Naturalist Joan Dunning was about to embark on a new literary venture that promised to put her in a kayak in the Sea of Cortez surrounded by dolphins. By coincidence, she attended a slide show put on by Doug Thron, a young activist who has devoted his adult life to capturing photographic images of the ancient redwood groves known as the Headwaters.
Not long after seeing Thron's presentation, Dunning was slogging through muddy clearcuts and camping illegally on timber company land, agreeing to help Thron tell the story of a desperate collision between business and the environment.
From the Redwood Forest will affect readers in a variety of ways. Some will be outraged that a short-sighted, profit-driven enterprise such as Maxxam would lay waste to trees that pre-date the birth of Christ in order to make payments on junk bonds. Others will be moved by Dunning's eloquent requiem for ecosystems despoiled by humans with massive equipment, or be angered at the way regular people, who have historically looked to the forest industry for their livelihoods, are sidelined in the media cross-fire between environmentalists and absentee landowners. Still others will draw inspiration from the courage and persistence of young activists like Thron, who courageously take on the corporate Goliath.