When Theodore Roosevelt signed the American Antiquities Act of 1906, the law granted him and successive presidents the power to create national parks and set aside forest lands. During his presidency, he preserved 150 national forests, totaling 150 million acres, and created the U.S. Forest Service to administer them.
Ever since, Washington has benefited greatly. I’m comforted to know that my home state’s magnificent forests are protected under law and count as a delightful respite from city life the hours I’ve spent hiking in them, watching birds, and listening to flowing creeks and waterfalls. When I see a tree trunk measuring yards in diameter, as in the Hoh Rain Forest in Olympic National Park, I stand in awe; I’m looking at a living monument older than many events that have shaped the modern world. And when I crest a steep hill in the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest and view a sun-dappled valley where wispy fog burns off at the treetops, I’m glad to be alive.
I’ve tried to portray wonder at and love for natural beauty in Lonely Are the Brave, my novel set in a fictional Washington logging town in 1919. Both main characters love the woods as their Northwest heritage; the irony, which they recognize, is that one’s a former home builder turned woodworker, and the other’s an heiress to a timber fortune.
I’m pleased to share the cover, above, which I hope conveys the novel’s spirit.