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Reviews

"This book reads in many ways like a love story. It starts with starry-eyed romance, evolves through the inevitable joys and disappointments of any committed relationship, and ends with a mature appreciation for a lifelong partner whose faults are understood in the context of a genuine though imperfect striving to do what is good and right in a rapidly changing world ... Borrowing from Oscar Wilde, Furnish views the Forest Service over much of his four decade-long career as an agency full of 'uncritical lovers' surrounded by 'unloving critics,' and himself as a 'critical lover' striving to lead a hesitant agency to live up to its full and considerable potential as a world-class conservation organization for the twenty-first century."

--Al Sample, President of the Pinchot Institute for Conservation

"This engaging memoir ... is a critical element of the environmental history of both the Forest Service and the Northwest, and also a heartfelt story of how a professional—tempered by experience and loyal to the mission of his agency—grappled with the complex challenges of our times and with the growing knowledge that facing the future means treating our land with deep and durable respect."

--Tim Palmer, author of Trees and Forests of America and Field Guide to Oregon Rivers

"Toward a Natural Forest provides a rich contribution to the literature of Forest Service history, focusing on the critical decades since the 1960's. Furnish's writing is clear and cogent and serves the broader purpose as well. The book itself reflects the accessibility, affordability, and high-quality presentation typical of Oregon State University Press. The result is an enjoyable read and an important book for anyone interested in natural resource management in the late-twentieth century."

-- Kevin Marsh, Ecology

"Furnish concludes in his bare-knuckled memoir Toward a Natural Forest with his 'green manifesto' and a discussion of the challenges the Forest Service faces in the coming years. Well written and clear eyed, the book is a good compliment to Skillen's book because of its insider's account of how the Forest Service struggled to implement ecosystem management on the national forest level." -- James G. Lewis, Forest History Today

"In his engaging new memoir, Toward a Natural Forest, Furnish outlines how the Forest Service transitioned from a can-do operation with a clear mission -- getting out the cut -- to an agency striving, and largely failing, to find new reasons to justify its existence."

-- Matt Rasmussen, High Country News

"I highly recommend Toward a Natural Forest to all who enjoy reading a well written, exceptionally honest and unguarded memoir, and I particularly recommend it to everyone who spends any time in the great outdoors, particularly in the western states."

-- John E. Riutta, The Well-Read Naturalist

 

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