Forests under Fire

A Century of Ecosystem Mismanagement in the Southwest

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The devastating fire that swept through Los Alamos, New Mexico, in the spring of 2000 may have been caused by one controlled burn gone wild, but it was far from an isolated event. All through the twentieth century, our national forests have been under assault from all sides: first ranchers and loggers laid their claims to our national forests, then recreationists and environmentalists spoke up for their interests. Who are our national forests really for?

In this book, leading environmental historians show us what has been happening to these fragile woodlands. Taking us from lumber towns to Indian reservations to grazing lands, Forests under Fire reveals the interaction of Anglos, Hispanics, and Native Americans with the forests of the American Southwest. It examines recent controversies ranging from red squirrel conservation on Mt. Graham to increased tourism in our national forests. These case studies offer insights into human-forest relationships in places such as the Coconino National Forest, the Vallecitos Sustained Yield Unit, and the Gila Wilderness Area while also drawing on issues and concerns about similar biospheres in other parts of the West.

Over the past century, forest management has evolved from a field dominated by the "conservationist" perspective—with humans exploiting natural resources-to one that emphasizes biocentrism, in which forests are seen as dynamic ecosystems. Yet despite this progressive shift, the assault on our forests continues through overgrazing of rangelands, lumbering, eroding mountainsides, fire suppression, and threats to the habitats of endangered species. Forests under Fire takes a closer look at the people calling the shots in our national forests, from advocates of timber harvesting to champions of ecosystem management, and calls for a reassessment of our priorities—before our forests are gone.

Contents

Introduction: Toward a Twenty-First-Century Forest Ecosystem Management Strategy / Christopher J. Huggard
Industry and Indian Self-Determination: Northern Arizona’s Apache Lumbering Empire, 1870-1970 / Arthur R. Gómez
A Social History of McPhee: Colorado’s Largest Lumber Town / Duane A. Smith
The Vallecitos Federal Sustained-Yield Unit: The (All Too) Human Dimension of Forest Management in Northern New Mexico, 1945-1998 / Suzanne S. Forrest
Grazing the Southwest Borderlands: The Peloncillo-Animas District of the Coronado National Forest in Arizona and New Mexico, 1906-1996 / Diana Hadley
America’s First Wilderness Area: Aldo Leopold, the Forest Service, and the Gila of New Mexico, 1924-1980 / Christopher J. Huggard
"Where There’s Smoke": Wildfire Policy and Suppression in the American Southwest / John Herron
Struggle in an Endangered Empire: The Search for Total Ecosystem Management in the Forests of Southern Utah, 1976-1999 / Thomas G. Alexander
Biopolitics: A Case Study of Political Influence on Forest Management Decisions, Coronado National Forest, Arizona, 1980s-1990s / Paul W. Hirt
Epilogue: Seeing the Forest Not for the Trees: The Future of Southwestern Forests in Retrospect / Hal K. Rothman

"A truly excellent collection of essays. . .a significant and useful book that merits attention for its serious consideration of people and the environment in their complex and dynamic relationships."—Journal of the West

"A well-balanced, scholarly anthology that addresses the history of forest management in the southwestern United States. . . . I recommend this book not just to those interested in the Southwest but to anyone seeking to understand the context of contemporary ecosystem management." —William Wallace Covington, Journal of Forestry
 
Forests under Fire
307 Pages 6 x 9 x 1 Published: 2001 Hardcover (9780816517756)
Ebook (9780816536665)

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