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Saving Forest Ecosystems: A Century Plus of Research and Education at the University of Washington

Donald P. Hanley

Extension Professor Emeritus

Washington State University Extension

Professor Robert Edmonds tenure at UW is long and varied and he is expertly qualified to author a history of the College of Forest Resources. However, this book is not simply a benign telling of the college’s history. It is a true storybook, laced with history, personal accounts, and other facts. It covers the evolution of the college and the profession of forestry in the Pacific Northwest and elsewhere from 1907 up to 2018.


It is Professor Edmonds wonderful personal reflections formed by over a half century of college affiliation. Throughout each chapter, personal reflections come home to the reader and allow him/her to reflect on their education in forestry or another field. Especially important are the reading of the historical aspects and similarities to Professor Edmond’s native Australia and elsewhere and how these factoids pertain to the Pacific Northwest and specifically to the College of Forest Resources. It is a comprehensive collection reflecting the diversity of forestry and the college over the years.


While the book focuses on the wide array of teaching, research, and outreach of the College of Forest Resources, it is truly a history text of forestry in the state and how it has evolved from the concept of harvesting “unlimited” old-growth forests in the early 20th century to technologically sophisticated research and outreach centers such as the Stand Management Cooperative; the Precision Forestry Cooperative; the Center for International Trade in Forest Products; and many others. Unique is also the comprehensive Center of Urban Horticulture and the Bioresources Engineering within the context of this diverse forestry college.


I strongly endorse this book as a source of information for faculty, administrators, past, present, and future students, and anyone else interested in the history of “forestry” in the Pacific Northwest. Even though the future comments (Chapter 14) are generally pessimistic, as it was written during unprecedented wildfires in Australia, North America, the Mediterranean region and elsewhere. I believe the best and brightest minds in the UW School of Environmental and Forest Sciences will help solve these daunting problems in the future.


(I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with Professor Edmonds for 26 years of his tenure through a unique cooperative agreement between the UW College of Forest Resources and Cooperative Extension at Washington State University.)

August 27, 2021

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