Working People's Stories of Environmental Conflict and Urban FlightBeverly A. Brown
Southwest Oregon embodies the fast-changing social and environmental trends of the Pacific Northwest: the volatile clash of logging and environmental interests over the fate of old growth forests, an influx of wealthy suburbanites from California, and the effects of national economic trends. Championing neither environmentalists nor timber companies, Beverly A. Brown analyzes the subsequent transformation of the region. Her candid interviews with mostly poor to lower-middle-income people from the Rogue Valley region bring these looming social, cultural, and economic changes into the realm of everyday life.
Working-class men and women describe a growing segregation of private forest lands and waterwayswhere people could once move freely, they are now boxed in by fences and No Trespassing signs; where once tranquility and open space was treasured, traffic and tract homes envelop the landscape. Talking openly, they lament the increased presence of drugs, problems with the welfare system, the dearth of non-logging employment opportunities, and family violence. But they also share a love of their rural hometowns and a genuine desire to balance preservation of the environment with the economic well-being of their communities.
"(A) sophisticated attempt to get a handle on the crisis in rural America. The oral histories she has gathered are a primer for anyone interested in learning a more complicated and interesting truth about the Northwest timber wars." The Progressive