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Chronicles the forest in New England from the Ice Age to current challenges
Take some of the mystery out of a walk in the woods with this new field guide from the author of Reading the Forested Landscape. Thousands of readers have had their experience of being in a forest changed forever by reading Tom Wessels's Reading the Forested Landscape. Was this forest once farmland? Was it logged in the past? Was there ever a major catastrophe like a fire or a wind storm that brought trees down? Now Wessels takes that wonderful ability to discern much of the history of the forest from visual clues and boils it all down to a manageable field guide that you can take out to the woods and use to start playing forest detective yourself. Wessels has created a key—a fascinating series of either/or questions—to guide you through the process of analyzing what you see. You’ll feel like a woodland Sherlock Holmes. No walk in the woods will ever be the same.
A provocative critique of Western progress from a scientific perspective
Acadia National Park, on Maine's Mount Desert Island, is among the most popular national parks in the United States. From the road, visitors can experience magnificent vistas of summit and sea, but on a more intimate scale, equally compelling views abound along Acadia's hiking trails. Tom Wessels, an ecologist, naturalist, and avid hiker, attributes the park's popularity-and its unusual beauty-to the unique way in which earth, air, fire, and water-in the form of glacially scoured granite, winter winds, fire, and ocean fog-have converged to create a landscape that can be found nowhere else. In this beautifully illustrated book, Wessels invites readers to investigate the remarkable natural history of Mount Desert Island, along with the unique cultural story it gave rise to. This account of nature, terrain, and human interaction with the landscape will delight those who like to hike these bald summits, ride along the carriage roads, or explore the island's rugged shoreline. Wessels concludes with a guided tour of one of his favorite hikes, a ten-mile loop that will acquaint the reader with the diverse ecosystems described throughout his book.
Increasing evidence suggests that the composition and spatial configuration – the pattern – of forest landscapes affect many ecological processes, including the movement and persistence of particular species, the susceptibility and spread of disturbances such as fires or pest outbreaks, and the redistribution of matter and nutrients. Understanding these issues is key to the successful management of complex, multifunctional forest landscapes, and landscape ecology, based on a foundation of island bio-geography and meta-population dynamic theories, provides the rationale to deal with this pattern-to-process interaction at different spatial and temporal scales. This carefully edited volume represents a stimulating addition to the international literature on landscape ecology and resource management. It provides key insights into some of the applicable landscape ecological theories that underlie forest management, with a specific focus on how forest management can benefit from landscape ecology, and how landscape ecology can be advanced by tackling challenging problems in forest (landscape) management. It also presents a series of case studies from Europe, Asia, North America, Africa and Australia exploring the issues of disturbance, diversity, management, and scale, and with a specific focus on how human intervention affects forest landscapes and, in turn, how landscapes influence humans and their culture. An important reference for advanced students and researchers in landscape ecology, conservation biology, forest ecology, natural resource management and ecology across multiple scales, the book will also appeal to researchers and practitioners in reserve design, ecological restoration, forest management, landscape planning and landscape architecture.
Nearly 30 million acres of the Northern Forest stretch across New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. Within this broad area live roughly a million residents whose lives are intimately associated with the forest ecosystem and whose individual stories are closely linked to the region’s cultural and environmental history. The fourteen engaging essays in Nature and Culture in the Northern Forest effectively explore the relationships among place, work, and community in this complex landscape. Together they serve as a stimulating introduction to the interdisciplinary study of this unique region. Each of the four sections views through a different lens the interconnections between place and people. The essayists in “Encounters” have their hiking boots on as they focus on personal encounters with flora and fauna of the region. The energizing accounts in “Teaching and Learning” question our assumptions about education and scholarship by proposing invigorating collaborations between teachers and students in ways determined by the land itself, not by the abstractions of pedagogy. With the freshness of Thoreau’s irreverence, the authors in “Rethinking Place” look at key figures in the forest’s literary and cultural development to help us think about the affiliations between place and citizenship. In “Nature as Commodity,” three essayists consider the ways that writers from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries thought about nature as a product and, thus, how their conclusions bear on the contemporary retailing of place. The writers in Nature and Culture in the Northern Forest reveal the rich affinities between a specific place and the literature, thought, and other cultural expressions it has nurtured. Their insightful and stimulating connections exemplify adventurous bioregional thinking that encompasses both natural and cultural realities while staying rooted in the particular landscape of some of the Northeast’s wildest forests and oldest settlements.
William Faulkner once said, "The past is never dead. It's not even past." Nowhere can you see the truth behind his comment more plainly than in rural New England, especially Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and western Massachusetts. Everywhere we go in rural New England, the past surrounds us. In the woods and fields and along country roads, the traces are everywhere if we know what to look for and how to interpret what we see. A patch of neglected daylilies marks a long-abandoned homestead. A grown-over cellar hole with nearby stumps and remnants of stone wall and orchard shows us where a farm has been reclaimed by forest. And a piece of a stone dam and wooden sluice mark the site of a long-gone mill. Although slumping back into the landscape, these features speak to us if we can hear them and they can guide us to ancestral homesteads and famous sites. Lavishly illustrated with drawings and color photos. Provides the keys to interpret human artifacts in fields, woods, and roadsides and to reconstruct the past from surviving clues. Perfect to carry in a backpack or glove box. A unique and valuable resource for road trips, genealogical research, naturalists, and historians.

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