front cover of The Civilian Conservation Corps in Southern Illinois, 1933-1942
The Civilian Conservation Corps in Southern Illinois, 1933-1942
Kay Rippelmeyer
Southern Illinois University Press, 2015

Drawing on more than thirty years of meticulous research, Kay Rippelmeyer details the Depression-era history of the simultaneous creation of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and the Shawnee National Forest in southern Illinois. Through the stories of the men who worked in CCC camps devoted to soil and forest conservation projects, she offers a fascinating look into an era of utmost significance to the identity, citizens, wildlife, and natural landscape of the region.

Rippelmeyer outlines the geologic and geographic history of southern Illinois, from Native American uses of the land to the timber industry’s decimation of the forest by the 1920s. Detailing both the economic hardships and agricultural land abuse plaguing the region during the Depression, she reveals how the creation of the CCC under Franklin Delano Roosevelt coincided with the regional campaign for a national forest and how locals first became aware of and involved with the program.

Rippelmeyer mined CCC camp records from the National Archives, newspaper accounts and other correspondence and conducted dozens of oral interviews with workers and their families to re-create life in the camps. An extensive camp compendium augments the volume, featuring numerous photographs, camp locations and dates of operation, work history, and company rosters. Satisfying public curiosity and the need for factual information about the camps in southern Illinois, this is an essential contribution to regional history and a window to the national impact of the CCC.


front cover of From The Land
From The Land
Articles Compiled From The Land 1941-1954
Edited by Nancy P. Pittman; Introduction by Wes Jackson
Island Press, 1988

Begun in 1941 as an outgrowth of Friends of the Land, the journal The Land was an attempt by editor Russell Lord to counteract -- through education, information, and inspiration -- the rampant abuse of soil, water, trees and rivers. But for all its seriousness of mission, The Land was a stimulating mix of fact and charm. It included literature, philosophy, art, and the practical observations of farmers and conservation workers, to encourage small farmers to understand and apply conservation principles to their lands.

This anthology, a fascinating mosaic, compiled from the 13 years of The Land tells in fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and philosophy the story of how we changed from a nation of small farms to the agribusiness we have today. Among the 40 authors included are conservation and literary giants such as Aldo Leopold, E. B.White, Louis Bromfield, Paul Sears, Allan Patton and Wallace Stegner.


front cover of Imperial Gullies
Imperial Gullies
Soil Erosion and Conservation in Lesotho
Kate B. Showers
Ohio University Press, 2005

Once the grain basket for South Africa, much of Lesotho has become a scarred and degraded landscape. The nation’s spectacular erosion and gullying have concerned environmentalists and conservationists for more than half a century. In Imperial Gullies: Soil Erosion and Conservation in Lesotho, Kate B. Showers documents the truth behind this devastation.

Showers reconstructs the history of the landscape, beginning with a history of the soil. She concludes that Lesotho’s distinctive erosion chasms, called dongas—often cited as an example of destructive land-use practices by African farmers—actually were caused by colonial and postcolonial interventions. The residents of Lesotho emerge as victims of a failed technology. Their efforts to mitigate or resist implementation of destructive soil conservation engineering works were thwarted, and they were blamed for the consequences of policies promoted by international soil conservationists since the 1930s.

Imperial Gullies calls for an observational, experimental, and, most important, a fully consultative and participatory approach to address Lesotho’s serious contemporary problems of soil erosion. The first book to bring to center stage the historical practice of colonial soil science—and a cautionary tale of western science in unfamiliar terrain—it will interest a broad, interdisciplinary audience in African and environmental studies, social sciences, and history.


front cover of Iowa's Remarkable Soils
Iowa's Remarkable Soils
The Story of Our Most Vital Resource and How We Can Save It
Kathleen Woida
University of Iowa Press, 2021
Sometimes called “black gold,” Iowa’s deep, rich soils are a treasure that formed over thousands of years under the very best of the world’s grasslands—the tallgrass prairie. The soils are diverse and complex and hold within them a record not only of Iowa’s prehistoric past, but also of the changes that took place after settlers utterly transformed the land, as well as the ongoing adjustments taking place today due to climate change. In language that is scientifically sound but accessible to the layperson, Kathleen Woida explains how soils formed and have changed over centuries and millennia in the land between two rivers.

Its soils are what make Iowa a premier agricultural state, both in terms of acres planted and bushels harvested. But in the last hundred years, large-scale intensive agriculture and urban development have severely degraded most of our soils. However, as Woida documents, some innovative Iowans are beginning to repair and regenerate their soils by treating them as the living ecosystem and vast carbon store that they are. To paraphrase Aldo Leopold, these new pioneers are beginning to see their soils as part of a community to which they and their descendants belong, rather than commodities belonging to them.

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Land-Saving Action
Edited by Russell Brenneman and Sarah Bates
Island Press, 1984
Land-Saving Action presents 35 articles from 29 of the foremost practitioners of land conservation nationwide. Case studies, detailed references, and a complete index make this volume unsurpassed in its usefulness to everyone who is concerned with saving land.

front cover of Managing Land Use Conflicts
Managing Land Use Conflicts
Case Studies in Special Area Management
David J. Brower and Daniel S. Carol, eds.
Duke University Press, 1987
This work contains a series of case studies of the planning phenomenon that has become known as Special Area Management (SAM)--those areas so naturally valuable, so important for human use, so sensitive to impact, or so particular in their planning requirements as to need special management treatment. Based on an examination of the SAMs, this work integrates various aspects of the process of their planning and management and proposes policy and administrative guidelines to improve SAMs as a planning tool.

front cover of Plowman's Folly and A Second Look
Plowman's Folly and A Second Look
Edward H. Faulkner; Introduction by Paul B. Sears
Island Press, 1987
As the ruinous Dust Bowl settled in the early 1940s, agronomist Edward Faulkner dropped what Nature magazine termed "an agricultural bombshell" when he blamed the then universally used moldboard plow for disastrous pillage of the soil. Faulkner's assault on the orthodoxy of his day will stimulate today's farmers to seek out fresh solutions to the problems that plague modern American agriculture. Plowman's Folly is bound together here with its companion volume A Second Look.

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Private Options
Tools And Concepts For Land Conservation
; Montana Land Reliance
Island Press, 1982

front cover of Urban Open Space
Urban Open Space
Designing For User Needs
Mark Francis; Landscape Architecture Foundation
Island Press, 2003

Research has shown that successful public spaces are ones that are responsive to the needs of their users, are democratic in their accessibility, and are meaningful for the larger community and society. While considerable research has been done on needs and conflicts in open space, no one document integrates all this knowledge and makes it available to professionals, students, and researchers.

Based on archival research; published case studies; site visits; and interviews with researchers, open space designers, managers, and users, Urban Open Space looks across several seminal studies to glean significant findings and design implications related to user needs and conflicts. It reviews and identifies those critical user needs that must be considered in the planning, design, and management of outdoor spaces, and synthesizes that knowledge into an accessible and useful document.


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