Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Forest Dreams, Forest Nightmares: The…

Forest Dreams, Forest Nightmares: The Paradox of Old Growth in the Inland… (original 1995; edition 1996)

by Nancy Langston, William Cronon (Foreword)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
331338,203 (4)2
Title:Forest Dreams, Forest Nightmares: The Paradox of Old Growth in the Inland West (Weyerhaeuser Environmental Books)
Authors:Nancy Langston
Other authors:William Cronon (Foreword)
Info:University of Washington Press (1996), Paperback, 380 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

Forest Dreams, Forest Nightmares: The Paradox of Old Growth in the Inland West by Nancy Langston (1995)



Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 2 mentions

This book is an eloquent case study about the management of the Blue Mountains in eastern Oregon. Langston interweaves ecology and history, practice and theory, management and science to discuss how and why the forests of this region have transformed in the wakeof European settlement. She uses archival materials, such as the journals of Lewis and Clark, government documents, scientific research articles, interviews, and more to describe the area's ecology; land use history, including Native American traditions, fur trapping, logging, grazing, farming, burning and fire suppression; the origins, ideals, and practices of the Forest Service; the cultural assumptions behind all of these practices; and the potential for ecological restoration. An illustrative quotation from the closing chapter: "All attempts to manage are attempts to tell a story about how the land ought to be, and by definition, all these stories are simpler than the world itself." It's an engaging and thought-provoking read. Traditional ecological restorationists may dispute her arguments that it is neither possible nor reasonable to attempt to restore an ecosystem to a specific historical condition and that all visions of the land are products of human desire and intervention. However, they will likely support the proposal to "figure out some way of working with dry lands and dry forests by forming close connections to a place but also being willing to adapt to the character of the place." And one side note: I can't help being amused every time that this is a Weyerhauser Environmental Book. ( )
  justchris | Jan 21, 2009 |
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Nancy Langstonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Cronon, WilliamForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
First words
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


Book description
Place and ecology--
Before the Forest Service--
The Feds in the forests--
Making sense of strangeness: silvics in the Blues--
Liquidating the pines--
Animals: domestic and wild nature--
Restoring the Inland West--
Conclusion: living with complexity.
Haiku summary

No descriptions found.

Across the inland West, forests that once seemed like paradise have turned into an ecological nightmare. Fires, insect epidemics, and disease now threaten millions of acres of once-bountiful forests. Yet no one can agree what went wrong. Was it too much management - or not enough - that forced the forests of the inland West to the verge of collapse? Is the solution more logging, or no logging at all? In this gripping work of scientific and historical detection, Nancy Langston unravels the disturbing history of what went wrong with the western forests, despite the best intentions of those involved. Focusing on the Blue Mountains of northeastern Oregon and southeastern Washington, she explores how the complex landscapes that so impressed settlers in the nineteenth century became an ecological disaster in the late twentieth. Federal foresters, intent on using their scientific training to stop exploitation and waste, suppressed light fires in the ponderosa pinelands. Hoping to save the forests, they could not foresee that their policies would instead destroy what they loved. When light fires were kept out, a series of ecological changes began. Firs grew thickly in forests once dominated by ponderosa pines, and when droughts hit, those firs succumbed to insects, diseases, and eventually catastrophic fires.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
2 wanted

Popular covers


Average: (4)
4 2

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


You are using the new servers! | About | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 115,174,808 books! | Top bar: Always visible