Aug 8, 2016

America's Wild Woodlands

edited by Donald J. Crump, et al.

I'm going through my National Geographic books. This one has numerous authors. It is, just as the title describes, a description of the various types of forests that cover North America. The chapters are about visits to different national parks and refuges, each encompassing a particular type of habitat. While the refuge book told me a lot about animals, this one is mostly focused on plants. Names of plants abound, their different communities and what makes them thrive and how people are managing woodlands to keep certain species from disappearing. There's frequent mention of harvesting methods, selective logging and thinning of trees, concerns about how to manage fires (which can be rejuvenating) and over other negative influences on forestland: insect infestations, tree diseases, acid rain. It reminds me a lot of Thoreau's Faith in a Seed, but this book is actually drier reading. Thankfully the text is brief, makes its point, and the pictures are numerous. Photographs are very nice and the illustrations by Alan Singer are exquisite in their tidy detail.
Disappointingly, only the cover illustration (hidden by the jacket) includes a bird, all the others show identifying tree foliage.

Rating: 2/5      200 pages, 1985

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