Wildfires are an awe-inspiring natural phenomenon that have shaped North America's landscapes since the dawn of time. They are a force that we cannot really control, and thus understanding, appreciating, and learning to live with wildfire is ultimately our wisest public policy.
With more than 150 dramatic photographs, Wildfire: A Century of Failed Forest Policy covers the topic of wildfire from ecological, economic, and social/political perspectives, while also documenting how past forest policies have hindered natural processes, creating a tinderbox of problems that we are faced with today. More than 25 leading thinkers in the field of fire ecology provide in-depth analyses, critiques, and compelling solutions for how we live with fire in our society. Using examples, such as the epic Yellowstone fires of 1988, the ever-present southern California fires, and the Northwest's Biscuit Fire of 2002, Wildfire: A Century of Failed Forest Policy examines the ecology of these landscapes and the policies and practices that affected them and continue to affect them, such as fire suppression, prescribed burns, salvage logging, and land-use planning.
Overall, Wildfire: A Century of Failed Forest Policy aims to promote the restoration of fire to the landscape and to encourage its natural behaviour so it can resume its role as a major ecological process.
Editor George Wuerthner is a professional photographer and the author of more than two dozen books on natural history and other environmental topics. He is currently the ecological projects director for the Foundation for Deep Ecology.