I was all set to dislike this book. It may qualify as a novella for the Hugo categories, but I think/thought it was way too long to be one. It's 178 pages for Pete's sake! Anyway.
I really enjoyed this book, novel, novella, whatever. After reading this book, and reading the other novellas, I can see how it is structurally more of a novella than a novel.
It's set in a future with some sort of FTL travel which is never explained but that's okay. The world of Morobe's Pea is purchased and turned into a future-day Walden. The immigrants move in and turn it into a forested planet. They live according to tenets of simplicity. While the rest of humanity is changing itself to adapt to planets and circumstances, Walden will admit only pure humans.
This is the story of Spur, a resident of Walden. He is a firefighter. They are sorely needed because the earlier residents haven't all left and are trying to take back some of their land by burning the forests down. Certain Waldenites are converted and help out.