In the western Cascade Range, just one hour east of Eugene, Oregon, there is an old-growth forest where ecosystem science and the humanities converge. Since 1948, the HJ Andrews Experimental Forest has been a research sanctuary for scientists studying biodiversity, climate, hydrology, soils and stream ecology. And so, 31 writers have taken to its slopes to collaborate on Forest Under Story: Creative Inquiry in an Old-Growth Forest. These environmental poets and essayists — all of them participants in the forest’s collaborative Long-Term Ecological Reflections Program — have pressed their literary stethoscopes to the roots and snags and cones of the 16,000-acre reserve to record what they observed, coming up with answers both empirical and oracular.
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