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Wilderness and Political Ecology
Aboriginal Influences and the Original State of Nature
Edited by Charles E. Kay and Randy T. Simmons
Nature and Environment
Environmental law and philosophy assume the existence of a fundamental state of nature: Before the arrival of Columbus, the Americas were a wilderness untouched by human hand, teeming with wildlife and almost void of native peoples. In Wilderness and Political Ecology Charles Kay and Randy Simmons state that this "natural" view of pre-European America is scientifically unsupportable.
This volume brings together scholars from a variety of fields as they seek to demonstrate that native people were originally more numerous than once thought and that they were not conservationists in the current sense of the term. Rather, native peoples took an active part in managing their surroundings and wrought changes so extensive that the anthropogenic environment has long been viewed as the natural state of the American ecosystem.
Charles Kay is adjunct assistant professor of political science at Utah State University.
Randy Simmons is professor and chair of the department of political science at Utah State University
Michael S. Alvard, Texas A&M University
Jack M. Broughton, University of Utah
William R. Hildebrandt, Far Western Anthropological Research Group, Davis , California
Terry L. Jones, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
Charles E. Kay, Utah State University
Paul S. Martin, University of Arizona, Tucson
Thomas W. Neumann, archaeologist, Atlanta, Georgia
William Preston, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
Gerald Williams, U.S. Forest Service, Washington, D.C.
Table of Contents:
Preface ~ Charles E. Kay and Randy T. Simmons
1. Prehistoric Extinctions: In the Shadow of Man ~ Paul S. Martin
2. Evolutionary Theory, Conservation, and Human Environmental Impact ~ Michael S. Alvard
3. Pre-Columbian Human Impact on California Vertebrates: Evidence from Old Bones and Implications for Wilderness Policy ~ Jack M. Broughton
4. Depletion of Prehistoric Pinniped Populations along the California and Oregon Coasts: Were Humans the Cause? ~ William R. Hildebrandt and Terry L. Jones
5. Post-Columbian Wildlife Irruptions in California: Implications for Cultural and Environmental Understanding ~ William L. Preston
6. The Role of Prehistoric Peoples in Shaping Ecosystems in the Eastern United States: Implications for Restoration Ecology and Wilderness Management ~ Thomas W. Neumann
7. Aboriginal Use of Fire: Are There Any "Natural" Plant Communities? ~ Gerald W. Williams
8. Are Ecosytems Structured from the Top-Down or Bottom-Up? A New Look at an Old Debate ~ Charles E. Kay
9. Afterword: False Gods, Ecological Myths, and Biological Reality ~ Charles E. Kay
Praise and Reviews:
"Poses significant issues and brings together an impressive constellation of researchers and data."
—Mark Raab, California State University, Northridge