Strangers in the Forest, originally published in 1959, was included in the Reader’s Digest Condensed Books series. Set in the white-pine timberland of the Idaho panhandle in 1908, the story explores the efforts of the early U.S. Forest Service to instill a sense of conservation in the land–a new concept affecting Idaho’s seemingly inexhaustible forests.
Bundy Jones heads west to investigate the people taking timber homesteads in the north Idaho woods, suspecting that their real intention is to sell out for profit to lumber companies. Jones befriends the homesteaders, wins their confidence, and even admires them. When his connection with the Forest Service is revealed, most of the homesteaders turn against him. But the inferno of a north Idaho forest fire once again unites Jones and the timber settlers.
314 pages (1993)