David A. Clary, former chief historian of the US Forest Service, is the author or coauthor of several books on American history, including "The Place Where Hell Bubbled Up" A History of the First National Park and Adopted Son: Washington, Lafayette, and the Friendship That Saved the Revolution.
This is the revealing story of a U.S. Government agency long applauded as protector of a vital natural resource, until it began to alarm its once admiring and trusting public by expanding large-scale clearcutting in our national forests during the 1950s. Lawsuits and legislation led to the National Forest Management Act of 1976, which outlined forest policies and encouraged public involvement. Clary's meticulously documented account demonstrates that from its birth in 1905, the Forest Service, ever fearful of a timber famine, perceived, and still perceives, its mission to be the conversion of our virgin national forest to young sustained yield. Clary's important book provides historical perspective for all concerned with regulation of forest use, and urges the public to stay involved.Annette Aiello, Smithsonian Tropical Research Inst., Panama