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Forests define the Pacific Coast in many ways. Culturally they are part of the traditions of the First Nations; economically they have sustained an industry that has created settlements and wealth throughout the area. In the last twenty years, the forests have become the subject of increasing conflict, as economic interests clash with changing social and political values. The war in the woods has escalated, hardening battle lines and polarizing forest politics.
In this thoughtful collection of essays edited by Debra J. Salazar and Donald K. Alper, forest policy in the U.S. Pacific Northwest and British Columbia is examined in a binational context. While US and Canadian forest policy and forest management approaches differ, the two countries face similar challenges and conflicts. Contributors discuss the evolution of forest exploitation, the response of timber companies to U.S. federal environmental regulations, sovereignty for First Nations communities, and the reshaping of the political economy of forests by global forces on both sides of the border. Groups usually ignored in the forest policy debate -- such as First Nations peoples, workers in the emerging non-forest economy, and citizen activists -- are also given voice in this fascinating compilation.
The contributors to Sustaining the Forests of the Pacific Coast offer new perspectives that recognize the complexity of the issues and the diversity of interests in forest politics. A valuable contribution to the ongoing debate over forest policy on both sides of the Canada/U.S. border, these essays analyze the challenges facing forest policy makers and open the discussion up to those whose voices have not been heard before.