Nature essay made possible by Forest Service program, is Orion Magazine selection

March 31, 2010

PORTLAND, Ore. March 31, 2010. An award-winning nature essay, written during a USDA Forest Service writers' residence, has won the John Burroughs Award for nature writing. The essay, "Mind in the Forest," written by Scott Russell Sanders, a professor emeritus at Indiana University, stresses the author's connection with nature, especially his affinity for old trees, and contemplates the larger issue of how humans engage with the natural world.

Russell recently received the John Burroughs Award for the Outstanding Published Nature Essay. Winning essays are chosen for their content and exceptional literary value. The award has been given annually since 1993.

Sanders wrote the piece while enrolled in the Long-Term Ecological Reflections Program, which brings creative writers, philosophers, and other scholars to the H. J. Andrews Experimental Forest in Oregon.

Fred Swanson, a senior scientist with the Forest Service's Pacific Northwest Research Station and a science leader at the experimental forest, helped establish the writers' project.

"Our intent is to bring the tools of the humanities to the study of forests and watersheds where we have so long used the tools of science," Swanson says. "We are so pleased with this well-deserved recognition of Scott's wonderful essay. Scott and other visiting writers have revealed qualities of the forest that have been invisible to the hundreds of scientists working there for more than 60 years."

In addition to the Forest Service, the project receives support from the Spring Creek Project for Ideas, Nature, the Written Word, Oregon State University, and the National Science Foundation. It has hosted 25 writers to date, including Sanders.

Sanders said his time spent in the Andrews Experimental Forest, among the great trees and devoted researchers, was profoundly moving. "I'm grateful for the opportunity to explore such a powerful landscape," he said after receiving the award, "and I'm grateful to Orion Magazine for publishing the essay about what I discovered there. Earth is not divided among disciplines or departments; it is whole. We will come closer to imagining that wholeness if writers, scientists, foresters, philosophers, policy makers, and others concerned about the health of the land come together for shared experiences and conversation." The award was presented during ceremonies at the American Museum of Natural History in New York.
-end-
"Mind in the Forest" was published in Orion Magazine, a leading arts and literary publication. The Orion Society's mission is to be a significant cultural force for healing nature and community. The John Burroughs Association presents annual literary awards to honor John Burroughs (1837 - 1921), a naturalist and essayist whose 23 volumes of essays is an important part of American literature.

Note reporters: Photos provided upon request.

Visit http://www.fs.fed.us/pnw/exforests/hjandrews/index.shtml
http://springcreek.oregonstate.edu/programs.html#LTER

The Pacific Northwest Research Station is headquartered in Portland, Oregon. It has 11 laboratories and centers in Alaska, Oregon, and Washington. Visit http://www.fs.fed.us/pnw/.

USDA Forest Service - Pacific Northwest Research Station

Related Forest Articles from Brightsurf:

Climate shift, forest loss and fires -- Scientists explain how Amazon forest is trapped in a vicious circle
A new study, published in Global Change Biology, showed how the fire expansion is attributed to climate regime shift and forest loss.

Climate extremes will cause forest changes
No year has been as hot and dry as 2018 since climate records began.

Tropical forest loss
A new study from the University of Delaware finds that tropical forest loss is increased by large-scale land acquisitions and that certain kind investment projects -- including tree plantations and plantations for producing palm oil and wood fiber -- are ''consistently associated with increased forest loss.''

When planting trees threatens the forest
The first-of-its-kind study reveals that subsidies for the planting of commercially valuable tree plantations in Chile resulted in the loss of biologically valuable natural forests and little, if any, additional carbon sequestration.

Forest loss escalates biodiversity change
New international research reveals the far-reaching impacts of forest cover loss on global biodiversity.

Beavers are diverse forest landscapers
Beavers are ecosystem engineers that cut down trees to build dams, eventually causing floods.

Smaller tropical forest fragments vanish faster than larger forest blocks
In one of the first studies to explicitly account for fragmentation in tropical forests, researchers report that smaller fragments of old-growth forests and protected areas experienced greater losses than larger fragments, between 2001 and 2018.

Diversifying traditional forest management to protect forest arthropods
The structure of vegetation and steam distance are important factors to consider in order to protect the biodiversity of forest arthropods, as stated in an article now published in the journal Forest Ecology and Management.

California's crashing kelp forest
First the sea stars wasted to nothing. Then purple urchins took over, eating and eating until the bull kelp forests were gone.

Preventing future forest diebacks
Removing dead trees from the forests and reforesting on a large scale: this is the German Federal Government's strategy against 'Forest Dieback 2.0'.

Read More: Forest News and Forest Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.