The Highlands: Critical Resources, Treasured Landscapes

The Highlands: Critical Resources, Treasured Landscapes

by Richard G. Lathrop Jr.
     
 

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Think of the Highlands as the “backyard” and “backstop” of the Philadelphia–New York–Hartford metroplex. A backyard that spans over three million acres across Pennsylvania, New York, and Connecticut, the Highlands serves as recreational open space for the metroplex’s burgeoning human population. As backstop, Highlands&rsquo

Overview

Think of the Highlands as the “backyard” and “backstop” of the Philadelphia–New York–Hartford metroplex. A backyard that spans over three million acres across Pennsylvania, New York, and Connecticut, the Highlands serves as recreational open space for the metroplex’s burgeoning human population. As backstop, Highlands’ watersheds provide a ready source of high-quality drinking water for over fifteen million people.

The Highlands is the first book to examine the natural and cultural landscape of this four-state region, showing how it’s distinctive and why its conservation is vital. Each chapter is written by a different leading researcher and specialist in that field, and introduces readers to another aspect of the Highlands: its geological foundations, its aquifers and watersheds, its forest ecology, its past iron industry.

In the 1800s, the Highlands were mined, cutover, and then largely abandoned. Given time, the forests regenerated, the land healed, and the waters cleared. Increasingly, however, the Highlands are under assault again—polluted runoff contaminating lakes and streams, invasive species choking out the local flora and fauna, exurban sprawl blighting the rural landscape, and climate change threatening the integrity of its ecosystems.

The Highlands makes a compelling case for land use planning and resource management strategies that could help ensure a sustainable future for the region, strategies that could in turn be applied to other landscapes threatened by urbanization across the country. The Highlands are a valuable resource. And now, so is The Highlands.

Editorial Reviews

Executive Director NJ Highlands Council

"The Highlands is a thorough, comprehensive and significant study of a beloved region.  It describes treasured landscapes, critical water resources and centuries of land use and convinces the reader that its future is our responsibility."

— Eileen Swan

Choice

"This book should be useful to anyone interested in this 'backyard' region so close to the Philadelphia-New York-Hartford metroplex. Recommended."
Ecology

"The Highlands is an encyclopedic study of a cultural landscape. It is a comprehensive resource and a valuable reference for those interested in the Highlands region."
Executive Director, New Jersey Highlands Coalition - Julia Somers
"The Highlands exemplifies why protection of New Jersey's Highlands is so important for the future of the state.  It is an essential read on the multiple resources of the region."
Northeastern Naturalist
"The Highlands makes a compelling case for land-use planning and resource management strategies that could help ensure a sustainable future for the region, strategies that could in turn be applied to other landscapes threatened by urbanization across the country."
Executive Director NJ Highlands Council - Eileen Swan
"The Highlands is a thorough, comprehensive and significant study of a beloved region.  It describes treasured landscapes, critical water resources and centuries of land use and convinces the reader that its future is our responsibility."
Environmental History
"The Highlands is a valuable resource for those interested in the geology, hydrology, plant and animal life, and land use of this fourstate area. Environmental historians will be interested in the ways the collection brings together quantifiable scientific data with human histories. The collection clearly lays out how natural resources and ecosystem functions are invaluable to local and regional populations and offers readers a persuasive argument for responsible land use. After reading a selection or all of these chapters, readers will have a clear conception of the composition of the nature of the Highlands."

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780813551333
Publisher:
Rutgers University Press
Publication date:
12/28/2011
Series:
Rivergate Book Series
Pages:
400
Product dimensions:
6.44(w) x 9.74(h) x 1.22(d)

Meet the Author

RICHARD G. LATHROP Jr. is a professor in the department of ecology, evolution, and natural resources and director of the Center for Remote Sensing and Spatial Analysis at Rutgers University. He has been actively involved in Highlands environmental policy and research for many years.

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