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June 02, 1996|CHARLES SOLOMON

WINTERGREEN: Listening to the Land's Heart by Robert Michael Pyle (Houghton Mifflin: $12.95; 303 pp.). Pyle writes about the ongoing processes of life, growth and decay in the Willapa Hills, a logged-over region of southwestern Washington. Intelligent and pragmatic, he argues that the widely publicized animosity between environmentalists and loggers is misplaced: Both groups' real quarrel is with the timber companies and the federal agencies charged with protecting the nation's forests. The timber industry has logged trees at unsustainable rates, exhausted the land and abandoned the loggers in downsizing maneuvers; the Forest Service and other regulatory agencies are so firmly embedded in the industrialists' well-lined pockets, they "can't see the forest for the fees."

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