OPB has released most of its 7-part “Timber Wars” podcast.
The writer/director, Aaron Scott, spent a year on this impressive project, funded, in part, by an NPR grant. As in Bill Dietrich’s “The Final Forest,” the best book on this era, Scott sympathetically lets protagonists from all sides tell the story in their own words. [As one of those protagonists, Episode 3 — The owl, I’ll let my words on that subject speak for themselves.]
With the benefit of 30-year hindsight, however, Scott’s storyline sweeps more broadly than Dietrich could in 1992. Who could have anticipated that the Timber Wars would catalyze anarchist protests at the Seattle WTO? Or be the fuse that ignited science-denying, anti-government, class-based populism?
Scott’s production captures well the social paroxysms of those times and the indelible wounds they have left in a generation of northwesterners.