A Companion to American Environmental History by Douglas Cazaux Sackman

By Douglas Cazaux Sackman

A significant other to American Environmental History gathers jointly a finished number of over 30 essays that learn the evolving and various box of yank environmental heritage.

  • Provides a whole historiography of yankee environmental history
  • Brings the sector updated to mirror the newest developments and encourages new instructions for the field
  • Includes the paintings of path-breaking environmental historians, from the founders of the sector, to  contributions from leading edge younger scholars
  • Takes inventory of the self-discipline via 5 topically themed elements, with essays starting from American Indian Environmental relatives to towns and Suburbs

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But even here, miners in pursuit of the precious metal diverted entire rivers, pillaged stream beds, and poured millions of gallons of mercury into Sierra waters in hoping to aggregate flecks of it into clumps big enough to catch in the riffled bottoms of the sluices they built from the trees they felled (Isenberg 2005). Like the Mono Paiutes, the miners’ work in nature was a key to their identity. While we do not know as much as we would like about Chinese, Mexican, or other minority mining groups, US miners saw themselves as profoundly “natural” laborers who drew wealth directly from the land (at least until their claims failed).

Even before they founded the Sierra Club, many of the same people joined in a successful campaign for Sequoia National Park and General Grant National Park3 in the southern Sierra Nevada, and a Yosemite National Park to surround the earlier state reserve (for a brief time they even expanded its protections to include much of the area that is now in the Ansel Adams Wilderness) (Runte 1990: 55–6; Worster 2008: 323–30). From those tentative beginnings the state has become a primary force in the making of Sierra nature.

When Columbus crossed the Atlantic, there were probably 100,000 Indians living in these mountains, including not only Mono but Sierra Miwok, Pit Rivers, Maidu, Nisenan, Awhaneechee, and others (Beesley 2004: 21). Many of the trails so carefully reinforced by today’s Park Service were first worn into the Sierra soil and rock by Indian travelers, who carried obsidian along with pine nuts, red paint and sinew-backed bows to trade west of the Sierra. There, Yokuts, Miwoks, and others offered skins of deer, antelope, and elk, baskets of willow bark, acorns and shell beads (Farquhar 1965: 12–13).

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