Amy Adams starring in movie about world-renowned B.C. forestry expert

A world-renowned forestry expert and University of British Columbia professor is having a book about her life made into a movie starring Amy Adams.

Suzanne Simard’s book, Finding the Mother Tree: Discovering the Wisdom of the Forest, was released in May. It’s based on her more than 30 years studying the relationships of trees and how they’re connected as a society in the forest.

Simard told CTV News on Friday that she’s thrilled Adams will be playing her in the film.

“I think she’ll bring a deep sensitivity to the issues around forests," said Simard. “We’re rapidly logging our old growth forests so I think she’ll be a voice that everyone will listen to.”

Simard and her agent thought the book would make a good movie so they put out feelers in the film community. She said there was a lot of interest.

Both Adams' production company and Jake Gyllenhaal’s production company expressed interest in producing the film. Simard and her agent asked the two to come together and they agreed. She hopes Gyllenhaal plays a role in the film as well.

“I don’t know if he’s going to act in the movie, I hope he does. I think that would be awesome, ” says Simard.

Simard has been a forestry ecologist for at least three decades. She grew up in the inland rainforest of B.C. and learned from her grandfather.

“I grew up in a logging family. My great grandfather, my grandfather, my dad, my uncles were all horse loggers. So it’s in my blood, it’s in my bones.”

She was one of the first girls accepted into a B.C. forestry program, something she says she didn’t think would happen.

“I was a girl born in 1960 so it was at the beginning of the women’s liberation movement. It wasn’t something girls got to do,” Simard said.

Her upbringing taught Simard to think of trees as connected in the forest. And after becoming disenchanted by working for a big forestry company, she became a government scientist, and started looking into the concept more carefully.

Scientists in the United Kingdom had already shown a connection between seedlings in a lab and Simard believed the concept could be proven in the forest.

“Sure enough, when I looked at the whole forest floor, the whole soil was full of these connections," she said. “Every tree, every plant is connected to everything else and to me it makes total sense."

Simard has published hundreds of articles on the subject.

“This is something I’ve tested, I’ve re-tested, have been published in the best journals and I have had many graduates studying the next step.”

“It’s published, it’s solid science. It really helps confirm where we’re going wrong,” she added. “ Disconnecting forests is not the way to go. We should be trying to maintain the natural link and natural diversity in these forests and treat them with a great deal of respect.”

Now her book, which in part is about her research, is going to be made into a movie, something she hopes raises awareness about the rights and wrongs of forestry. And she’s doing more than research.

Simard and her 85-year-old mother attended a rally in Castlegar on Friday in support of the demonstrators trying to protect old growth forest at Fairy Creek on Vancouver Island.

“I stand with those protesters because the government is not listening. They don’t listen to the science, they don’t listen to reasonable governance,” says Simard.

“We need to transfer our whole forestry system so it works for the people, so that it works for all of us, so we have a healthy future for our kids.”