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Land Stewardship in the Next Era of Conservation.

Here is another finely printed book fit for a gift, full of sharp photos, and entertainingly narrated by a former Marine Corps helicopter pilot who takes nature a lot more seriously than himself. It's a good combination.

Among the Aspens is Petersen's story of his years in the Colorado highlands and the aspen groves that he prefers to the company of other human beings. Readers will be glad that this sometimes grumpy man, once surrounded by grizzly bear cubs, had the good fortune not to be 'transmogrified into fresh bear plop," and that he now tells us not only about this but about a forest whose beauty is too often ignored.

Land Stewardship in the Next Era of Conservation, by V. Alaric Sample. Pinchot Institute for Conservation, Grey Towers Press, P.O. Box 188, Milford, PA 18337 (1991). 43 pp. Softcover, $4.95.

Sometimes small manifestos herald big changes. This one is about the size of the Declaration of Independence and the Communist Manifesto. It is not likely to be as earth shaking, but it does lay out four clear principles for the future of conservation, and it outlines the reasoning behind each. A diverse group of scholars, public servants, and scientists came to these conclusions:

Management must be within the physical and biological capabilities of the land.

Management should tend toward "desired future resource conditions" rather than short-term production. Stewardship means improving the condition of ecosystems for future generations.

Land stewardship must be more than scientific: It must have a "moral imperative. "

Easy to say, but hard to apply. Well, that's true of all good manifestos. The fourth principle may be the most easily ridiculed and difficult to define, but the most important. Why shouldn't the public debate about "moral values" include the way we use resources? The answer is nicely summed up in a quote from Walter Truett Anderson at the beginning of this book's preface: "The future of the biosphere is inseparable from the future of the human mind .. the destiny of every species and every ecosystem depends on what kind of progress is made in the realm of human thought and action. "

This would be a good companion book against which to measure the specific recommendations of both environmentalists and commercial users. Hotshot, by John Buckley. Pruett Publishing Company, 2928 Pearl St., Boulder, CO 80301 (1990). 160 pp. Softcover, $13.95.

Long before the dozers and planes with fire retardant show up at a forest fire, the Forest Service's elite teams of "hotshots" may be on the job, fighting a wall of fire with hand tools. They are daredevils, rough and ready, and sometimes crude, but as John Buckley tells stories from his years on the front line, no one will doubt their courage and skill. Here's an entry into forestry through high adventure, just the right thing for the kid who needs to graduate from television and comics, or the adult who wants a good break from desk work and an intelligent sense of forestry's most difficult field work.
COPYRIGHT 1992 American Forests
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Copyright 1992, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Author:Kaufman, Wallace
Publication:American Forests
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Jan 1, 1992
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