By recording one country's experience with its vast natural resource base, America's Renewable Resources: Historical Trends and Current Challenges will help to inform the management of future demands on the resource base in the U.S. and throughout the world. The contributors focus specifically on renewable resourceswater, forests, rangeland, cropland and soils, and wildlifewhich possess the capacity to restore themselves after they have be consumed. Because this capacity can be destroyed and the time required for restoration can be very long, a balance in their use is necessary to sustain continued productivity. In arresting fashion, the authors trace the history of each resource's use from early colonial times through periods of dramatic, sometimes cataclysmic, changes in its utilization by an expanding, diversifying society. They show how unforeseen consequences have forced social institutions into existence and compelled policy makers, especially at the federal level, to deal with problems for which they were largely unprepared. America's Renewable Resources, by examining changes in demand, technologies, policies, and institutions, will assist both policy makers and the public at large to look past short-term events to the conditions fundamental to maintaining our future economic and environmental wellbeing.
Originally published in 1991