- Not the Mid World books or the LeGuin forest book
- Human colonists on a forest planet, want to be independent from Earth
- Author’s first name might have been Christopher
- Planet was definitely outside this solar system- in fact, the story referenced that the human colonists had left the solar system after previously colonizing the outer planets.
- I don’t remember any character names. Only character attribute I remember is the main antagonist, a very technocratic Earth admiral trying to assert control by force.
- No sex that I recall - I would have been 12-13 when I read.
- Tone was much more sci fi than fantasy; detailed descriptions of the Earth ships and the colonists’ defenses. There were several battles.
After continued searching of cover art, the book I was thinking of is Christopher Rowley’s “The War for Eternity” (1983).
The bearlike aliens of Fenrille had long been allies of the fiercely independent human clans. Together Men and Felin ruled the wooded highlands of the odd planet's single continent. And together they grew rich, for only the poeple of the highlands could harvest the drug that kept men forever young. Then the masters of a distant Earth sent a starfleet with a force of brutal Space Marines to seize the planet. But they weren't prepated for the colonists' stiff resistance- and no one had warned them of the aliens' very special defenses.
Is it The Word for World Is Forest (1972), a science fiction novella by American writer Ursula K. Le Guin?
The Word for World Is Forest is the Humans As Invader flavor of alien invasion stories. Earthlings land on an Eden-like forest planet and immediately begin chopping down what they can and enslaving everything else. Source
The narrative can be a little heavy-handed, but it’s more about the forced loss of innocence than simply beating the drum for conservation.