Academic journal article Electronic Green Journal

Review: Michigan's State Forests: A Century of Stewardship

Academic journal article Electronic Green Journal

Review: Michigan's State Forests: A Century of Stewardship

Article excerpt

Review: Michigan's State Forests: A Century of Stewardship By William B. Botti and Michael D. Moore Reviewed by Elery Hamilton-Smith Charles Sturt University, Australia Botti, William B. and Moore, Michael D. Michigan's State Forests: A Century of Stewardship. Michigan State University Press, East Lansing, 2006. 201pp. ISBN: 0870137808. US$29.95, paper.

Many professional foresters will identify with the problems and challenges identified in this excellent history of the Michigan State Forest Systems. The continuing changes in governance, rises and falls of the budgetary process, and the impacts of other unrelated political processes and fortunes are all too familiar.

But this is also a story of vision, persistence and achievement. It can even be described as a standard-setting story. Michigan had moved from almost total destruction of forests to a healthy and well-balanced multiple-use forest system.

This is doubtless due in part to the selective white settlement of the beautiful gentle landscapes of the peninsula with their common views across the lakes. This perspective suggests that Michigan's settlers came because they were attracted by the environmental character and values and so were receptive to the very idea of restoring forest lands.

However, this concept was fostered by the appointment of German forester Frederick Roth as both warden of the state forests and head of the school of forestry. He was one of the young immigrants from Germany who brought with him a vision of and capacity for forest management and fostered its development in their new country. …

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