Agony Of An American Wilderness / Edition 1

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The Allegheny National Forest exists on what might have been the most heavily exploited landscape in the history of civilization. Careful stewardship over the last eight decades has transformed it into a beautiful forest that contains countless wildlife species and some of the world's most valuable timber. Local communities are steeped in pride for having written that unprecedented environmental success story. Unfortunately, the Allegheny is now the focus of a caustic new timber war that will ultimately test the limits of American environmentalism. No longer satisfied with protecting the pristine old growth that captured the national imagination in the early 1990s, activists have embarked on campaign to put an end to the Allegheny timber program. Litigation and protests have shaken the region for a decade. More recently, it has become a hotbed of eco-terrorism. But restoring the Allegheny to something activists accept will be far more difficult, expensive, and explosive than setting aside a few million acres for the northern spotted owl. This book examines the communities caught in the middle of that political crossfire and forces Americans to decide if they are ready to accept the new activist agenda: In their own words, 'If we can stop logging on the Allegheny, we can stop it everywhere.'

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Editorial Reviews

Jack Ward Thomas
The Agony of an American Wilderness is destined to be a classic case history study of the political/psychological/social/legal 'game that people play' relative to the national forest management. Until Congress sees fit to sever the Gordian Knot that increasingly binds federal forest managers, such political passion plays are the likely future for the management of federal lands.
Pete Geddes
The Agony of an American Wilderness shifts our attention from the traditional battlegrounds of the wilderness movement, the old growth forests of the West, to the Allegheny National Forest. Here, Sam MacDonald offers us a fascinating glimpse of a damaged land on the mend and the people living in it.
Scitech Book News
Journalist MacDonald (who was born and raised in the region) examines the communities that are caught in the crossfire of this debate and argues that the "zero-cut" philosophy of forest resource management is too extreme.
The Philadelphia Inquirer
He has done us all a service in laying out, in a down-to-earth style, the history and nature of the forest, and the pros and cons of the opposing camps' arguments.
Western Pennsylvania History
Interviews, a history of regional logging and environmentalism, and a look at locals versus tourists make this a must-read for those who believe heated environmental controversies only exist on the west coast.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780742541580
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 2/28/2005
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 200
  • Product dimensions: 5.84 (w) x 8.68 (h) x 0.52 (d)

Meet the Author

Samuel A. MacDonald is an award-winning journalist who has covered courts, crime, Washington politics, and war-torn Bosnia. He has served as the Washington editor of the libertarian monthly, Reason. His stories have earned several first-place finishes in the annual Maryland, Delaware and District of Columbia Press Association Awards. MacDonald was awarded a Phillips Foundation Journalism Fellowship in May of 2002, and spent the next 18 months investigating the environmental battle unfolding on the Allegheny National Forest. He has written about the crisis for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette , and his findings and observations about the Allegheny timber wars have been sought by numerous media outlets.

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Table of Contents

Part 1 Introduction: Welcome to "Pennsyltucky:" A Strange New Front in the Great American Timber War Chapter 2 The Forgotten Forest: The Allegheny Experience, From Old Growth to Brush Heap and Beyond Chapter 3 Meet the Activists: History, Culture and Politics Collide at the Annual Gathering Chapter 4 Mom and Pop Go Bust: The Complex Plight of the Allegheny Sawmill Chapter 5 I Work in the Woods: Fear and Logging on the Allegheny Chapter 6 Restoration, Reality and the Perils of Science: Can the Allegheny Become a Wilderness Again? Chapter 7 Take It to the Streets: Radical Activists Battle Pre-teen Satirists for Control Chapter 8 Third Way or Third Rail?: Zero Cut Meets Resistance From Within Chapter 9 The Anti-Activist: A Right-wing Renaissance Man in the Land of Bulls, Bars and "Dinors" Chapter 10 Legal Eagles, Underdogs and the Fish that (Almost) Ate Pittsburgh: Half Steps and Caveats in Federal Court Chapter 11 Wilderness Revisted: What is Pretty? And Why It Matters. Chapter 12 Old Growth, New Economy and the Tourism Promise: If you build it, who will come? Chapter 13 Epilogue: The Great Green Pendulum Part 14 Index Part 15 About the Author

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