Nature Next Door: Cities and Trees in the American Northeast

Ellen Stroud, Author, William Cronon, Foreword by
Ellen Stroud. Univ. of Washington, $26.95 (232p) ISBN 978-0-295-99208-2
Hardcover - 232 pages - 978-0-295-80445-3
Paperback - 207 pages - 978-0-295-99331-7
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Bryn Mawr environmental historian Stroud uses the stories of Herbert Welch (a lawyer who in the early 20th century annually hiked from his Philadelphia home to his New Hampshire vacation cabin) and other forest advocates to document forest preservation and restoration efforts in four northeastern states, and to show how such efforts were frequently the result of urban needs. In Pennsylvania, efforts to protect the quality of urban water supplies resulted in the establishment of public forest preserves as clean watersheds. In New Hampshire, vacationing city-dwellers initiated forest preservation and restoration efforts to protect the beautiful views and sylvan atmosphere of their summer cabins, while Vermonters discovered that government policies promoting “the forested farm” to city dwellers aided both the tourist and farm economies. In contrast, Maine, lacking a strong urban presence, has struggled to resolve forest-use conflicts between tourists, hunters, loggers, and property developers. For each case study, Stroud closely follows the story of one or more key individuals, bringing them to life with extensive quotations from letters, speeches, and other documents. These personal stories add a refreshingly human touch to the story. The book illuminates the web of connections between forests and the quality of human life, and documents some of the ways in which people have strengthened those ties. Illus. (Oct.)
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