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Two kinds of long-term research are taking place at the H. J. Andrews Experimental Forest, a renowned research facility in the temperate rain forest of the Oregon Cascades. Here, scientists investigate the ecosystem’s trees, wildlife, water, and nutrients with an eye toward understanding change over varying timescales up to two hundred years or more. And writers from both literary and scientific backgrounds spend time in the forest investigating the ecological and human complexities of this remarkable and deeply studied place.
This anthology—which includes work by some of the nation’s most accomplished writers, including Sandra Alcosser, Alison Hawthorne Deming, Jane Hirshfield, Linda Hogan, Freeman House, Robin Wall Kimmerer, Kathleen Dean Moore, Robert Michael Pyle, Pattiann Rogers, and Scott Russell Sanders—grows out of the work of the Long-Term Ecological Reflections program and showcases the insights of the program’s thoughtful and important encounters among writers, scientists, and place. These vivid essays, poems, and field notes convey a landscape of moss-draped trees, patchwork clear-cuts, stream-swept gravel bars, and hillsides scoured by fire, and also bring forward the ambiguities and paradoxes of conflicting human values and their implications for the ecosystem.
Forest Under Story offers an illuminating and multifaceted way of understanding the ecology and significance of old-growth forests, and points the way toward a new kind of collaboration between the sciences and the humanities to better know and learn from special places.