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Storied Wilderness

Overview

The Apostle Islands are a solitary place of natural beauty, with red sandstone cliffs, secluded beaches, and a rich and unique forest surrounded by the cold, blue waters of Lake Superior. But this seemingly pristine wilderness has been shaped and reshaped by humans. The people who lived and worked in the Apostles built homes, cleared fields, and cut timber in the island forests. The consequences of human choices made more than a century ago can still be read in today’s wild ...

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Overview

The Apostle Islands are a solitary place of natural beauty, with red sandstone cliffs, secluded beaches, and a rich and unique forest surrounded by the cold, blue waters of Lake Superior. But this seemingly pristine wilderness has been shaped and reshaped by humans. The people who lived and worked in the Apostles built homes, cleared fields, and cut timber in the island forests. The consequences of human choices made more than a century ago can still be read in today’s wild landscapes.

A Storied Wilderness traces the complex history of human interaction with the Apostle Islands. In the 1930s, resource extraction made it seem like the islands’ natural beauty had been lost forever. But as the island forests regenerated, the ways that people used and valued the islands changed - human and natural processes together led to the rewilding of the Apostles. In 1970, the Apostles were included in the national park system and ultimately designated as the Gaylord Nelson Wilderness.

How should we understand and value wild places with human pasts? James Feldman argues convincingly that such places provide the opportunity to rethink the human place in nature. The Apostle Islands are an ideal setting for telling the national story of how we came to equate human activity with the loss of wilderness characteristics, when in reality all of our cherished wild places are the products of the complicated interactions between human and natural history.

Check out the book trailer: http://www.youtube.com/user/UWashingtonPress#p/u/6/frECwkA6oHs

University of Washington Press

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"An insightful chapter to the ongoing wilderness debates about the central role of humans in the wilderness." -Lissy Goralnik, Journal of Environmental Studies Vol.2
Journal of Environmental Studies Vol.2 - Lissy Goralnik

An insightful chapter to the ongoing wilderness debates about the central role of humans in the wilderness.

Minnesota History - Kevin C. Brown

Environmental historians will learn much from A Storied Wilderness, but I suspect it can do more good (and perhaps be even more revelatory) if it finds its way into the hands of park planners and policymakers.

Choice

This remarkably rich and complex book would be a useful resource for courses in environmental studies, historical or environmental geography, environmental history, or tourism and recreation studies.... A thoroughly researched, highly readable account of the rewilding of a landscape. Summing Up: highly recommended.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780295990965
  • Publisher: University of Washington Press
  • Publication date: 7/5/2011
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

James W. Feldman is associate professor of history and environmental studies at the University of Wisconsin

University of Washington Press

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Table of Contents

Foreword: Irrevocable Lessons of Vanishing Fields William Cronon ix

Acknowledgments xv

Introduction: Stories in the Wilderness 3

1 Lines in the Forest 22

2 Creating a Legible Fishery 59

3 Consuming the Islands 91

4 Sand Island Stories 119

5 A Tale of Two Parks: Rewilding the Islands, 1929-1970 149

6 Rewilding and the Manager's Dilemma 191

Epilogue: Reading Legible Landscapes 225

Notes 235

Selected Bibliography 285

Index 307

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