the Libertary edition's description of the author:
A daily journalist with more than 30 years of experience, Kathie Durbin began tracking the ancient forest conflict in 1989 while working as an environmental reporter for The Oregonian in Portland, Oregon.  Her work has been published in High Country News, National Wildlife, Amicus Journal, Audubon magazine, Defenders of Wildlife, The Seattle Weekly, and Willamette Week and has received numerous awards for coverage of education, social issues, and the environment.  She lives in Portland and currently writes for The Columbian in Vancouver, WA.

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