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Gardening Answers Knowledgebase


Knowledgebase record #294


Forest Under Story by Nathaniel Brodie, 2016

Reviewed by: Brian Thompson
Review date: 2017-04-01

The H. J. Andrews Experimental Forest east of Eugene was established in 1948. At nearly 16,000 acres, it covers the entire Lookout Creek watershed on the west side of the Cascades. The Forest is used to study ecosystems, wildlife, logging practices, and many other natural and human processes in both old-growth and managed forests.

Started in 2003, the Long-Term Ecological Reflections program through Oregon State University sponsors “writers-in-residence” to spend one to two weeks in the Andrews Forest. Collectively, they have “…come to know the forest via the paths laid down in stories, stories told in anecdotes, photographs, essays, and poems, or in hypotheses, data, and graphs.”

The founders of this program are ambitious; they expect it to continue for 200 years. Fortunately, as readers, we don’t have to wait so long to read the results. Some of the early creativity is now captured in the book “Forest Under Story.”

This is a collection of poems, essays, and even field notes. Interspersed sections titled “Ground Work” provide the scientific basis that supports the more artistic writing. The black and white photography of Bob Keefer offers further context. This is a book to savor slowly, with lessons that are applicable to all coastal forests.

Excerpted from the Spring 2017 Arboretum Bulletin.


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