SHORTLISTED FOR THE COLUMBIA SCHOOL OF JOURNALISM J. ANTHONY LUKAS BOOK AWARD
LONGLISTED FOR THE 2023 PEN/JOHN KENNETH GALBRAITH AWARD FOR NONFICTION
FINALIST FOR THE NELLIE BY CHANTICLEER INTERNATIONAL BOOK AWARDS FOR JOURNALISTIC NON-FICTION
A gripping investigation of the billion-dollar timber black market "and a fascinating examination of the deep and troubled relationship between people and forests" (Michelle Nijhuis, author of Beloved Beasts
There's a strong chance that chair you are sitting on was made from stolen lumber. In Tree Thieves
, Lyndsie Bourgon takes us deep into the underbelly of the illegal timber market. As she traces three timber poaching cases, she introduces us to tree poachers, law enforcement, forensic wood specialists, the enigmatic residents of former logging communities, environmental activists, international timber cartels, and indigenous communities along the way.
Old-growth trees are invaluable and irreplaceable for both humans and wildlife, and are the oldest living things on earth. But the morality of tree poaching is not as simple as we might think: stealing trees is a form of deeply rooted protest, and a side effect of environmental preservation and protection that doesn't include communities that have been uprooted or marginalized when park boundaries are drawn. As Bourgon discovers, failing to include working class and rural communities in the preservation of these awe-inducing ecosystems can lead to catastrophic results.
Featuring excellent investigative reporting, fascinating characters, logging history, political analysis, and cutting-edge tree science, Tree Thieves
takes readers on a thrilling journey into the intrigue, crime, and incredible complexity sheltered under the forest canopy.
About the Author
Lyndsie Bourgon is a writer, oral historian, and 2018 National Geographic Explorer based in British Columbia. She writes about the environment and its entanglement with history, culture, and identity. Her features have been published in The Atlantic, Smithsonian, the Guardian, the Oxford American, Aeon, The Walrus, and Hazlitt, among other outlets.