By Edited by Robert E. Henshaw, forward by Frances Dunwell

Biologists, historians, and social scientists discover the reciprocal relationships among people and the Hudson River.

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Additional info for Environmental History of the Hudson River: Human Uses That Changed the Ecology, Ecology That Changed Human Uses

Sample text

S (ch. 4) study of fish, and further enhances our understanding of human action and environmental resilience. Looking at changes in the land and its uses and how these changes affect the waterways, the waters and the biota forms another major focus of the papers included in this volume (Fig. 5). Henshaw (ch. 1) looks particularly at beavers and pigs, how the hunting out of the former changed the quantity and distribution of wetlands in the valley and how 17 the latter modified the forests. Findlay (ch.

For thirteen thousand years the Native American groups lived along the Hudson River; Lenape in the southern and coastal portion, and Mahicans north of the Hudson Highlands. These groups fished the waters, hunted the forests, and created river-related cultures. When Europeans came to the area, they too created a culture that relied on the river and its surrounding ecosystems. Each of these cultures surely influenced the region’s ecosystems. Biologists have tried to determine the character of forest and river ecosystems during the precolonial and early part of the colonial period, but few data are available.

The four types of Services (described in text) are subject to differing schemes for valuation and provide fundamentally different benefits to human society. people are recognized and few would suggest we can understand early stages of civilization without considering these feedbacks. Furthermore, many of the early environmental protections were put in place following the recognition that environmental conditions could lead to greater risk of human disease transmission, so there was a clear appreciation that humans were not isolated from or somehow “above” their surroundings.

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