The Embattled Wilderness: The Natural and Human History of Robinson Forest and the Fight for Its Future

Erik Reece and James J. Krupa. Univ. of Georgia, $24.95 (184p) ISBN 978-0-8203-4123-1
Endeavoring "to argue for the value of an eastern Kentucky ecosystem against the value of a short ton of eastern Kentucky coal," two University of Kentucky faculty members make a forceful case for preserving one of the "most biologically diverse landscapes in North America." Each with years of environmental research and teaching in the Reece (Lost Mountain) and Krupa possess an intimate familiarity with this Appalachian wilderness and the pressures it faces. In 1923 the denuded Robinson Forest was deeded to the University of Kentucky. Regenerated, it is now home to 60 tree species, the state's cleanest waterways, and tremendous topographical and species diversity; a lush verdure that stands starkly opposed to the flattened wastelands of mountaintop removal coal mining all around. The monetary value of the forest's timber and coal remain a constant pressure, but the authors persuasively contend that the value of the forest as a teaching tool and vestige of Kentucky heritage is higher still. They lobby for preservation, but also demonstrate that sustainable forestry strategies could permit for some timber extraction while protecting the greater, enduring resource—the ecosystem itself. Photos & maps. (May)
Reviewed on: 06/17/2013
Release date: 05/01/2013
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 184 pages - 978-0-8203-4569-7
Paperback - 184 pages - 978-0-8203-4976-3
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