BOOK : : FINDING THE MOTHER TREE, by Suzanne Simard

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If you’ve read Richard Power’s OVERSTORY, you will recall a character named Patricia Westerford, who is modeled after this author, Suzanne Simard, a forester who is now a professor.  She’s written a brilliant book which is structured like a mystery and a life quest for the holy grail of Nature’s nature — communication between species.   In my view, her discovery is worthy of a Nobel prize.  Here’s a quote from the book:

We emphasize factions instead of coaltions.  In forestry, the theory of dominance is put into practice through weeding, spacing, thinning, and other methods that promote growth of the prized individuals.  In agriculture, it provides the rationale for multimillion-dollar pesticide, fertilizer, and genetic programs to promote single high-yield crops instead of diverse fields.

She goes on to tell her account of her own radical research to prove that some forest species communicate and cooperate through fungal networks, rather than competing, as long asserted.  She faced a male-dominated culture dedicated to waging chemical warfare against nature, and was able to prove their methods largely lacked basis or merit.  Her research has changed the industry, and the planet.

Her storytelling is lively and gritty, while her vocabulary is a bit lofty at times.  But Suzanne Simard‘s victory is sweet, and profound — earth shaking, even.

Amazon book link:  FINDING THE MOTHER TREE:  Discovering the Wisdom of the Forest

For those not inclined to read, here’s an 18-minute TED Talk by her.