There’s a bumper sticker I have pinned to the wall above the little desk here in my writing/photography/nap-on-the-futon studio that says, “Treehugging Dirt Worshipper,” which, when asked, is how I spiritually define myself to hay-heads with the gall to ask. To prove this, here is my second review for the Indy (here is the first) in the last few weeks of a book about trees. This one is Ponderosa: People, Fire, and the West’s Most Iconic Tree by Carl E. Fiedler and Stephen F. Arno.
These sections deal in fascinating politics. The authors pinpoint how current arguments about fire and logging, beginning in the early 1900s, continue to cycle through the years. They spend most of the space detailing the history of the “fire-industrial complex”a cool term modern critics use to talk about the whole fire management puzzle, including who benefits from the strict suppression of forest fires. Reading these sections, I’m struck by all the drama and what a deep, engaging story it makes. The history really has it all: strong characters, corruption and betrayal, all played out against the backdrop of the wild, American West.
There’s a reading next Tuesday night at Shakespeare and Co. I’m going to do my best to attend. It should be interesting.