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Where Land and Water Meet: A Western…
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Where Land and Water Meet: A Western Landscape Transformed (Weyerhaeuser… (original 2003; edition 2006)

by Nancy Langston

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1511,048,308 (4.25)None
Water and land interrelate in surprising and ambiguous ways, and riparian zones, where land and water meet, have effects far outside their boundaries. Using the Malheur Basin in southeastern Oregon as a case study, this intriguing and nuanced book explores the ways people have envisioned boundaries between water and land, the ways they have altered these places, and the often unintended results. The Malheur Basin, once home to the largest cattle empires in the world, experienced unintended widespread environmental degradation in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. After establishment in 1908 of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge as a protected breeding ground for migratory birds, and its expansion in the 1930s and 1940s, the area experienced equally extreme intended modifications aimed at restoring riparian habitat. Refuge managers ditched wetlands, channelized rivers, applied Agent Orange and rotenone to waterways, killed beaver, and cut down willows. Where Land and Water Meet examines the reasoning behind and effects of these interventions, gleaning lessons from their successes and failures. Although remote and specific, the Malheur Basin has myriad ecological and political connections to much larger places. This detailed look at one tangled history of riparian restoration shows how'through appreciation of the complexity of environmental and social influences on land use, and through effective handling of conflict'people can learn to practice a style of pragmatic adaptive resource management that avoids rigid adherence to single agendas and fosters improved relationships with the land.… (more)
Member:bobreinhardt
Title:Where Land and Water Meet: A Western Landscape Transformed (Weyerhaeuser Environmental Books)
Authors:Nancy Langston
Info:University of Washington Press (2006), Paperback, 248 pages
Collections:Your library, Storage
Rating:
Tags:US History, US West, Environmental History, Box 10

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Where Land & Water Meet: A Western Landscape Transformed by Nancy Langston (2003)

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This is an intriguing case study of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon, showing what can go wrong when resource managers focus on only one thing. In the pre-refuge days of the late 19th Century, the focus was on cattle. As the refuge grew in the 20th Century, the focus switched to ducks. Neither single-minded focus worked well in a world where riparian health depended not just on grazing policies or nesting habitat, but included native fish populations, native vegetation, and the yearly variations of snowfall, runoff, flooding, and evaporation in the Malheur Basin. Langstrom's focus on adaptive management techniques which began to be implemented in the late 20th Century, including conflict resolution and experimentation, offers a key to how lands can and should be managed to provide satisifactory outcomes to multiple stakeholders, how human engineering and natural systems can be made to work together. ( )
  gharness | Jun 30, 2008 |
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Nancy Langstonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Cronon, WilliamForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Water and land interrelate in surprising and ambiguous ways, and riparian zones, where land and water meet, have effects far outside their boundaries. Using the Malheur Basin in southeastern Oregon as a case study, this intriguing and nuanced book explores the ways people have envisioned boundaries between water and land, the ways they have altered these places, and the often unintended results. The Malheur Basin, once home to the largest cattle empires in the world, experienced unintended widespread environmental degradation in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. After establishment in 1908 of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge as a protected breeding ground for migratory birds, and its expansion in the 1930s and 1940s, the area experienced equally extreme intended modifications aimed at restoring riparian habitat. Refuge managers ditched wetlands, channelized rivers, applied Agent Orange and rotenone to waterways, killed beaver, and cut down willows. Where Land and Water Meet examines the reasoning behind and effects of these interventions, gleaning lessons from their successes and failures. Although remote and specific, the Malheur Basin has myriad ecological and political connections to much larger places. This detailed look at one tangled history of riparian restoration shows how'through appreciation of the complexity of environmental and social influences on land use, and through effective handling of conflict'people can learn to practice a style of pragmatic adaptive resource management that avoids rigid adherence to single agendas and fosters improved relationships with the land.

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Contents:
Foreword. On the margins / William Cronon --
Introduction --
Ranchers in the Malheur Lake Basin --
Conflicts between ranchers and homesteaders --
Buying the Blitzen --
Managing ducks --
Grazing, floods, and fish --
Pragmatic adaptive management.
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