• Book cover

  We can only wonder how Thoreau would have reacted, beyond suffering simultaneously from apoplexy and a coronary, to the trashing of nature that Clearcut reveals. Not just leaves and grand passages, but entire chapters have been ripped out.

*David Brower

In Clearcut: The Tragedy of Industrial Forestry, disturbing aerial views bear witness to the elimination of ancient forests throughout North America. The images of clearcuts in states as diverse as Maine, Ohio, Texas and Alabama, and provinces such as Saskatchewan, show us the extent of our loss throughout North America. In essays, Chris Maser, Colleen McCrory, Reed Noss and Mitch Lansky, among others, write about the patches of old-growth forests remaining that are poor imitations of what once was a single, interlocked entity - a community that covered 2,000 miles along the Pacific Coast. These patches are now vulnerable to windthrow, catastrophic fire and invasion by alien species.

Sierra Club Books and Earth Island Press, San Francisco, Calif. Paper, large format: $30. 291 pages. Illustrated with black-and-white and color photos by Garth Lenz, Trygve Steen and Barry Tessman, among others.