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The Art of Managing Longleaf

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About the Author

Leon Neel is a forestry consultant and land manager who lives in Thomasville, Georgia. Paul S. Sutter is an associate professor of history at the University of Colorado and editor of Georgia's Environmental History and the American South series. His books include Environmental History and the American South: A Reader (Georgia). Albert G. Way is a postdoctoral fellow in southern studies at the Institute for Southern Studies, University of South Carolina.


I have been waiting a long time for this book. And it's even more beautiful and useful than I ever imagined. Within this crucial, revolutionary volume can be found many trails through wild forest, all leading to a grander future. A problem as vast and appalling as clear-cutting needs a brilliant solution, and here it is, from the forester who perfected it. Leon Neel has been my hero since I heard about him, and now Sutter and Way have my deepest gratitude. I call landowners and timber managers everywhere, and anyone else who cares about a piece of land, to read this book. This is not an oxymoron--you can cut a forest and, at the same time, save it too! --Janisse Ray "author of Ecology of a Cracker Childhood " Leon Neel's approach to management of longleaf pine forests has become an exemplar for sustainable forestry and ecosystem restoration. Here, from Leon's own words, we understand not only the fundamentals of his approach but also the inspiration and passion that motivate it. This is an important book on both counts. --Norman L. Christensen "Professor and Founding Dean, Duke University Nicholas School of the Environment " This warm and fine personal look at the legendary forest management practices of Herbert Stoddard and Leon Neel will appeal to a variety of readers. Foresters and landowners will profit from its detailed descriptions of the Stoddard-Neel approach to managing forests, one based on old-fashioned woodsmanship, a deep familiarity with longleaf pine forests, and a primary concern with the sustainability of the forest ecosystem. Neel's stories and recollections of growing up in the Piney Woods are pleasurable in and of themselves, and they will reward anyone interested in the South and in southern folkways. --Lawrence S. Earley "author of Looking for Longleaf: The Fall and Rise of an American Forest " Herbert Stoddard and his acolyte Leon Neel made a revolution in forestry among the longleaf pines of Georgia's Red Hills. More than applied scientists, they were artists and designers of genius, makers of ecologically balanced landscapes that were also gorgeous parks and hunters' paradises. Now Paul Sutter, Bert Way, and especially Neel himself bring us the comprehensive narrative, which is not only enlightening but also irresistably charming. --Jack Temple Kirby "author of Mockingbird Song: Ecological Landscapes of the South " It is about the trees, but it also is about wildlife and the economics of lumbering. A bonus is a 30-page photo essay section that illustrates and expands upon the text. Readers will find much to learn and admire in this work; it embraces more than directions for good forestry. In the end, it gives readers new eyes with which to see the ecological impacts of human actions. --Choice

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