How to Love a Forest: The Bittersweet Work of Tending a Changing World

Pre-Order   Ships Sep 10, 2024
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$28.99  $26.96
Broadleaf Books
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About the Author

Ethan Tapper is a forester and writer based in Vermont. Since 2012, he has worked as a consulting forester and service forester, managing public and private forestlands and advising thousands of landowners. Tapper leads dozens of public events each year, maintains an active social media presence, and writes a column in newspapers and a quarterly column in Northern Woodlands magazine. He has received numerous awards and distinctions, including being named Forester of the Year by the Northeast-Midwest State Foresters Alliance in 2021. Tapper manages Bear Island, his 175-acre forest and homestead in Bolton, Vermont, and plays in a punk band.


"Beautifully written, full of scenes those of us who live in and love the forests of the northeast will recognize immediately." ----Bill McKibben, author of The End of Nature and other books

"Rarely has our personal responsibility for the natural world that supports us been so eloquently articulated. Ecological wisdom abounds in Ethan Tapper's story of restoration: wisdom that needs to be spread far, wide, and fast. His ironic yet accurate message? To save a forest, trees need to die. Read this book and find out why." ----Doug Tallamy, author of Nature's Best Hope

"How do we fix a broken world? With patience and love, Ethan Tapper reveals the hidden historical forces that have sculpted our landscapes, and proves that, given enough wisdom and labor, we can still restore our degraded forests. If Aldo Leopold were a twenty-first-century Vermont forester with one good eye and a contemporary understanding of power and privilege, this might be the sort of book he'd write." ----Ben Goldfarb, author of Eager: The Surprising, Secret Life of Beavers and Why They Matter and Crossings: How Road Ecology Is Shaping the Future of Our Planet

"I read a lot of books about science and nature, yet rarely do I find a book that feels so welcoming and accessible while also delivering important and novel information; I wrote in the margins on each page exclamations of wonder and awe, and I learned many new concepts about forest ecology. Tapper takes a wide view back into the history of human disturbance in nature, and a philosophical overview of how we can work toward a more mutualistic relationship with the forests in the future. This is a manifesto against apathy, for as Tapper came to realize in his early days as a forester, there's 'nothing radical about doing nothing.' Tapper offers insights and suggestions for how to love a forest sustainably." ----Frances Cannon, interdisciplinary writer, editor, educator, and artist; Mellon Science and Nature Writing Fellow at Kenyon College

"With strong prose, Ethan Tapper creates an impassioned argument for why each of us should create a more holistic and responsible relationship with our forests--not solely the trees, but the incredible diversity of organisms that exist within them." ----Tom Wessels, author of Reading the Forested Landscape

"Forests are a place so many of us find peace, inspiration, and balance, yet the complexity of our relationships with these ecosystems and the reciprocal role we play as stewards is seldom acknowledged. How to Love a Forest bravely and eloquently explores the powerful connections made and restored by engaging fully with the ecology, wonders, and challenges found in our forests, providing an important perspective of love, care, and action so needed at a time of unprecedented change." ----Tony D'Amato, professor of Silviculture and Applied Forest Ecology, and Forestry Program director, Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources, University of Vermont

"This is an unforgettable story from an important new voice in nature writing. The book could only have come from the deep experience of a working forester and the big heart of a gifted writer. Ethan Tapper's book is a love story for our time, beautiful and revolutionary. It left me filled with hope, seeing the forest and the world around me with new eyes." ----Philip Lee, author of Restigouche: The Long Run of the Wild River