A Conspiracy of Optimism: Management of the National Forests since World War Two

By Paul W. Hirt | Go to book overview

Acknowledgments

As with any project of this size, one's debts add up. My greatest debt is to my wife, Linda, who shares with me a love of the national forests and a commitment to preserving their beauty and biological wealth for future generations. Too numerous to name but too important not to mention are all my friends who over the years have bounced down primitive roads with me to national forest trailheads, launched canoes with me into clear, cold mountain lakes, scrambled up ridges to join me in viewing the lay of the land, and helped me pore over maps and management plans in an attempt to grasp and maybe help direct the future of these priceless national forestlands. You know who you are. This book is also for you.

I began formal research for this book in 1988 as a graduate student in the Department of History at the University of Arizona. My debts to my scholarly mentors at the University of Arizona are deep and my gratitude profound. My advisers for this project in the History Department, Douglas Weiner and Paul Carter, provided not only unerring guidance but also a long leash, for which I am grateful. Professors Helen Ingram and Frank Gregg in political science and natural resources administration initiated me into the academic world of environmental policy and management, adding valuable interdisciplinary dimension to my understanding of public forestry. Their continuous support -- moral, intellectual, and even financial -- has been invaluable. Other mentors in the History Department who helped sharpen my analytical skills and supported me in various ways over the years include Roger Nichols, Donna Guy, Karen Anderson, Leonard Dinnerstein, and Michael Schaller. A significant debt also goes to my peers who shared with

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