A Century of Failed Forest Policy

Wildfires have always influenced the character of the landscape. They are a force that humans cannot fully control, and thus understanding and learning to live with wildfire is ultimately the wisest public policy. With more than 150 dramatic photographs, Wildfire explores the topic from ecological, economic, and social/political perspectives while also documenting how past forest policies in North America have hindered natural processes, creating a tinderbox of problems today. More than twenty-five leading thinkers in the field of fire ecology provide in-depth analyses, critiques, and compelling solutions for how society can coexist with wildfire. Using examples including the epic Yellowstone fires of 1988, the ever-present southern California fires, and the Pacific Northwest’s Biscuit Fire of 2002, the book examines the ecology of these landscapes and the policies and practices that affect them such as fire suppression, prescribed burns, salvage logging, and land-use planning. Overall, the book promotes the restoration of fire to the landscape so that it can resume its role as a major ecological process while maintaining the safety of human communities.

Contributors: Edited by George Wuerthner; with essays by Stephen J. Pyne, Mollie Matteson, Thomas R. Vale, Les Aucoin, Gary Snyder, Dominick DellaSella, Timothy Ingalsbee, Andy Kerr and others.

Distributed by Island Press, 2006.

The Wildfire Reader:
A Century of Failed Forest Policy

The Wildfire Reader presents, in an affordable paperback edition, the essays included in Wildfire, offering a concise overview of fire landscapes and the past century of forest policy that has affected them (Island Press, 2006).