About the book

If the future mattered, how would our forests be managed?

This question is asked and answered in an indespensible new book, Low-Impact Forestry: Forestry as if the Future Mattered, edited by Mitch Lansky, author of the acclaimed critique of industrial forestry, Beyond the Beauty Strip: Saving What’s Left of Our Forests.

The book begins with an essay by Wendell Berry on the impact of logging technology on community.

Chapter 1 examines the history of logging in Maine and, based on this history, has a recommendation for a three-part strategy for forest protection.

Chapter 2 looks into the principles of low-impact forestry, and, based on these principles, comes up with goals and guidelines for a long-term forestry system.

Chapter 3 has an interview with David Perry on ecosystem management. Dr. Perry is the author of the classic text, Forest Ecosystems.

Chapter 4, by forester and low-impact logger Sam Brown, addresses wood harvesting technologies and their suitability for low-impact logging.

Chapter 5 explores how to assess the degree of damage to residual stands from logging. This chapter includes material from University of Maine forest researcher William Ostrofsky.

Chapter 6 examines how to protect both soil and water, with a special focus on riparian zones.

Chapter 7 discusses a soil-damage assessment system developed for the Low-Impact Forestry Project by soil scientist Jim McLaughlin.

Chapter 8 continues the interview with David Perry, this time on the subject of life in the soil.

Chapter 9 explores some of the history of logging labor policy with an interview with Jimmy Potter, a logger with more than half a century of experience.

Chapter 10 discusses various options for paying loggers in a manner that gives incentives for reducing stand damage and increasing the value of the residual stand.

Chapter 11 explores both the long term and short term economic benefits of low-impact forestry. This chapter questions the economic assumptions that lead to forestry policies that have no future.

Chapter 12 looks into legal aspects of owning forest land, including deeds and contracts. This chapter includes a useful chart on options for land protection and concludes with a case study of retired forester for both the U.S. and Canadian forest services, Gordon Mott, who has zoned his land to protect old growth and scenic views.

Chapter 13, by Hancock County Planning Commission analyst Jim Fisher, looks into how coops and associations for small landowners can lead to both economic benefits and improved management opportunities.

Chapter 14 concludes the book by emphasizing the need for more than just technology or science for improving forestry--the key is a culture committed to caring for the land over generations.

The book has seven appendices that include:

  • lists of equipment suppliers
  • a worksheet for determining residual stand damage,
  • a worksheet for calculating the cost of logging,
  • a tree-value investment chart,
  • a sample contract,
  • recommendations to improve forest certification, and
  • related web sites and magazines for those interested in exploring the subjects further.

    Low-Impact Forestry: Forestry as if the Future Mattered is printed on postconsumer recycled paper bleached without chlorine.

    Published by Maine Environmental Policy Institute, 220 Water Street, POB 347, Hallowell, ME 04347 (www.meepi.org and www.lowimpactforestry.org)

    Distributed by Chelsea Green (www.cheseagreen.com)

    The book is 8 and ½ by 11 inches with lots of photos, charts, and graphs.

    Cost is $20 (plus shipping and handling if mailed).

    Ordering information.