Knock on Wood: Nature as Commodity in Douglas-Fir Country

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Psychology Press, 2005 - History - 260 pages
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Knock on Wood explores a region that has in recent years seen more environmental conflict than perhaps anywhere else in the country--the old-growth forests of the Pacific Northwest. Home to some of the highest quality timber in the world, states like Oregon are hotbeds of environmental activism, some of it very radical. The region became famous nationally in the early 1990s during the spotted owl controversy, but that was only the tip of the iceberg. In the past decade and a half, the logging industry and environmentalists have faced off in a number of intense and even violent disputes. Scott Prudham looks at the social and economic conflicts rising from the timber industry's practices, tracing its motivations, practices, and labor relations. He is equally interested, though, in the troubled relationship between nature and society. As forestry becomes ever more industrialized, the relationship between nature and the social has become increasingly complicated. Partly as a consequence, the politics surrounding industrialized nature have become sharper, culminating in the dramatic social movements and conflicts seen in recent years. Knock on Wood vividly brings to light how nature's depletion has generated intense battles between a timber industry facing an increasingly competitive international market and environmentalists trying to protect an old-growth forest.

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About the author (2005)

Scott Prudham is an assistant professor in the geography department at the University of Toronto.

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