By Douglas Cazaux Sackman

A better half to American Environmental History gathers jointly a entire choice of over 30 essays that learn the evolving and various box of yankee environmental history.

  • Provides a whole historiography of yankee environmental history
  • Brings the sector up to date to mirror the newest developments and encourages new instructions for the field
  • Includes the paintings of path-breaking environmental historians, from the founders of the sphere, to  contributions from cutting edge younger scholars
  • Takes inventory of the self-discipline via 5 topically themed components, with essays starting from American Indian Environmental relatives to towns and Suburbs

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The valley today produces annually billions of dollars in apricots, almonds, beans, and cherries, thousands of tons of alfalfa and wheat, vast herds of dairy cows, and tractor trailers packed with beehives (Worster 1985; San Joaquin County 2006). There is in fact an excellent chance that, a year or so ago, the stream before you flowed into the peaches, apricots, and almonds that were subsequently picked and dried before being packaged as that trail mix you bought at the grocery store last week and have now carried in your backpack up to these headwaters … to eat with your margarita.

Miners, market hunters, herders, and loggers all saw their work curtailed or banned. Increasingly, US legal codes inscribed elite assumptions that those who used the wilderness should be cash-paying recreationists who packed in their gear rather than laboring ruralites who depended on natural goods of the landscape (Jacoby 2000). After the first legal protections of Yosemite in 1864, the Sierra Nevada and many other places were at the center of an increasingly intense clash of environmental ideals – the one that saw nature as resources waiting to be extracted and marketed, the other that believed it a retreat from the modern world.

Where once the most useful plants for Indian cordage and baskets were abundant, today they are often rare (Beesley 2004; Anderson 2005). The ecology of this new workscape is remarkably different from the old. In the long decades between blazes, deadwood accumulates. When fire does come, it tends to burn much hotter and more extensively. A century ago, fires were frequent enough that they seldom generated enough heat to kill large stands of trees. Today, Sierra fires rampage through hundreds of thousands of acres at a time, at temperatures so extreme they incinerate every living thing – and the soil, too (McKelvey et al.

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