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Blue Ridge Commons: Environmental Activism and Forest History in Western North Carolina
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Blue Ridge Commons: Environmental Activism and Forest History in Western North Carolina (Hardback)

£71.95
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Synopsis

In the late twentieth century, residents of the Blue Ridge mountains in western North Carolina fiercely resisted certain environmental efforts, even while launching aggressive initiatives of their own. Kathryn Newfont examines the environmental history of this region over the course of three hundred years, identifying what she calls commons environmentalism--a cultural strain of conservation in American history that has gone largely unexplored.



Efforts in the 1970s to expand federal wilderness areas in the Pisgah and Nantahala national forests generated strong opposition. For many mountain residents the idea of unspoiled wilderness seemed economically unsound, historically dishonest, and elitist. Newfont shows that local people's sense of commons environmentalism required access to the forests that they viewed as semipublic places for hunting, fishing, and working. Policies that removed large tracts from use were perceived as "enclosure" and resisted.



These battles often pitted industrialists against environmentalists. Newfont argues that the side that most effectively hitched its cause to local residents' commons culture usually won. A few perceptive activists realized that the same cultural ground that yielded wilderness opposition could also produce ambitious protection efforts, such as Blue Ridge residents' opposition to petroleum exploration and clearcut timber harvesting.



Incorporating deep archival work and years of interviews and conversations with Appalachian residents, Blue Ridge Commons reveals a tradition of people building robust forest protection movements on their own terms.

History & PoliticsHistory: specific events & topicsHistorical geographyNatural World & The EnvironmentThe environmentConservation of the environmentNatural World & The EnvironmentThe environmentManagement of land & natural resourcesNatural World & The EnvironmentThe natural world, country life & petsThe Earth: natural history general Publisher: University of Georgia Press Publication Date: 15/12/2011 ISBN-13: 9780820341248  Details: Type: Hardback Format: Books
Availability: To Order. Estimated despatch in 1-3 weeks.  

Kathryn Newfont is an associate professor of history and faculty chair for the Ramsey Center for Regional Studies at Mars Hill College.

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