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

4.18  ·  Rating Details ·  195 Ratings  ·  22 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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Jun 25, 2011 Audrajung rated it it was amazing
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
Dec 02, 2012 Eric rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 22, 2011 Stasia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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?
Oct 22, 2008 Tara rated it really liked it
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.
Wendy Feltham
Apr 25, 2015 Wendy Feltham rated it really liked it
This is an important book for people living in the Pacific Northwest, especially Washington State. William Dietrich is an excellent writer, and with this book, he accomplished something unusual. He reported on the forests of the Olympic Peninsula, the timber industry, and the Spotted Owl controversy, all centering on the town of Forks. Each chapter draws you into the lives of people living in little Forks who are committed to a particular role in the forest-- loggers who cut down the trees, wild ...more
Jun 06, 2013 Frances rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
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
Jul 12, 2013 Laura rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 06, 2012 FrankO rated it really liked it
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
Peter Szabo
Dec 09, 2016 Peter Szabo rated it it was amazing
Read this book after a family vacation on the Olympic Peninsula. An outstanding book encompassing "all points of view" so to speak about the Olympic Peninsula. Dietrich focuses on the battles over natural resources - here, this means the great forests - and broadens the reader's mind about both the biological values of the region, and also the livelihoods that depend upon the forests there. A very balanced and enjoyable read.
Mar 10, 2010 Jackiejjj rated it really liked it
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.
Aug 27, 2008 Ericacapuana rated it really liked it
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.
Matt Theis
Nov 30, 2016 Matt Theis rated it really liked it
Was nice to hear descriptions of the problem/solutions from different viewpoints, from industry to environmentalists to the forest service. Learned a lot about logging and the dramatic changes that took place in the industry from 1970-1992.
Don  Kent
Apr 24, 2011 Don Kent rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jul 07, 2010 Judy rated it liked it
Written in 1992, about spotted owl time, Dietrich wrote this treasure of a book. A new edition comes out in October.
Keith Daly
Aug 18, 2013 Keith Daly rated it it was amazing
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.
Dec 31, 2013 Kate rated it liked it
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.
Jan 08, 2011 Jim rated it really liked it
Shelves: ecology, non-fiction
I remember that this book alternates views between environmentalists and loggers, showing that ultimately they both respect and value the forest.
Simone rated it really liked it
Jan 04, 2010
Suzanne rated it really liked it
Jun 26, 2012
Sarah rated it really liked it
Jul 07, 2012
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Jul 07, 2016
amelia d. becke
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M Wildman rated it really liked it
Apr 20, 2008
Morrigan rated it liked it
Apr 22, 2016
Susan rated it liked it
Jul 30, 2008
David rated it it was amazing
Oct 22, 2011
Anna rated it really liked it
Jan 27, 2009
Coho Cabin
Oct 31, 2011 Coho Cabin rated it really liked it
Both educational and emotional.
k. rated it liked it
Jun 17, 2011
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William Dietrich is a NY Times bestelling author of the Ethan Gage series of eight 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
More about William Dietrich...

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