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Comprehensive treatment of the natural history of one of the Earth's largest ecosystems covering more that 1.5 million square miles. Henry challenges the perception of the boreal forest as an "economic wasteland" by explaining how economically and ecologically valuable it is. He gives an in-depth examination of three factors that play an enormous role in shaping the complex life of the boreal forest: snow, forest fires and peatlands. Henry looks at the dynamics of the region's vegetation and the evolution of its animals, and discusses the fascinating ten-year predator-prey cycle of snowshoe hares and Canadian lynx, one of the most famous examples of ecological interconnection. Finally he examines initiatives from Scandinavia and Finland to offer alternatives to large-scale logging and mining and suggests how humans can live and work in the boreal forest in a sustainable and responsible manner.