The integration of historical information within GIS is now a common method in forest management, and forest history studies are also conducted using this technique. The chapter by Axelsson presents the possibilities of applying this method to the evolution of biodiversity and landscape change in a boreal forest, while Arnould et al. This method can present much information related to dynamic or static patterns, in the form of thematic maps based on quantitative and qualitative data, on variable spatial and temporal scales.
Forests are shaped by humans and they also affect human society, but the possibility of detecting evidence of this mutual influence is given by our ability to combine different approaches and methods. Despite some difficulties in developing collaboration, the achievement of a better understanding of the mutual influence between humans and the biosphere is related only to the possibility of integrating environmental and cultural information, as forest history is trying to do. This task requires a better organization of international research and efforts have been made in order to rearrange the IUFRO forest history research group.
In this way, the need for interdisciplinarity probably has greater chances of being fulfilled by promoting meetings and common research projects. However, much work needs to be done to make historical studies more effective. The goal is not only to be able to understand environmental changes but also to support the current issues of environmental management today, correcting the mistakes made in the past and matching the problem of integrating socioeconomic development and conservation of natural resources.
Agnoletti The chapters presented in this book show that forest history, as well as related disciplines, such as ecological history and historical ecology, now presents a very flexible approach, combining distinct research methods. It is important to train researchers to comprehend the complexity of this approach, without being overwhelmed by it, and to be able to decide which suggestions from each discipline will improve our ability to understand the interpenetration between humans and the forest in all temporal and spatial scales.
References Agnoletti, M. Agnoletti, M. In: Kirby, K. Baillie, M. The University of Chicago Press, London. Cavaciocchi, Collana Atti delle settimane di studi ed altri convegni number 27, Florence. Advances in Historical Ecology. Columbia University Press, NewYork. Bamford, P. University of Toronto Press,Toronto. Baudrillart, J. Behlen, S. Bloch, M. Vintage, NewYork. Bormann, F. Springer-Verlag, NewYork. Braudel, F. Colin, Paris. Cambridge Economic History Vol. Clements, F. Carnegie Institute,Washington, DC. Cresswell, R. Six approches. Deveze, M. Jean Touzot, Paris. Di Berenger, A. Dubois, J.
Cavaciocchi, Collana Atti delle settimane di studi ed altri convegni n 27, Florence. Duby, G. Montaigne, Paris. Fairhead, J. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. Farber, P. In: Montulenti, G. Olschki, pp. Febvre, L. Forman, R. Guide de recherche. Hasel, K. Paul Parey, Hamburg and Berlin.
Kirby, K. Laurop, C. Leroi-Gourhan, A. Albin Michel, Paris. Mantel, K. Schaper, Alfed-Hannover. Moreno, D. Il Mulino, Bologna. Moench in the northern Appennines, Italy. Netting, R. Cambridge University Press, London. Odum, E. Saunders, Philadelphia. Perona, V. Piussi, P. Rackham, O. Dent and Sons, London. Agnoletti Reuss, E. Rubner, H. Schuler, A. Sereni, E. La Terza, Bari. In: Storia d'Italia. I caratteri originari. Steen, H. Stisser, F. Vogt, K. Springer, NewYork.
Volz, K. Von Hornstein, F. Otto Maier, Ravensburg. Watkins, C. Whitehead, N. This joint effort is reflective of new collaborative efforts needed to expand the blossoming field of environmental history. For over a decade it has been postulated the field is ripe for interdisciplinary opportunities, potentially able to bridge the gap between forestry, science and technology, social history, geography, anthropology, archaeology and ecology. The journal Environmental History is playing a role in coaxing interdisciplinary efforts to occur.
While the journal will continue to publish the best and most diverse scholarship, it is expected that there will be increased integration of science in environmental history; continued analysis of class, gender and race issues; continued land use and ecological history analysis; and growing opportunities for transnational research. The latter seems to parallel the forestry profession that is coming to grips with landscapescale analysis, cross-ownership management and global marketplaces.
We will need to move towards comprehensive integration of research in related subfields in order to more fully explore a world environmental history. The journal reflects one way the FHS is committed to participating in these endeavours. The FHS will maintain its historical programme emphasis in library and archives, expand its bibliographic reference and referral services to the broader field of environmental history, and develop new programmes in education and outreach.
The FHS will continue to explore and support new and productive international opportunities. Members also receive the Forest History Today magazine, the Forest Timeline newsletter and any new issues of the Issues Series booklets. While this joint effort may reflect growing needs for collaboration in forest and conservation history, the foundations of the FHS remain strong and of utmost priority. This chapter provides an overview of the FHS, indicates some new areas of focus and uses it as an entry to discuss the role of forest and conservation history in the larger field of environmental history.
The FHS was established in to study forest and conservation history. The early efforts of the FHS originally established as the Forest Products History Foundation under the Minnesota Historical Society centred on the identification, collection and preservation of historical material. In the s and s the FHS added significant capabilities in interpreting and disseminating these materials, most notably marked by the Journal of Forest History later Forest and Conservation History and numerous book-length publications.
The present mission of the FHS is to study forest and conservation history and apply it to current issues in order to affect the future and improve human welfare. Current programmes are threefold, including: library and archives; research and publication; and education and outreach. The library and archives are the foundation of the Society.
The library contains over volumes on forest and conservation history. The archives house collections from national level organizations such as the Society of American Foresters, the American Forest and Paper Association and the American Forestry Association in addition to about 60 other collections of national and international significance.
The FHS also houses other unique collections including 25, photographs that trace forestry and logging in North America from the s to the present and a news-clipping collection from the s to the s that spans the development of the early conservation movement in North America AMA:ASMT:Revised ProofApril Chapter 1 Changing Roles of the Forest History Society 23 this collection includes original letters from Bernard Fernow and others regarding matters of international forestry.
Recently we acquired the forest history collection from the US Forest Service which also includes some international forestry topics. For several decades the Society has been developing two unique and powerful databases, one a forest and conservation history annotated bibliography and the other an archival database which locates significant collections.
Both are international in nature but are probably much more complete for North America than other parts of the world. Submissions of other bibliographies or other databases are welcome in order to make it even more complete and useful. The research and publications programme focuses on historical issues important to today's decisionmakers as they plan for the future.
The Society engages in comprehensive research that results in book-length publications and also produces an annual magazine entitled Forest History Today. The Society has an active oral history programme, having conducted over oral histories with leaders and workers in forestry and conservation, a portion of which have been international in scope. Our most recent publication in this regard was Plantation Forestry in the Amazon: the Jari Experience that is a set of four oral histories with forestry consultants who worked with Daniel K.
Ludwig on his mammoth forestry project in Brazil. The Society's academic journal, Environmental History, features original articles, book reviews and bibliographic and archival reports. An awards programme is also focused on research and publications. Perhaps the opportunity of most interest to international researchers are the Alfred D.
Bell Fellowships that provide travel grants for those wishing to study at the Society's library and archives. Our Blegen and HidyAwards recognize the best research in Environmental History and other journals, respectively. The FHS also recognizes the best journalism about forest and conservation history found in newspapers, general circulation magazines and broadcast media.
Through our education and outreach programme, the FHS engages outside audiences to improve the understanding of forest and conservation history. Although the Society does not engage in advocacy, it does seek to deepen the context within which forest policies are debated. As part of this effort, the Issues Series booklets provide short, objective, readable accounts that bring a historical context to today's most pressing natural resource issues.
These booklets are used in education programmes for landowners, teachers, college students and policymakers. In addition, the Society is partnering with other institutions to develop teacher's guides and student curricula in forest and conservation history and encouraging the use of primary materials in the learning process.
Anderson In , my predecessor, Harold K. In addition to reiterating our commitment to the library, archives and publications aspects of the programmes, the Board articulated new goals and strategies in both education conveying an understanding of forest history to a wide variety of publics and to actively exploring and responding to new dimensions of international forestry. This translates into the following change in operations. While traditional efforts of the FHS have been North American in focus, we will now look at our operations in the global context and take advantage of international opportunities.
These also form the basis for our approach to collaboration between forest and conservation history and the larger field of environmental history. The FHS believes in: 1. Continuity of human events and that knowledge of the past provides insights to guide the future. Forests as entire ecosystems, comprising the land, soils, water, trees and all vegetation, animals and their relationships to human life including their environmental, economic, social and cultural values.
Interconnectedness of forests and human events and our responsibility to be a part of an international network among those with shared interests and values. Preservation of records of historical significance, and maintaining their quality and integrity to serve present and future historians. Scholarship and the importance of applying intellectual skills to advance excellence in the study, analysis and interpretation of forest and conservation history. Sharing information and knowledge among all with an interest in forests and conservation, and contributing to public enlightenment about the values that the forests have had for mankind.
Partnerships and the ensuing synergy among those who wish to support, preserve, study and apply our heritage of forest and conservation history. Indicative of our values in scholarship and collaborative efforts, and reflective of our long-range goals in outreach and international opportunities, our current journal entitled Environmental History represents our new contribution to scholarly efforts.
Published jointly with the ASEH, the journal is now 3 years old and enjoying a welcome reception. For the FHS, the journal Environmental History is the latest evolution of an effort that started in with a newsletter called Forest History. In the newsletter evolved into an illustrated quarterly journal and in it was renamed the Journal of Forest History.
The result of the merger was a strengthening of the journal. It not only resulted in a higher level of scholastic quality but also produced cost efficiencies and opportunities to engage environmental historians in forest history. It is a sign of the role that forest history can play in the larger field of environmental history.
During its 3-year history, the journal has published articles under the broad umbrella of environmental history that explore the place of human societies within changing ecosystems; cultural concepts about humankind's relationship to nature; and environmental politics and policy. Its contributions facilitate the understanding of the reciprocal influences of nature and society with the end goal being to improve human effectiveness at living within the landscape. If one examines the articles published in Environmental History during its brief 4-year history as a surrogate for the general status of the environmental history field, then some insights may present themselves regarding both the role of forest history and the emerging focus of the broader field.
There are three primary areas that deserve particular attention, including: i the need for interdisciplinary research; ii the broad examination of environmental justice; and iii emerging transnational analysis. Both White and Worster identify the obvious connections between environmental historians and historical geographers, but with increasing regularity similar notions have been purported for environmental history with the fields of anthropology Goody, , economics O'Conner, and the history of science and technology Worster, In Environmental History, two articles have touted the interdisciplinary benefits that can be accrued between environmental history and social history Taylor, ; Truett, The science field most noted in this regard is ecology Christensen, but could include forestry, plant pathology, entomology, botany, biology and a host of other disciplines as needed and determined by issues of concern.
While some professionals have expressed concern over the epistemological differences between the traditions behind natural science and humanities such as history, it is certainly feasible that the comparative methodology can offer a great deal to interdisciplinary research. The role, then, of foresters and forest history in environmental history is apparent. Anderson contribute to the development of land use histories; knowledge of the previous use of technologies; silvicultural responses to land treatments; the extent of ecosystem change and other ecological data; and in policy analysis they have a vital role in the field of environmental history.
The necessity of understanding the interrelationships between ecological and historical change is clear if we are to be more effective in living within the landscape. McGurty in her article in Environmental History traces the origins of the environmental justice movement, citing the limitations of the environmental movement as a root cause. In addition, evaluation of the relative effects of environmental policy decisions can help us more adequately prepare for impending resource conflicts and learn from past experiences.
Full text issues
A consistent stream of articles have appeared during the first three volume years of Environmental History that deal with language, class, gender, race, ethnicity and other demographical aspects of environmental history. Such strands are also addressed in a variety of ways by Spence examining Native American relationships to management of National Parks in the United States; by Boone in describing flood control efforts in Montreal, Canada; by Taylor and Jacoby in the siting of toxic industries and waste dumps; and Aagesen in the history and conservation of the monkeypuzzle tree in Argentina and Chile.
It is clear that continued attention to these pursuits in forest and environmental history will be made as we deal with increasing issues of sustainability in the future. In addition to global marketplace effects, both the consistent chasm that breaks the connections between local populations and local resources and agriculture's impact on global forests and related resources represent commonalities that provide AMA:ASMT:Revised ProofApril Chapter 1 Changing Roles of the Forest History Society 27 a certain basis for such a landscape effort Worster, The growing and potential role of transnational institutions, especiallyas related to the environment Holdgate, , also points the way to new opportunities in forest and environmental history.
In Environmental History, transnational analysis is discussed directly by Truett while re-examining resource extraction, Mexican labour and American investment; by Wirth in discussing transboundary smoke pollution from a lead and zinc smelter in British Columbia, Canada; and Aagesen who suggests that conservation of the monkey-puzzle tree may depend on transborder cooperation between Chile and Argentina. An additional opportunity for transnational environmental history was eloquently pointed out by Flader exploring the historical relationships between citizens and their governments.
In many ways, the new attention being given to transnational analysis by environmental historians parallels the forestry profession that, especially in this decade, is coming to grips with landscape-scale analysis, cross-ownership management and global marketplaces. Efforts towards ecosystem management commonly cite the need not only for landscape-scale analysis but also for multiscale analysis, from the microsite to the global landscape.
Similarly, environmental historians may consider simultaneous consideration of multiple geographical scales including local, regional, national and transnational. References Aagesen, D. Boone, C. Christensen, N. Flader, S. Goody, J. Holdgate, M. Jacoby, K. McGurty, E. O'Conner, J. Why environmental history? Anderson Spence, M. Taylor, A. Truett, S. Tyrell, I. White, R. Wirth, J. Worster, D. In: Bailes, K. University Press of America, Lanham, Maryland, pp. In:Worster, D. Cambridge University Press, NewYork, pp. Worster, J. This can lead to a more differentiated, deepened and new understanding of the past illustrated with examples covering wood scarcity, discourse and the reality of sustainability, Verrechtlichung, mode of charcoal supply, and the forest policy of the rural population.
As we all know, the role of the professional academic historian is the study of history as a discipline in its own right. How then can professional historians play a useful role in the study of forest history? There are three essential answers to this question. The contribution of historians consists of: 1. Assessing the accuracy and value of historical sources. Putting forest history in a broader historical context. Investigating the interrelationship between micro- and macrolevel history. Ernst 1 Assessing the accuracy and value of historical sources Sources are written documents that come from the past.
Sources tend to lie. And even if they do not lie sources can tell only part of the story. Our ancestors wrote them from a certain perspective with a certain purpose. They perceived reality in the light of their specific view and purposes. What methods and techniques can help to assess the accuracy and value of the information which sources give? History as an academic discipline has developed two methods to criticize sources: 1. Assessing the origins of the sources.
Information about the origin of a source is needed to detect possible lies. Applying this method involves answering such questions as: Do we have the source in its entirety? Who produced the source? What was the occasion, the motive? Who wanted the information and why? Did the source intentionally conceal certain aspects? As you can easily see from these items, assessing the origins of sources is a sine qua non of historical work. Contrast different kinds of sources.
For example, historically researchers explored the wood scarcity in preindustrial Germany with the help of laws and forest descriptions only. By contrasting laws and descriptions with financial documents, maps and statistics we gain new insights into the development of forests and into the question of wood scarcity Schenk, b. In a second example, many sources formed part of a broad process of communication between the users of forests.
The publication of materials on desirable forestry techniques was an element of 18th-century discourse. The debate about sustained-yield forestry started in preindustrial times and continues to this day. However, these are only words. The discourse about sustainability does not mean that sustainability was in reality pursued. Here, financial documents can reveal what contemporaries in fact did.
This is the first contribution of professional historians to interdisciplinary forest history. Political and legal surroundings. Rural populations were sometimes merely the passive subjects of laws that were intended to enforce new rules. However, this was not always the cause. To a large extent, laws codified long-held legal practices. Sovereigns wrote them, but often only formulated what was already occurring. So there the people had a hidden influence on forest policy and legislation. We can assess forest laws correctly only in view of general approaches of the relevant time.
The premodernVerrechtlichung also covered forest matters Allmann, However, the higher quantity and quality of forest laws only mirror the fundamental Verrechtlichung. More and better forest laws until are therefore not an extraordinary phenomenon of forest treatment. Rather they are a further example of a fundamental change that has more to do with a sophisticated administration. Economical and demographical influences. Factors such as the degree of industrial concentration and the regional population density strongly influenced the prices of forest products Setter, The way in which ironworks received their charcoal was especially important.
During the 18th century, governments changed the mode of charcoal supply. At the beginning of the century they guaranteed the supply, and the ironworks did not have to pay anything for their fuelwood, or only small sums. After the rulers stopped these subsidies. Instead, the ironworks had to buy their charcoal at auction Braun, As a result the prices increased.
Changing the mode of price fixing was a political decision. When this is taken into account it can be seen that higher prices are not necessarily evidence for a shortage of fuelwood. Social perspective. How the rural population acted in conflict situations of increasing administrative incursions is difficult to judge. An investigation of lawsuits can offer valuable insights into their patterns of behaviour.
The rural population made a forest policy of their own. The rural population was interested in reaping the natural or financial benefits of the forests. This basic natural and financial concern strengthened the populations' interest in keeping or gaining sovereignty over their communal forests. Contrary to common belief, the way the rural populations used the forest was not, in general, lacking in wisdom or harmful to the forests, but was oriented by a rationale of their own.
Here again the treatment of forestry mirrors general tendencies. So putting forest history in its broader context is the second contribution of historians. Ernst 3 Investigating the interrelationship between micro- and macrolevel history Studying history on a microlevel involves looking very precisely at one single place and time. It is an Italian innovation in historiography which is now broadly accepted. Studying history at the macrolevel on the other hand explores general tendencies everywhere in past eras.
The situation differed: between region and region, from year to year, from social group to social group, and between construction timber and fuelwood. There is a strained relation between the worldwide discourse about sustainability and the practical measures on the scene. How did the two levels work together? How did the general tendency of Verrechtlichung work in local forests? Why did the rulers alter the modes of charcoal supply? Was it their intention to earn more money through higher prices? How did the political system influence the way the rural population formulated their forest policy and participated in the development of forests?
Professional historians can assess the accuracy and value of sources, put forest history in a broader historical context, and investigate the micro- and macroperspectives Davis, ; Ginzburg, ; Lepetit, This can lead to a more differentiated, deepened and new understanding of the past. On the other hand it can lead to the complicating of a previously simple picture. The extent to which this more complex forest history is useful for the management and development of forest resources today may, as a result, diminish.
But at least we will be acting on the basis of a more accurate historical picture. References Allmann, J. Braun, H. Davis, N. Ernst, C. Der Kondelwald im 18 Jahrhundert. In: Klaus F. Rheinland-Verlag, Koln, pp. In: Watkins, C. Ginzburg, C. Lepetit, B. Radkau, J. Ein Naturstoff in der Technikgeschichte. Rowohlt, Reinbek. Schenk, W. Steiner, Stuttgart. Datini' Prato Hg. Le Monnier, Firenze, pp. UTB, Stuttgart. Selter, B. These arose because of the way early forestry was organized and written up by active practitioners, and because of the universal tendency to see a deep division between nature and culture.
It is contended that hegemonic discourses have affected management techniques, with direct consequences for the extent, composition and variety of forests. They have also led to a misreading of indigenous forest landscapes. The post-modernist approach since the s has emphasized a more holistic approach and old norms have been questioned. Case studies from the Blue Mountains of eastern Oregon and Washington, the Amazonian lowlands and the Kissidougou region of Guinea in West Africa illustrate the complexity and richness of the new interpretations.
Williams questioned. It resides in our very attitude, understanding and knowledge of what forestry is. This ultimately affects our written expositions, and even our actions. He argues that forestry:. It is the unfolding of this discourse that puts flesh on the carbon-based bones of forest history. The dynamic nature of the forests means that they are not perfectly balanced systems. Ecologists have long detected different levels of resistance to disturbance, i. The forest does not have inherent stability, and disturbance processes often do not lead to self-regulation Botkin, For decades, ecologists have been arguing that this is so, but few forest historians have understood it, and cling, instead, to outmoded concepts of balance, stability and equilibrium.
What matters more than ecological adjustment, however, are human actions, and these might depend on policies and paradigmatic practices, which are reflected in the prevalent forestry discourse of any time. As Shands put it succinctly in an address to foresters in the United States: The forests on which you practice silviculture today are the legacy of centuries of human decisions and actions.
While McQuillan's argument on dominant discourses relates specifically to forestry in the temperate, developed world, the same argument can be advanced for the tropical, less developed world. The outcome, however, is much the same; the power of the prevailing paradigm has excluded alternative explanations and actions. These concerns were bolstered by shared themes of expansion, prosperity and common foes. They emphasized themes of the bureaucratization and professionalization of foresters, the lobbying of politicians and the wooing of the public about the need for conservation in the face of a perceived timber famine, a scarcity perhaps manufactured by them to make them more indispensable Williams, In particular they promoted widespread and active management of the forest environment through the twin, positive themes of sustained yield and multiple-use management techniques, to a sceptical, apathetic and at times, even hostile, public.
The era was characterized by campaigns against fire, insect infestation, land-grabbing monopolies, waste and even agricultural expansion, but for timber physics, greater efficiency and a workable mix between state and private operations, and cooperation characterized the approach and the era. The Cartesian heritage of a distinction between mind and matter is deeply ingrained; humans and trees are regarded as binary and mutually opposed categories. Boundary problems are interesting but do not undermine the dominant conceptual schema.
The forest is the stage: humans are the actors that do things on it, and to it. Thus, the clearing, management, harvesting and settlement of former forests, and the capitalistic production of its commodities all presuppose a world composed of discrete natural, inanimate objects that are appropriated, owned and alienated by animate individuals. Williams This approach entailed the elimination of the natural canopy forest and its replacement with uniform stands of vigorously growing young trees that produced high annual increments of wood fibre, which also meant a reduction of biodiversity.
But even the ideal of sustained yield was dropped eventually. It did not equate with a sustained stock of trees. Compared with America, the binary opposites of nature and culture have been less strongly developed in Europe. There were, suggests Legg , three major changes. First, a proliferation of interpretations. These events, and their impact on vegetation and indigenous peoples, led to much introspection and an increasing awareness that history could write, interpret and reinterpret in radically different ways Sale,; Denevan, Secondly, there was a pluralization of scholarship about forest history which was clearly influenced by the multiplicity of new interpretations.
AMA:ASMT:Revised ProofApril Chapter 3 New Interpretations of Forest History 39 It was characterized by the general growth of historical scholarship into the development of forest policy and forest conservation, into corporations and prominent individuals, into forest transport and machinery, labour and unions. In addition, the close connection between forests and conservation, national parks and general environmental issues led to a vast expansion of concerns and much rewriting of forest history.
The forest industry has claimed that it was the first real environmental movement; that it is in the forefront of conservation and stewardship; and that sustained yield and multipurpose management are environmentally friendly. For ecocentricists nothing in nature should be destroyed. Past policies are seen as misguided and based on a dangerous mythology, particularly that of sustained yield. Many of these criticisms have been taken on board. To a certain extent both of these trends are reflected in the way in which the title of the main publication of the Forest History Society has changed.
When founded in it was called the Forest History Newsletter; which became the journal Forest History ; then the Journal of Forest History ; and then Forest and Conservation History Recently, in , it merged with the journal of the American Society for Environmental History, and became Environmental History. Finally in this trilogy of broad changes, there is the polarization of interpretations about forest history, which I want to look at in more detail. Legg instances a number of themes under this heading but I want to develop one that relates back to my opening remarks about forestry as a discourse.
This is not a new idea. The British historian J. The past can be used in a variety of ways, he said, to:. Like science too, it requires imagination, creativity and empathy as well as observation as accurate as a scholar can make it. Williams History, then, is an intellectual process we engage in order to see things as they were. Therefore history cannot be entirely objective or uncontaminated by prevailing attitudes and values, which are all part of the social context.
There have long been different ideological and philosophical stances as well as modes of social theorizing in the conception and practice of history, and it is a fallacy to suppose that the reconstruction of the past, whether in forests, families or factories, can be thoroughly objective and freed from the values of the enquirer. There is a requirement to see all the familiar things in new terms, reshuffling the canonical feelings and values. None the less, we can say that the new discourse on the forest and about forestry is not about binary opposites of nature and culture.
Like any other form of land management, the profession has to engage in the uncertain process of redefining its relationships with nature, and what is thought of as natural e. Secondly, we can also say that it is not the old Prussian model of a highly regulated forest in order to achieve high levels of production Lowood, Concern for regulation is being curbed and concerns for biodiversity, ecological system complexity, aesthetics, protection of natural fauna and flora, clean air and water, amongst others, are being substituted. Production has not been abandoned, but it has certainly been played down in the light of economic prudence.
This meant a broadening of values away from fibre production, efficiency and even conservation, to include aesthetics and sustainability of natural ecological processes, and an innovative recognition of the complexity of the subject. But a little thought makes one realize that it is not that simple. The reality of the new discourse can be brought out in a number of examples from North America, tropical Latin America and Africa.
In the 19th century white Americans came to the Blue Mountains and exploited the natural resources of the rivers, forests and grass that they found there. The Pinus ponderosa pine was brutally and indiscriminately stripped out, non-farmable cut-over covered large areas, and fires ravaged the rest.
Forest Ecology and Management
Vast numbers of cattle and then later sheep, grazed out the natural pastures, and wildlife was hunted and exterminated. The forests were withdrawn from the public domain and placed in the new forest reserve system. With the best possible motive they set out to stem the corruption of land disposal, and the greed of speculation and resource misuse. With selfless, enlightened scientific knowledge they imposed a management system designed to maximize the yield of the forest and restore the grasslands of the mountains.
Less productive old-growth timber decadent and immature was cut out and replaced by younger, faster-growing trees, that ensured a supply of timber and protected the watersheds. But by so doing the Forest Service had turned the forest dream into a forest nightmare, and by about the results of past practices were becoming evident.
Light logging, with shorter and shorter cutting cycles of 30 years or less, smashed the ecology. The interests of fire management liquidated the ponderosa pines, but introduced firs. Insect infections became more frequent and more devastating, and wildlife collapsed. The Forest Service has moved in a direction of substantially protecting ecological integrity and biological diversity.
Its adoption of ecosystem management in represented the adoption of a new discourse, one that includes among other things a focus on sustainable systems rather than commodity timber crops. It also encompasses a new focus on natural system characteristics such as death, decay and waste, as well as inefficiency, uncertainty and redundancy. While this may be an improvement over the previous commodity focus it is still an attempt to control natural processes. In abandoning one discourse, the Forest Service has adopted another. Williams 6 Misreading the landscape In the developing world, the break with the paradigms of the past has come less with the positive act of promoting tree growth forestry and much more with understanding the negative act of destroying trees deforestation.
- An Operational Framework for Defining and Monitoring Forest Degradation?
- God in Pink?
- Game Theory and Mutual Misunderstanding: Scientific Dialogues in Five Acts.
- Ecology and Society: An Operational Framework for Defining and Monitoring Forest Degradation?
- Upcoming Events.
Seeland, Consequently, the tropical rainforest can no longer be regarded as unscathed by human manipulation. It is not a pristine wilderness in which the indigenous inhabits were either incapable or unwilling to change anything. It is possible, of course, that some of this is a result of natural lightning fires, but more likely it is the result of clearing for swiddens and the past manipulation of the forest for useful plants Uhl et al.
Thus, it is a mosaic of different ages, compositions and structures made all the more complex by the propagation of useful tree crops like nuts, palms and bamboo, and an increase in the diversity of plants. Similar arguments can be made for the Maya lowlands and other parts of tropical central America Gomez-Pompa et al. If human manipulation of the forest by native peoples is acknowledged, the dominant discourse has been that it has been mismanaged. In particular, the imperial and colonial political overlordship of the past was convinced of the inferiority of native practices which were consequently repressed, and there was a strong conviction that the application of western development and its science and organization was superior.
However, that conventional AMA:ASMT:Revised ProofApril Chapter 3 New Interpretations of Forest History 43 wisdom has always been challenged by social anthropologists who have shown that indigenous practice is frequently an intelligent and intelligible accommodation with environment that could well be emulated in contemporary efforts to utilize the tropical forests Strathern, ; Ellen and Fukui, So strong was this interpretation that outsiders like foresters, politicians, colonial civil servants and modern-day aid agencies sought to take resource control away from the local inhabitants, impose repressive policies, and even criminalized certain forms of land use.
In the s the setting of bush fires carried the death penalty. The dominant discourse was an exercise in power which excluded other interpretations.
Where we work
But Fairhead and Leach in their Misreading the African Landscape argue that the Kissidougou landscape is one that is filling with forests, not emptying. They present irrefutable evidence that the forests are gaining and growing in size. They also show how the local inhabitants have an intimate relationship with the forest and develop patches of forest around their settlements. Everyday activities, like cattle keeping, thatch collection, gardening, defecation, burning, and the like, contribute to the forest island development; and the new woods are important in the daily lives as sources of timber, fuelwood, food and medicines.
The system has been compromised by inappropriate outside interventions, which in the environmentally conscious s cynically see this degrading environment as the way to gain money, justify budgets and keep environmental institutions solvent by attracting major international funding for rehabilitation. The history of the conventional, orthodox discourse is fascinating.
The age-old concern about the relationship between tree felling, diminishing rainfall and ultimate desiccation conditioned thinking. During the s there was also the conviction that the Sahara desert was growing and on the march in the northern portions of West African countries, just as the dustbowl and its dust storms seemed to be engulfing the inland plains of the United States.
Amongst many researchers writing at the time, the work of Aubreville , who had worked in West Africa during the s, was immensely influential. Williams The overwhelming and overriding discourse of degradation has had a series of detrimental effects on local life. First, local people have been impoverished by the imposition of taxes and fines on forest use, reducing their opportunities to benefit from their resources, and diverting funds from more pressing concerns.
Secondly, locals have been accused of wanton destruction and their everyday activities criminalized, and have been denied the technical validity of their ecological knowledge and development. Thirdly, they have been denied the value and credibility of their cultural forms, expressions, and even basis of morality, so that at times even their intelligence and consciousness has been denied; and fourthly, a gulf has been created between urban and rural.
The perspective of the dominantly urban-based post-colonial administrators towards the rural locals has been antagonistic. They are seen as incapable of responding to modernity, reinforcing ethnic stereotypes and differentiation. In later work, Fairhead and Leach have extended their conclusions to a much wider area of West Africa. In much of the western world, forests are revered and cordoned off, and those forests which have been used have been exploited as fibre factories. In the example of the Blue Mountains, the landscape has been misused, and the rewriting of the restoration by means of traditional forestry has impoverished the region.
In the example of western Africa not only has the landscape been misread, but the rewriting of it in terms of the degradation discourse has denied the local people their own history. Everywhere, there is a need to appreciate a more pluralistic ecology that recognizes non-equilibrium issues. In all such cases, it is the dominant discourse about people and trees, and the failure to see them in a more holistic way that has caused problems. Simplistic reductionism must be replaced by an appreciation of complexity.
Acknowledgement The author wishes to thank Steven Anderson for some useful suggestions. Aubreville, A. Botkin, D. Oxford University Press, NewYork. Ciancio, O. In: Ciancio, O. The Forest and Man. Accademia Italiana di Scienze Forestali, Florence, pp. In: Langston, N. Forest Dreams, Forest Nightmares.
University of Washington Press, Seattle. In: Cronon, W.
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Uncommon Ground: Towards Reinventing Nature. Norton, NewYork, pp. Ellen, R. Berg, Oxford. Faegri, K. In: Birks, H. Routledge, London. Foucault, M. Tavistock Press, London. Harvester Press, Brighton. Gomez-Pompa, A. Hays, S. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Langston, N. Legg, S. Changing perceptions of forest management in the New World. In: Frawley, K. Department of Geography and Oceanography, Canberra, pp. Lowood, H. In: Frangsmyr,T. Williams Ryder, R.
McQuillan, A. Plumb, J. Macmillan, London. Posey, D. Proctor, J. Roosevelt, A. In: Posey, D. The objective of this paper is to analyze the historical evolution of the functions assigned by humans to forests, highlighting how they affect the production of space from a diachronic perspective. Focusing our attention on some European countries, we highlight that although historically, wood production was the most important function provided by wooded lands, other functions were also attributed to forests. The awareness of these functions emerged when an overexploitation of forest resources produced a lack of a specific service.
When these services corresponded to a societal demand, they produced welfare benefits for the society, which were recognized as forest functions. Thus even the functions evolved in time according to the evolution of societal needs. Evaluating when and how each societal demand emerged, and consequently the moment each function was recognized, is an essential prerequisite even for a more accurate interpretation of current forest management practices. Not only is the temporal dimension of forest functions relevant, so is the spatial scale, which may differ considerably between them, ranging from the specific forest area and its owner for the productive function; to the catchment area and its inhabitants for the protective function; to a potentially larger area for the cultural and biodiversity function; and to the entire globe for the carbon-retention function.
The strict, and sometimes competing, interactions between these functions may also be recognized in the production of space, which evolved in time according to the evolution of the corresponding societal needs. A forest parcel assigned to a productive function is a material space, marked in the field by colored signs, but it may also be virtually represented by a forest model or be part of some protected area. But this picture would change if, instead of looking at the present, we consider the past and the different sensations and representations concerned with forests.
These complex interactions, between different functions and spatial dimensions, justify the need to balance a segregative management system with a wider, multi-functional integrated approach. What has emerged from our study is that to reach this difficult equilibrium, it is useful to consider the production processes of these forest spaces. Through this analytical approach, we can understand the interactions occurring over time between the evolution of the demands expressed by society and the main changes occurred on the forest landscape.
Pilli R, Pase A Forest functions and space: a geohistorical perspective of European forests. Total Article Views: from publication date up to now. Web Metrics Days since publication: Overall contacts: Avg. Article citations are based on data periodically collected from the Clarivate Web of Science web site last update: Aug Legal Notice.
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Corresponding author. Roberto Pilli roberto. Citation Metrics Article Citations Article citations are based on data periodically collected from the Clarivate Web of Science web site last update: Aug Total number of cites since : 1 Average cites per year: 0. References 1. Agnoletti M, Anderson S Methods and approaches in forest history. Online Gscholar. Allen R The british industrial revolution in global perspective. Boncina A Conceptual approaches to integrate nature conservation into forest management: a Central European perspective. International Forestry Review 13 1 : CrossRef Gscholar.
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