Andrew Barton | An Island Press Author

Andrew M. Barton

Raised in the southern Appalachians of western North Carolina, Drew Barton is a forest ecologist, biology professor, and science writer. His fieldwork has taken him across the United States and to Costa Rica, and he is the author of many scholarly and popular publications. His current research focuses on the response of forests to changing climate and wildfire in the American Southwest. He is the author of the book The Changing Nature of the Maine Woods, which explores the ecology, deep history, and future of Maine forests. He is the co-editor, with Bill Keeton, of the forthcoming Ecology and Recovery of Eastern Old-Growth Forests from Island Press. Drew is the co-founder of several conservation organizations, including Michigan National Forest-Watch, the UMF Sustainable Campus Coalition, and the Mt. Blue-Tumbledown Conservation Alliance. He received his bachelor's degree from Brown University, masters from the University of Florida, and Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. Drew is currently Professor of Biology at the University of Maine at Farmington.

#FOREWORDFRIDAY: Is Management or Conservation of Old Growth Possible?

The landscapes of North America, including eastern forests, have been shaped by humans for millennia, through fire, agriculture, hunting, and other means.

The landscapes of North America, including eastern forests, have been shaped by humans for millennia, through fire, agriculture, hunting, and other means. But the arrival of Europeans on America’s eastern shores several centuries ago ushered in the rapid conversion of forests and woodlands to other land uses. By the twentieth century, it appeared that old-growth forests in the eastern United States were gone, replaced by cities, farms, transportation networks, and second-growth forests.

Since that time, however, numerous remnants of eastern old growth have been discovered, meticulously mapped, and studied. Many of these ancient stands retain surprisingly robust complexity and vigor, and forest ecologists are eager to develop strategies for their restoration and for nurturing additional stands of old growth that will foster biological diversity, reduce impacts of climate change, and serve as benchmarks for how natural systems operate.

Forest ecologists William Keeton and Andrew Barton bring together this thoughtful treatise to broadly communicate important new discoveries to scientists, land managers, and students in Ecology and Recover of Eastern Old-Growth Forests. Together they breathe fresh life into the hope for sensible effective management of old growth stands in eastern forests.

Check out Chapter 8 “Is Management or Conservation of Old Growth Possible in North American Boreal Forests?” below, or download the PDF here.