Editor’s note: This story originally aired on February 20, 2015
Devastating pine beetle and wild fire epidemics have ravaged our national forests for years. But for the most part, everyone—environmentalists, the timber industry, government agencies—have been in agreement about how to manage such problems…as wild places, not as tree farms in which forests are a crop that’s been wiped out.
But that hasn’t always been the case. In a new history called Black Hills Forestry, Laramie author John Freeman traces American forestry back to one passionate French man who fell in love with the Black Hills. But for Freeman himself, it was NOT love at first sight.