Michael Snyder and his book

A new book by Michael Snyder of Stowe, the state commissioner of Forests, Parks and Recreation, aims to teach people more about trees, forests, and forest management—and, by doing so, to help them become more connected to the woods around them.

Have you ever wondered how trees “come back to life” in spring? Why paper birches are so white? Or which trees make the best firewood? A new book by Vermont’s Commissioner of Forests, Parks and Recreation, Michael Snyder of Stowe answers these questions and many others.

“Woods Whys: An Exploration of Forests and Forestry” is a collection of essays that aims to teach people more about trees, forests, and forest management—and, by doing so, to help them become more connected to the woods around them.

“My goal in writing this book was to share my love of the woods with others,” says Snyder. “Each essay begins with a question, and while I always tried to answer that question through facts and science, it was important to me to leave room for the wonder and enduring mysteries of forests, too.”

The essays in Woods Whys originally appeared in Snyder’s previous column in Northern Woodlands magazine, and the collection is written for a general audience. The book is designed to be read cover-to-cover or one article at a time, depending on what the reader is curious about. It draws on Snyder’s decades of professional forestry experience, including years spent as a county forester walking through woods with Vermont landowners.

“Condensing complex forest science into topics that are accessible, fun, and easy-to-understand is challenging, and it’s what makes Woods Whys such a great resource,” said Tony D’Amato, professor and director of the forestry program at the University of Vermont. “This book helps connect everyone to the woods, whether they’re novices or forestry professionals.”

“Woods Whys” is published and distributed by Bondcliff Books in partnership with the Department of Forests, Parks & Recreation, and is available for purchase at bondcliffbooks.com or amazon.com, and by phone at 603-444-4880. Copies will also be available soon in retail establishments across the region. Book events in Vermont are also being planned.

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