A Very Short Introduction
1. Forests in human culture
The tree which moves some to tears of joy is, in the eyes of others, only a green thing which stands in the way.
). Two years and eight days later she climbed back down again. Her two-year sojourn in the canopy was to protest the logging of ancient forest trees by the Pacific Lumber Company, and in doing so she became an unlikely hero of a national and global movement to protect forests. Julia Hill’s stand against Pacific Lumber encapsulates two polarized perceptions of forests, as resources ripe for exploitation or as pristine Nature,
6. Past, present, and future
The past: a history of European deforestation
Over forty years ago, Henry Darby, widely regarded as Britain’s first and best-known historical geographers, suggested that ‘the most important single factor that has changed the European landscape is the clearing of the woodland’. A human history of forests is largely one of deforestation, and is as old as human history itself. Hunter-gatherers leave fewer tangible marks on the environment compared to farmers, yet their effects on forests can still be substantial. Late Palaeolithic and Mesolithic people in Europe used stone axes to clear a little woodland around