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A Storied Wilderness: Rewilding the Apostle Islands (Weyerhaeuser Environmental Books)by James W. Feldman
Synopses & Reviews
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.
James W. Feldman is associate professor of history and environmental studies at the University of Wisconsin
"Feldman's book is at once a model of local environmental history and a superb history of the conceptual and political landscape of wilderness." -James Morton Turner, author The "This book has a specific geographic focus but it is relevant to the entire park system and to wilderness--for they are the product of the choices we have made in our relationships with nature." -David Louter, author of Windshield Wilderness: Cars, Roads, and Nature in Washington's National Parks
"This book has a specific geographic focus but it is relevant to the entire park system and to wilderness--for they are the product of the choices we have made in our relationships with nature." -David Louter, author of Windshield Wilderness: Cars, Roads, and Nature in Washington's National Parks
Book News Annotation:
Feldman (history and environmental studies, U. of Wisconsin Oshkosh), who has spent time on the islands for recreation and research, documents the history of human interaction with the Apostle Islands, located in Lake Superior off Wisconsin's Bayfield Peninsula, and how they were eventually "rewilded." He details the effects of the Ojibwe peoples who lived there, followed by French, British, and American missionaries and fur traders who created the town of La Pointe; the rise of commercial fisheries; shoreline quarries; logging; and tourist camps and cottages. He explains how the islands were "rewilded" as they were evaluated as an addition to the national park system in 1930 and finally included in 1970, then designated as the Gaylord Nelson Wilderness in 2004. Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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History and Social Science » Americana » Midwest