William Keeton | An Island Press Author

William S. Keeton

William (Bill) Keeton grew up tromping through the woods of the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York. In the mid-90s, while working on public lands issues in the Pacific Northwest, he became fascinated by old-growth forests and has worked on them ever since. His research focuses on disturbance ecology, forest carbon dynamics and management, forest-stream interactions, and old-growth silviculture. Research on old-growth ecology takes Bill throughout the U.S. Northeast, the Pacific Northwest, Central and Eastern Europe, Patagonia, and the Central Himalayas. Bill Keeton is a professor of forest ecology and forestry at the University of Vermont (UVM), where he also serves as a Fellow in the Gund Institute for Environment. He directs the UVM Carbon Dynamics Laboratory and previously chaired the undergraduate forestry program. Bill is a member of the Board of Trustees for the Vermont Land Trust and sits on the advisory board for Science for the Carpathians. He is currently chairing IUFRO's (International Union of Forest Research Organizations) Working Group on Old-Growth Forests and Reserves. He has authored over 60 peer-reviewed papers and numerous other publications. He received his bachelor's in natural resources from Cornell University, his masters in conservation biology and policy from Yale University, and his Ph.D. in forest ecology from the University of Washington.

#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.