Our National Forests

Stories from America’s Most Important Public Lands

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Pub Date 09 Nov 2021 | Archive Date 09 Feb 2022

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“An inspiring reminder of the incredible resource that is our public lands.” —Brendan Leonard, author of The Camping Life and Surviving the Great Outdoors
Across 193 million acres of forests, mountains, deserts, watersheds, and grasslands, national forests provide a multitude of uses as diverse as America itself. They welcome 170 million visitors each year to hike, bike, paddle, ski, fish, and hunt. But “the people’s lands” offer more than just recreation. Lost habitats are recovered, timber is harvested, and endangered wildlife is protected as part of the Forest Service’s enduring mission.
In Our National Forests, Greg Peters gives an inside look at America’s most important public lands and the people committed to protecting them and ensuring access for all. From the Forest Service growing millions of seedlings in the West each year, to their efforts to save the hellbender salamander in Appalachia, the story spans the breadth of the country and its diverse ecology. And people are at the center, whether the dedicated Forest Service members or the everyday citizens who support and tend to the protected lands near their homes.
This complete look at America’s national forests—their triumphs, challenges, controversies, and vital programs—is a must-read for everyone interested in the history of America's most important public lands.
“An inspiring reminder of the incredible resource that is our public lands.” —Brendan Leonard, author of The Camping Life and Surviving the Great Outdoors
Across 193 million acres of forests...

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ISBN 9781604699630
PRICE $29.95 (USD)

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Average rating from 24 members

Featured Reviews

A well-constructed book that interweaves history and personal anecdotes to explain the Forest Service; diving into the conservation efforts dating back to the 19th century, to combat over lumbering in forests, cropping in grasslands, and dedicating specific areas to help rebuild depleted ecosystems and protect indigenous tribal lands.

This book contains wonderful illustrations and efforts made by the Forest Service to protect lands that can be generally free for public use. I am an avid hiker, but stick mostly to National and State Parks. Although, I had (unknowingly) visited national forests. This book helped me understand the processes that have been undertaken to help many of these beautiful places in the US survive and how important education of visiting natural areas is. I found the seeding houses fascinating and really enjoyed the historical sections of the book.

Thank you Netgalley and Timber Press for this ARC. This book offered some great insight into the history of the Forest Service and reminds people to be more conscientious when visiting natural areas – also educating others as well. Maybe I will look in to volunteering or donating to some of these efforts.

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This was a nice educational read full of a lot of great information. I am an environmental science major, so of course I enjoyed this. I think this is a great book for teens and up that will introduce people to the world of national forests!

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Beautiful pictures! A fascinating yet sobering look into the creation of the Forest Service and their work to preserve the land that progress has been trying to take away. Their efforts to stem the tide of deforestation are awe-inspiring and much needed to restore our landscape. There's also a section about the Native Americans and how they were treated. I learned so much from this book and highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in history and science.

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I liked how visual this book was. And also how it included forests from all over the US and not just the west. I thought it was a good overview that allowed the reader to learn without feeling overwhelmed. But also detailed enough to give the reader a good understanding. It was a bit hard to read on a kindle with how the captions aligned with the broken up photos but it was manageable

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Stunning pictures representing a beautiful country! A fascinating yet sobering look into the creation of the Forest Service and their work to preserve the land that progress has been trying to take away the touch of history will provide insight to many who are unfamiliar with the historic aspect. Additionally, I did find the book some what political providing the Bills and Barons of the country how they tried to help preserve when others tried to continue to bleed the resources. Their efforts to stem the tide of deforestation are inspiring, forward reaching and much needed to restore our landscape. There's also a section about the Native Americans and how they were treated. I liked how visual this book was. And also how it included forests from all over the US and not just the west. I thought it was a good overview that allowed the reader to learn without feeling overwhelmed., also engaging enough to give the reader a good understanding.

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A really nice look at how the forests, laws and other events took place and formed in a number of the places in the USA. A map at start.

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I found this to be an excellent book about the history of the Forest Service and the National Forests. Everyone is familiar with our National Parks, not so many with our National Forests. This is unfortunate, as the Forests also offer almost unlimited possibilities for recreation, and are much less likely to be crowded. I found the history behind National Forests to be interesting, as well as the dedication of the employees. The illustrations and photographs are awesome! All in all, this is an excellent book!

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Our National Forests is an engaging look at public lands and the history of the forest service in the USA written by Greg M. Peters. Due out 9th Nov 2021 from Workman Publishing on their Timber Press imprint, it's 280 pages and will be available in hardcover, audio, and ebook formats.

This is a well written and philosophical history and examination of public lands in the United States. The author clearly has a deep engagement and broad knowledge of the subject and writes accessibly and authoritatively. In addition, the book is packed with beautiful color photos of awe-inspiring and unspoiled nature.

The content is arranged thematically: eastern forests, growing trees/reforestation, grassland restoration, Native Americans and their struggles to be heard, the (harmful) impact of humans on fragile ecosystems (poop, for example), future scenarios, citizen science (counts and spotting), fires and aftermath, and diversity and representation in public land use. The book is well annotated and the chapter notes will give keen readers many additional hours of enjoyment.

Four stars. This would be a good choice for public or school library acquisition, gardening/nature groups, home library, or for fans of nature and conservation reading.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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Known as "the people's land," Greg M. Peters reveals an inside look at America's most important public land. "Our National Forests" centers around the people: dedicated employees part of the Forest Service and the citizens supporting and tending to protected lands near their homes. Through Peters' extensive research, this book examines multiple bodies on history, legislations, controversies, challenges and triumphs surrounding our essential public lands across the United States.

This book is filled with gorgeous photographs that were just captivating and moving. Through Peters' excellent writing with intriguing premise, the content was very insightful and informative. For someone like myself who had limited knowledge about our national forests, the writing was very accessible and easy to understand. Peters' passion and his love for our national forests truly shines bright. I always carried mother nature in a special place in my heart, but after delving in-depth it provided me with a greater respect and admiration for what our public land represents and offers. Most importantly, the ongoing fight and the devotion of the people who love and support our national forest is truly remarkable and awe-inspiring. Filled with fascinating basketful of contents plus beautiful illustrations that will be a delightful treat for readers interested in nature and conservation elements.

Thank you to NetGalley and Timber Press for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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An interesting and informative read about the National Forests. I like the concepts too of making me pause and think about the views the average person has on the management issues of public lands. Sadly, the exploitation and apathy doesn't seem to be ending any time soon. Great visuals throughout as well. Highly recommend.

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I grew up near a national forest and even went camping in it, but never really understood what a national forest was. This book does a great job explain what national forests are, what their purpose is, and their history in this country. I loved the photographs included in the book, and appreciated that it didn't avoid the negative parts of its past.

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Did you know our country has National Forests? I am not talking National Parks but land that has been set aside for the use of all and to protect our country's water? And we are not talking solely about places with big trees. Forests encompass many diverse climates. This book is part coffee table picture (oh my the photos!), part history of how the National Forest system was established, part personal stories from the author and others, and part a critical look at the racism and inequality in the forming and running of the system. I was enthralled by many of the ecological projects happening at many of the Forests. I liked that the author acknowledged his own privilege, very openly discussed the tragedy in how many of these lands came to be under government control, and the continued inequity in access to the Forests. (Cynical me wonders how the writing would have differed had this book been written a decade or so ago.) But Mr. Peters is very open about he good, the bad, and the ugly in forming what is a beautiful system of resources available for all Americans, how access and equality have improved within the system, and what is being done to further diversity and inclusion. But overall, this is a gorgeous tribute to something many people don't even think about, and should. I was given a digital copy for review purposes and even before finishing the book, I had ordered a hardcopy. I recommend you do the same to fully enjoy the photos included!

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Beautifully written history and in-depth look at one of our most overlooked National treasures - our forests.

Well researched and written - the reader can feel the depth of experience and the live the author has for this subject.

For anyone that wants to know more about those signs you see along the roadway - this is the perfect place to start!

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Anyone interested in trees, the history of North America, environmental issues and the development of National Parks will be keen to read this book. The photos and other illustrations are beautiful, sometimes uplifting, other times sad. Much research went into the publication.

History includes the mass slaughter of buffalo, which were generally left to rot, in just a few decades. The made and broken treaties with the original managers of the land. We see that the loss of people from agrarian communities meant that tribes moved back to being hunter gatherers, so trees regrew on previously cleared land. Antarctic ice cores prove that trees were absorbing considerably more carbon by 1610, not long at all after Old World diseases arrived. History also includes railroads which made possible industrial logging.

The chapters bring us to pine forests, genetic adaptation and grafting to beat fungal diseases. To tallstem grass prairie forests. To a glacier melting gently into the mountain river, to hikers getting into difficulty, wildlife issues, and water management. Firefighting, which generally followed intense logging. This looks to be a good roundup of modern issues on the scene, with room for a few personal anecdotes. A chapter reminds us that not everyone has equal access to parks, whether because of economic difficulty or other factors.

I recommend this book. Notes and credits P 261 - 268 in my e-ARC. Index 267 - 277.
I read an e-ARC from Net Galley. This is an unbiased review.

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The next best to being out in a National Forest is reading about the history of them. The author covers their unique features, the good, the bad and in between of the richly diverse system of protected forests that are ours to explore. Fun and easy to read in small chunks as each chapter is bout a different forest.

**I received an electronic ARC from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and unbiased review of this book.

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We're all familiar with the national parks, but this book focuses on our national forests, why they're important, the history (good & bad), the wide variety of landscapes and beautiful photos.

Thanks to Timber Press and NetGalley for the eARC in exchange for my honest review.

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Part travelogue, part history lesson, part environmental plea, Our National Forests is exactly what we need to ignite a renewed interest in our country's protected lands.

Turns out, National Forests (not National Parks, which are something else entirely) are much more than I thought. I was surprised to learn that not only had I likely visited a National Forest without even knowing it, they're absolutely essential to the fabric of our nation. The National Forests are steeped in history -- both good and bad -- and the author doesn't shy away from either. Whatever your mood (introspective, light, frustrated, or scientifically curious) you'll be greeted with insightful stories and huge color images that you could easily get lost in.

Our National Forest is as varied as the lands in question: sometimes dense and textbooky with dates and figures, sometimes sprinkled with relatable anecdotes that'll make you chuckle, and sometimes sobering. The author addresses challenging topics from the early days of the Forest Service as well as ongoing issues like human impact, apathy, and inequality. But just before the reader's heart breaks, we're presented with new stories of citizen science, advancements, and renewals. I especially enjoyed the historical chapter about the first planted forest in Nebraska. What an uphill battle it must've been to learn how to efficiently establish a forest where there was none!

As the author points out, much of the forests themselves are millennia old, but the Forest Service is only 115. Clearly, there's a lot more history to be written in this ongoing tribute to trees. If you love our lands and are interested in what's protected, how, and why, Our National Forests belongs on your coffee table.

Thanks to NetGalley, the author, and the publisher for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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When people want to get outdoors and visit some of nature's landscapes, National Parks are at the top of their list to explore. With the pandemic, these parks faced record numbers of visitors and became crowded, spoiling the wilderness experience for many. In "Our National Forests", Greg Peters reminds us of a forgotten resource for those who seek beauty all across the United States, our National Forests. Managed by the U.S. Forest Service, 193 million acres are available for those who want to escape cities and experience these sacred areas. Peters provides extensive history and geography lessons of these precious lands who were once managed by the indigenous people, and provides a narrative of early environmentalists who paved the way of preserving our wilderness areas. Forest management, which includes preserving tree species, and the history and use of timber resources are described in detail. Beautiful wilderness photos accompany the text which carries an important message of preserving these beautiful National Forests to provide the wilderness experience for everyone.

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A beautiful telling of our National Forests. From the history, it was originally only in the west before it expanded to include parts of the east when some rich men wanted to preserve some of their land, to the future, they have seed farms! There are history chapters, starting with it forming in the west to the east and building up our seedling farms. And a chapter about grasslands (who knew that was part of the National Forest). A chapter about the Indigenous People being forced from the lands they lived and cared for, while also ignoring their guidance on keeping the forests and lands thriving. This is a fantastic book for people who love nature and traveling the country. I found it interesting and loved the pictures included in each chapter.

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I really enjoyed this audiobook about the national forests in America. The author included a lot of history on the national forest system, including the indigenous people that were here when the Europeans showed up. He also spoke of the bison, and how Obama made it the national mammal while he was president. I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in the national forests, nature or history. The narration was also very well done. I want to thank the author, the publisher, and Netgalley for giving me an e-copy of this book, in return for an honest review.

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