The Heart of America: Our Landscape Our Future

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<p>From the cliffs of Big Sur to the dunes at Cape Hatteras, from the bogs of the Boundary Waters to the deserts of the Rio Grande, the landscape of America has shaped us into the people we are. Not only is it central to ecological health and essential to the economy, it has helped form our culture and serves as a basis of national pride. The heart of America lies in the rock and soil, the mountains and the plains that surround us.<p>In this illuminating portrait of America at the threshold of the new millennium, author Tim Palmer
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Overview

<p>From the cliffs of Big Sur to the dunes at Cape Hatteras, from the bogs of the Boundary Waters to the deserts of the Rio Grande, the landscape of America has shaped us into the people we are. Not only is it central to ecological health and essential to the economy, it has helped form our culture and serves as a basis of national pride. The heart of America lies in the rock and soil, the mountains and the plains that surround us.<p>In this illuminating portrait of America at the threshold of the new millennium, author Tim Palmer explores and assesses the landscape of the United States-both timeless wonders of natural beauty and lost places scarred by human exploitation. He takes the reader on an informative and inspirational tour of our most vital landscapes, including mountains, forests, grasslands, deserts, rivers, lakes, wetlands, and seashores. He introduces us to the basic geography and ecological value of each landscape, describes historical patterns of land use, considers the most serious threats, and discusses what is being done to protect the landscape for future generations. Throughout, he instills a deeper understanding of the importance of the land, a sense of outrage at the damage that has been done, and a feeling of hope that those working to correct past abuses will succeed.<p>Weaving together geographical, historical, and ecological information and insights, Palmer draws on thirty years of professional experience as a writer, photographer, conservationist, planner, landscape architect, and veteran traveler to present a fresh look at the past, present, and future of our land.<p>Resounding in its account of these landscapes, compelling in the force of its information and the hope of its timely message, The Heart of America offers a fascinating measure of the land around us and a unique look at the place we call home.<p>"It's the truest State of the Union address anyone ever gave." -Bill McKibben
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781559634366
  • Publisher: Island Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/1999
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 350
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface: The Place We Call Home
Introduction: The Heart That Gives Life to It All 3
Ch. 1 An Uplift of Mountains 12
Ch. 2 The Forest Fabric of Life 51
Ch. 3 The World of Grasslands 95
Ch. 4 The Great, Silent Desert 130
Ch. 5 Lifelines of Rivers 160
Ch. 6 Immersed in Lakes and Wetlands 195
Ch. 7 At the Edge of the Land 234
Ch. 8 America in the 21st Century 269
Notes 297
Further Reading 325
Acknowledgments 329
Index 331
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