Cold Running River

Overview

Not only an ecological biography of Michigan's Pere Marquette watershed, but also the story of a miracle -- the compelling life and times of the river itself. In a refreshingly witty narrative Cassuto recounts the history of the watershed from prehistory to its devastation in the nineteenth century by unsustainable logging practices and its later recovery due to a long period of benign neglect.
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Overview

Not only an ecological biography of Michigan's Pere Marquette watershed, but also the story of a miracle -- the compelling life and times of the river itself. In a refreshingly witty narrative Cassuto recounts the history of the watershed from prehistory to its devastation in the nineteenth century by unsustainable logging practices and its later recovery due to a long period of benign neglect.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Mixing observations of people involved with the Pere Marquette river in Michigan and data collected by himself and his colleagues at Indiana University, Cassuto offers a brief but worthwhile ecological history of this river in his first book. He traces the discovery and settlement of the river, including the mixed impact of Native Americans (who used fire to clear large areas of land) on the territory, the role of rampant logging and the development of an early 20th-century resort community for blacks. He explores the use of the river for fishing, suggesting that the desires of some old-time fishermen conflict with the needs of newer river users. The prevalence of the lamprey eel led to a chemical control program beginning in 1957; Cassuto's interviewees debate the varied effects of the process. Citizens' groups more than government agencies administer the river, but he finds that management decisions depend mostly on economics rather than ecology. Observing that the Pere Marquette is facing increasing demands, Cassuto calls for better planning for use of national river resources as well as a scaled-down lifestyle that asks less of nature. (Feb.)
Library Journal
Ecology can be defined as the interaction between organisms and their environment. In this ecological study of the Pere Marquette River and its watershed in Michigan, Cassuto presents an oral history of the river from its discovery, through its apparent death from pollution and overuse, to its eventual rebirth due to ``benign neglect.'' The book is full of interesting personal accounts from people who have lived on the river. One of the more fascinating chapters, on lamprey control, presents the problems that occurred with early chemical control of aquatic pests. The writing is not overly scientific, and the issues of ecosystem management can apply to any region in the world. Recommended for public and academic libraries with an interest in basic ecology and the environment. For another river study, see Bruce Stutz's Natural Lives, Modern Times: People and Places of the Delaware River , LJ 5/15/92.--Ed.-- Amy L. Paster, Pennsylvania State Univ., University Park
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780472082384
  • Publisher: University of Michigan Press/Regional
  • Publication date: 3/1/1994
  • Pages: 168
  • Product dimensions: 6.02 (w) x 9.01 (h) x 0.56 (d)

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