The Final Forest: The Battle for the Last Great Trees of the Pacific Northwest
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The Final Forest: The Battle for the Last Great Trees of the Pacific Northwest

4.11 of 5 stars 4.11  ·  rating details  ·  132 ratings  ·  20 reviews
In a riveting exploration of our connection to all that we cherish and exploit on Earth, a Pulitzer Prize-winning correspondent for The Seattle Times examines the human side of the struggle that looms as the fate of our forest s is determined.
Paperback, 304 pages
Published June 1st 1993 by Penguin Books (first published 1992)
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This is true journalism. Bill Dietrich (now an environmental journalism professor at Western Washington University) walks a delicate balance in this book, outlining the logging industry in Washington state, its historic, cultural and socio-economic importance. Hitching rides with loggers in Forks, deep in the forest of the Olympic Penninsula, he weaves a compassionate portrait of their livelihood but also makes a critical examination of our use of natural resources as an industry.
A very balanced perspective on logging in the Pacific Northwest--which sounds boring, but is actually quite interesting:) It dragged a little in parts, particularly the parts where Deitrich threw out a whole bunch of numbers and statistics, but that's more a statement about what I'm interested in (big picture, not numbers;) than the worth or interest of the book.

Plus, how cool is it to learn about stuff that was going on in your own backyard?
While many praise Dietrich's work about the ancient forests of the Pacific North West as balanced, I would say that he does a much more thorough job of humanizing the loggers and demonstrating the complexities of logging from their perspective. Perhaps this was a new view at the time the book was written, as he paints a portrait of a crazed environmentalism that does not take into account the human lives impacted by restricted logging. While I had a hard time putting the book down, it could have...more
Read this right before going out the Hoh Rainforest on the Olympic peninsula, and even staying in Forks for the night. An amazing snapshot of all the types of people, from logging truck drivers to big time environmental activists, that tie into the controversy over old growth logging. Dietrich's writing is clear and beautiful, covering the entire history of the Olympics from early exploration and settlement through modern timber harvesting (with a nod to Twilight tourism) and how perspectives ev...more
Phenomenal. One of the first times I have really taken time to listen to diverse perspectives in the conservation/preservation debate and suddenly found myself on the side of the loggers in Forks,WA. It made me feel more connected to the diverse perspectives people come from in relating to the natural world. I loved the truth spoken when a logger said that when tourists look into the ugliness of a clearcut and are shocked they are only looking into the desires of their own heart. Such a great re...more
Good book about the old growth forests in the Pacific Northwest and the people that worked in them, the forest scientists, and the people that advocated for their preservation. It really breaks my heart that so much old growth was logged with the idea that second growth managed for timber was the way to go. With my ankle situation, I haven't been to real old growth for a log time (except for the California redwoods, but there was little solitude there).

I liked reading the 2010 edition with a new...more
Dec 16, 2012 Eric rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2012
Man this should be required reading in schools. Environmentally a great lesson, though not presented in a condescending manner. This is one of the most effective pieces of journalism I have come across. Loggers, Forestry, Industry, Local communities and Environmentalists both conservative and radical have a voice. All side have an equal platform and the reader cannot help but sympathize with everyone at times. This is more about what we as a society have to change when realities become apparent,...more
No matter your opinion when you begin this book, I believe you'll find food for thought somewhere in it. It presents many ways to consider the forest and forestry, nature, forest workers, federal agencies, owls, personal bondings with nature and the forest (by loggers, foresters, environmentalists) impacts on people and the land. This is a complicated subject well researched and described.
Quite educational for a tree lover like me with no expertise in the fields of forestry and logging; learning about the duels between environmentalists and loggers, etc. was eye-opening.
This is an excellent account of the logging wars that went on in the Pacific Northwest. Dietrich does a nice job interviewing the main characters and showing the issue from multiple angles. It would be interesting if there was a followup as it was written in 92.
If you are curious at all about the Spotted Owl and forestry in Washington, this is a good book to read. It presents both sides of the story in a(sometimes frustrating)fairly unbiased view. I highly recommend it.
Don  Kent
This book changed my one sided opinion about the timber industry and the Spotted Owl. It was a good look at both sides of an ecological issue--both the environmental and the social.
Keith Daly
The 'Omnivores Dilemma' of the timber industry; you'll finish the book understanding the challenges of preserving what we also rely on in every day life.
I remember that this book alternates views between environmentalists and loggers, showing that ultimately they both respect and value the forest.
Written in 1992, about spotted owl time, Dietrich wrote this treasure of a book. A new edition comes out in October.
Well written, accessible, and well balanced. This is a great book that lays out both sides of the issue. Excellent.
The Soil
I hate this book.. yet I have to read it for class.. but it means nothing to me... gargle
Good summary of the timber ind. vs. environmentalists in the PNW.
Coho Cabin
Both educational and emotional.
Not as good as mine...
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William Dietrich is a NY Times bestelling author of the Ethan Gage series, seven books which have sold into 28 languages. He is also the author of six other adventure novels, several nonfiction works on the environmental history of the Pacific Northwest, and a contributor to several books.

Bill was a career journalist, sharing a Pulitzer for national reporting at the Seattle Times for coverage of t...more
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