No book currently on bookstore shelves explores, as The Forests of Michigan does, the natural history, ecology, management, economic importance, and use of the rich and varied forests that cover about half of the state's 36.3 million acres. The authors look at the forests, where they are, how they got to be, and their present-day usage, using the story of Michigan forests as a backdrop for the state's history, including its archaeology.
The Forests of Michigan explores how the forests came back after the great Wisconsin glacier began to recede over 12,000 years ago, and how they recovered from the onslaught of unrestrained logging and wildfire that, beginning in the mid-1800s, virtually wiped them out. The emphasis of the book is on sustaining for the long term the forests of the state, with a view of sustainability that builds not only upon the lessons learned from native peoples' attitude and use of trees but also on the latest scientific principles of forest ecology and management.
Generously illustrated and written in an engaging style, The Forests of Michigan sees the forest and the trees, offering both education and delight. "As forest scientists," the authors note, "we opted for a hearty serving of meat and potatoes; anyone who reads this book with the intention of learning something will not be disappointed. Nonetheless, we do include some anecdotal desserts, too."
Donald I. Dickmann is Professor of Forestry at Michigan State University and holds a doctorate from the University of Wisconsin. He is the author of The Culture of Poplars. Larry A. Leefers is Associate Professor in the Department of Forestry at Michigan State University. He holds a doctorate from Michigan State University.