The northeastern United States is one of the most densely forested regions in the country, yet its history of growth, destruction, and renewal are for the most part poorly understood—even by specialists. In this engaging look at both the impermanence and the resilience of the northeastern forest ecosystems, Charles D. Canham provides a synthesis of modern ecological research and explores critical threats that include logging, fire suppression, disease, air pollution, invasive species, and climate change.
Providing a historical perspective on how northeastern forests have changed since the arrival of European settlers, Canham also utilizes new theoretical models to predict how these ecosystems will change and adapt to an uncertain future. This is an informed and accessible investigation of an endangered natural landscape that examines the ramifications of the scientific controversies and ethical dilemmas shaping the future of northeastern forests.
Charles D. Canham is senior scientist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, New York. He lives in Clinton Corners, NY.
"Charles Canham takes us on an inspiring walk through the past, present, and future of northeastern forests, with the wisdom of a lifelong forest scientist and the wonder of a naturalist. Incredibly readable and insightful."
—Indy Burke, Carl W. Knobloch. Jr., Dean, Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies
“Forests may drift, but Charles Canham, in drawing from decades of field studies and an unrivaled melding of natural history and modeling, steers an enlightening course from prehistory towards an uncertain future.”
—David Foster, co‑editor, Forests in Time: The Environmental Consequences of 1,000 Years of Change in New England and author, A Meeting of Land and Sea: Nature and the Future of Martha’s Vineyard
“Charles Canham’s writing is refreshing. I will have Forests Adrift on my shelves and will definitely refer to it again and again.”
—John Pastor, author of What Should a Clever Moose Eat?
"Forests Adrift is deeply rooted in science and exquisitely written—a joy of a book! And it is a wonderful example of the complexities of nature and the role of people: I will never look at a forest the same again."
—Thomas E. Lovejoy, University Professor of Environmental Science and Policy, George Mason University
Yale University Press, 2020