Synopses & Reviews
A unique evolutionary history, told through the mutual interaction of Vermont's natural and human components.
Landscape history or natural history without humans is incomplete history, write authors Christopher McGrory Klyza and Stephen C. Trombulak. In their very readable portrayal of geological, biological, and cultural forces that produced the Vermont of today, they use interconnectedness as a lens to view the changing landscape. Sections such as From Forestland to Farmland to Funland describe reciprocal influences of ecosystems, humans, and topography over time. Sections on specific bioregions explain unique interactions of climate and the living world. Whether writing about the emergence of mountain ranges millennia ago, building interstate highways, encounters of indigenous cultures with Europeans, or Act 250's environmental impact, they make it clear that this is not a typical nature guide.
They describe the pre-human evolution of the area and its development into distinct biophysical regions, and then show how pre-Columbian inhabitants engaged and altered the landscape. They trace both the enormous effects of European settlement, as well as how the ecosystem influenced human habitation and activity. Finally, they examine Vermont's three natural communities: forest, open terrestrial, and aquatic. Throughout, they impart much specific knowledge about Vermont, speculate on its future, and foster an appreciation of the complex synergy of forces that produced this region.