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Rocky Mountain Futures: An Ecological Perspectiveby Jill S. Baron
Synopses & Reviews
The Rocky Mountain West is largely arid and steep, with ecological scars from past human use visible for hundreds of years. Just how damaging were the past 150 years of activity? How do current rates of disturbance compare with past mining, grazing, and water diversion activities? In the face of constant change, what constitutes a "natural" ecosystem? And can a high quality of life be achieved for both human and natural communities in this region.
Rocky Mountain Futures presents a comprehensive and wide-ranging examination of the ecological consequences of past, current, and future human activities in the Rocky Mountain region of the United States and Canada. The book brings together 32 leading ecologists, geographers, and other scientists and researchers to present an objective assessment of the cumulative effects of human activity on the region's ecological health and to consider changes wrought by past human use. This combined view of past and present reveals where Rocky Mountain ecosystems are heading, and the authors project what the future holds based upon current economic and social trends and the patterns that emerge from them. The book:examines the biogeographic and paleoenvironmental setting and historical climate that have shaped Rocky Mountain ecosystemstraces the direct human influences on landscapes and ecosystems over the past 150 yearsexplores the cumulative effects of past, present, and projected future human activities on tundra, subalpine and montane forests, valleys, grasslands, and watersoffers case studies that illustrate specific examples of human influence and current efforts to restore the environment Case studies focus on northern New Mexico; Summit County, Colorado; Flathead Valley, Montana; and Alberta, Canada. Among the contributors are Craig D. Allen, N. Thompson Hobbs, Linda L. Joyce, Robert E. Keane, David Schindler, Timothy R. Seastedt, David Theobald, Diana Tomback, William Travis, Cathy Whitlock, and Jack Stanford.
The United Nations has proclaimed 2002 as the International Year of Mountains to increase international awareness of the global importance of mountain ecosystems. The case-based multidisciplinary approach of this book constitutes an important new model for understanding the implications of land-use practices and economic activity on mountains, and will serve a vital role in improving decisionmaking both in the Rocky Mountains and in other parts of the world that face similar challenges.
Book News Annotation:
Ecologists, geographers, and other scientists and researchers assess the cumulative effects of human activity on the Rocky Mountain region's ecological health, consider changes wrought by past human use, and project what the future holds based on current economic and social trends. They describe the region's biogeography, paleoenvironmental setting, and historical climate, then trace the region's history of use from an ecological perspective. Case studies illustrate specific examples of human influence in the US and Canada. Baron is an ecosystem ecologist with the US Geological Survey.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Rocky Mountain Futures presents a comprehensive and wide-ranging examination of the ecological consequences of past, current, and future human activities in the Rocky Mountain region of the United States and Canada.
About the Author
Jill S. Baron is ecosystem ecologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory at Colorado State University in Fort Collins.
Table of Contents
Transforming the Rockies: human forces, settlement patterns, and ecosystem effects — William R. Travis, David M. Theobald, and Daniel B. Fagre — Geomorphic and biogeographic setting of the Rocky Mountains / David M. Cairns, David R. Butler, and George P. Malanson — Paleoenvironmental history of the Rocky Mountain region during the past 20,000 years / Cathy Whitlock, Mel A. Reasoner, and Carl H. Key — Climates of the Rocky Mountains: historical and future patterns / Timothy G.F. Kittel ... et al. — Natural resource extraction: past, present, and future / Heather M. Rueth, Jill S. Baron, and Linda A. Joyce — Ecological effects of resource development in running waters / David M. Pepin, N. LeRoy Poff, and Jill S. Baron — The cascading effects of fire exclusion in Rocky Mountain ecosystems / Robert E. Keane ... et al. — Rocky road to the Rockies: challenges to biodiversity / Diana F. Tomback and Katherine C. Kendall — Islands in the sky: alpine and treeline ecosystems of the Rockies / William D. Bowman ... et al. — The heart of the Rockies: montane and subalpine ecosystems / Thomas J. Stohlgren ... et al. — Base camps of the Rockies: the intermountain grasslands / Timothy R. Seastedt — Rumblings in Rio Arriba: landscape changes in the southern Rocky Mountains of northern New Mexico / Craig D. Allen — Collaborative development of a conservation planning system: a case study of Summit County, Colorado / David M. Theobald and N. Thompson Hobbs — Natural and cultural influences on ecosystem processes in the Flathead River Basin (Montana and British Columbia) / Jack A. Stanford and Bonnie K. Ellis — The eastern slopes of the Canadian Rockies: must we follow the American blueprint? / David W. Schindler — Rocky Mountain futures: forecasting a future we do not want / Jill S. Baron.
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