Georgia Review, Fall 1993

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Anderson, Chris 1993. "Forest of Voices," Georgia Review, University of Georgia, Athens, GA. Vol. XLVII, No. 3 (Fall): 483-499.


"Trees are cheap," Bob says. "They're everywhere." Too many in one spot make him nervous, since he's spent most of his life working beneath them. "Do you know how many people get killed by falling trees every year," he asks, laughing. What he loves are the sweeping vistas, the tall grasses and wildflowers remaining from the indigenous prairie. If he had his way he'd clearcut and burn a big part of the forest, returning it to savannah. Not only would that be aesthetically pleasing to him, but it would also be restoring the forest to its healthy, "natural" state, fire cleansing the forest of pests and undergrowth while returning nutrients to the soil. There were few significant snags or islands of fir in the "forest" exisitng before the settlers came. The Tappeneiner and McComb patchcuts, their "new forestry" snag distributions, are about as natural as a "garden," in his opinion -- just another example of "college sense," the "weird shit" of overgrown "college boys" (Anderson 1993:492-493).