Social Forestry: Tending the Land as People of Place is a must-have for anyone who wants a reciprocating relationship with their communities, themselves, and most importantly their awe-inspiring forests and landscapes.
Social Forestry connects villages and communities to their land and adjoining bodies of water. Concepts include forest management, protection, and regeneration of deforested lands with the objective of improving the rural, environmental, and social development. Through ecological assessment, carbon sequestration, and generating wildcrafts, people re-establish their wonder in the woods.
Author Tomi Hazel Vaarde, collaborator of Siskiyou Permaculture, uses poetry, photographs, drawings, and data to outline philosophies and concepts of Social Forestry. By weaving culturally sensitive stories, myths, and lessons from a range of customs and traditions including North American Indigenous communities and Vaarde’s own Quaker upbringing, Vaarde explores how holistic land and community management approaches can facilitate resolution of some of our most dire local and global crises. The writer’s work is critical to overcoming eco-grief while instilling necessary changes to the West Coast landscape for fire mitigation and restoration of complex forest systems for generations to come.
Many Indigenous peoples have learned regenerative management by living for generations in and with a sense of place, but few examples of whole-system planning and participation are evident in modern society. Climate adaptation, human survival, and the maintenance of biodiversity that supports life on Earth require radical, back-to-the-roots grounding and intentional dedication. Social Forestry helps readers remember the ways of the wild while implementing local food production, collaboration with conservation efforts, forest management, and stabilization of headwaters to build resilience for the long term. To live in harmony with our surroundings, we need to re-skill, always remembering those who came before us and acting in ways that honor traditional wisdom of people and place.