When Jack Ward Thomas was named chief of the U.S. Forest Service in 1993, only twelve men had ever known the staggering responsibility, political pressure--and extraordinary opportunities to influence the future of America's natural resources--that came with the job.
Forks in the Trail is a collection of memoirs that shaped the values, knowledge, skills, and decisions of a field biologist who came from a hardscrabble Texas farm to the pinnacles of natural resource leadership in Washington, D.C.
Thomas's formal education and decades of forest, range, and wildlife research had prepared him academically. His rural upbringing and passion for nature, hunting, and sustainable use of natural resources had prepared him pragmatically. But it was basic moxie that ultimately equipped Thomas to confront the most controversial conservation topics of the day, from protecting old-growth timber and spotted owl habitat to the deaths of fourteen wildland firefighters in 1994.
Forks in the Trail offers intensely personal reflections of life lessons--of the "foibles, fears, mistakes, adventures, misadventures, successes, failures, and comedies of errors and ego"--learned along the way to a full, remarkable career.
About the Author: Prolific, revealing, and unabashed, the journals of Jack Ward Thomas have long proved fertile ground for published chronicles of how conservation happened in America during the last half of the twentieth century. His professional service included the dustiest trenches as well as the highest offices of natural resource management, culminating with his appointment as the thirteenth chief of the U.S. Forest Service.
- 344 Pages
- 25 B&W Photos
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