Crimes against Nature: Squatters, Poachers, Thieves, and the by Karl Jacoby

By Karl Jacoby

Crimes opposed to Nature finds the hidden historical past at the back of 3 of the nation's first parklands: the Adirondacks, Yellowstone, and the Grand Canyon. concentrating on the influence that conservation in those parts had on rural humans, Karl Jacoby strains the influence of criminalizing such conventional practices as searching and fishing, foraging, and trees slicing in those newly created parks. Jacoby reassesses the character of those ''crimes'' and gives a wealthy portrait of rural humans and their dating with the wildlife within the overdue 19th and early 20th centuries. This engagingly written research demonstrates the $64000 ways that classification has stimulated environmental historical past.

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Extra info for Crimes against Nature: Squatters, Poachers, Thieves, and the Hidden History of American Conservation

Example text

Typically, they would cut the marketable timber; then, rather than holding the The Re-creation of Nature 25 lands for the decade or two required for a fresh crop of lumber to appear, they would abandon the property, which would eventually be claimed by the state for nonpayment of taxes. 35 Technological limitations posed an additional barrier to the Adirondacks timber industry in the immediate post–Civil War years. Today, the term “lumbering” may conjure up images of vast clear-cuts, but up until the late 1880s most timber operations in the Adirondacks logged on a selective basis.

Many squatters, however, refused to leave their homes. After several delays, the commission finally dispatched foresters to tear down and burn the offending structures. In November of 1905, District Game Protector John B. Burnham and fifteen men went into Raquette Lake with orders to destroy some fifty houses on state lands, only to be met by angry locals: “threats of violence to the state officers if property was harmed by them were freely given out at the village, and it was expected that there would be trouble,” noted a reporter for the New York Times.

This increase led, in turn, to a decline in the moose. The dominant ungulate in the Adirondacks throughout the 1700s, the moose had all but disappeared by the 1860s. While many contemporary observers attributed the moose’s demise to overhunting by local residents, this was not the only factor contributing to the plummeting moose population. Deer carry brain worm, a parasite that, while relatively benign to them, is fatal to moose. Thus, an increase in the deer population usually has negative repercussions for their larger cousins.

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