Northwestern California is mainly known for its majestic redwood forests and incomparable coastline, but there is much more in its rich biota and scenery. The forests are part of the most diverse temperate coniferous forest in the world. Rugged mountains, numerous lakes, wilderness areas, and wild rivers attract outdoor enthusiasts and geologists came here to refine the theory of plate tectonics. Distilling a vast amount of knowledge, this book is the starting point for anyone who wants to explore the biological and geographical richness of northwestern California. John O. Sawyer describes the famous forests and varied landscapes from a geographic perspective. He explains its long geological history and the changing roles of fire and land use. The result of a lifetime of work, his rich narrative illustrates how the region, in many ways the least modified portion of the state, is a place where plants and animals have been shielded from extinction. Sawyer documents the restoration of dunes and forests, the control of nonnative plant invasions, and innovative approaches to restoring rivers so they can support thriving fisheries.