The Once and Future Great Lakes Country ePUB ê and

The Once and Future Great Lakes Country ePUB ê and

10 thoughts on “The Once and Future Great Lakes Country

  1. Mikey B. Mikey B. says:

    I read this book because I now live between two of the Great Lakes – Lake Erie and Lake Huron I lived for a time in a small town by Lake Ontario and lived most of my life in Montreal on the St Lawrence River which is fed by the Great Lakes Also spent some travel time on Georgian Bay the northern part of Lake Huron And what Canadian hasn’t been to Toronto or knows someone there? And of course Niagara Falls is the top natural tourist attraction in Eastern North AmericaPoint Pelee on Lake ErieSwimming in Georgian Bay Lake HuronSo this book described my “neck of the woods”It can get botanical and zoological but to my liking there is a great deal of history There is much on First Nations the original settlers – both French and English All transformed the landscape With the American war of Independence came a refugee migration of thousands of colonists called Loyalists north to what is now Canada – they were joined by the native people who had been loyal to the British Many of them settled in the Great Lakes area There were many wars and skirmishes between Britain Canada and the newly formed US states But this ended after the war of 1812 with borders being determined Detroit prior was part of Canada – should we reclaim it? Ever since compared to many other regions of the world peace and prosperity have existed on both sides of the borderGeorgian Bay Lake HuronAnd during the 1800’s there began a vast European migration to both the US and Canada – many like the Irish fleeing arduous conditions and finding ample land for cultivation The author makes an ideological distinction between the US and Canada The US was “Life Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness” none of which applied to non Europeans; for Canada until 1867 part of the British Empire the motto was subdued – “Peace Order and Good Government” sometimes this applied to Native PeoplesWhat is of interest is the complete 180 degree turn which has occurred during the last 60 years When the colonists arrived trees and forests were viewed negatively – and removed where possible burnt chopped down There were reasons for this trees were used for housing heat lumber for British ships and then sold in ever increasing uantities to the US When settlers arrived they viewed the forests as obstacles for transportation and cultivation – and the land as a bountiful and endless resource Increasingly during the 20th century trees have been planted and nourished Woodland is not just viewed as a resource – but as essential natural and beautifulAs the author points out much of the forest surrounding Lake Superior has been untouched for hundreds of years – not so for the other Great LakesHere are some issues I had with the bookThere is much repetition for example we are told repeatedly of rattle snakes at the basin of Niagara Falls It is disorganized – annoyingly it bounces back and forth chronologically in time The maps are inadeuate I was unable to find locations cited in the book on the maps provided The book should have been edited and shortenedThere is overuse of jargon botanical zoological and ecological – well it is a book on ecologyThere is hardly anything on Lake Michigan – and not much on Lake SuperiorThe author criticizes city living Toronto in terms of resource use But overall the world wide trend is towards increasing urbanization – and many immigrants view Canadian cities positively These trends will not change in the foreseeable future The author does not point out that resource expenditures in rural areas can be significantly higher than in the city To maintain their rural lifestyle involves a long distance car commute for groceries and commodities shopping entertainment school All of these are accomplished with much less energy in the city But it is true as the author states that urban dwellers are artificially cocooned from the natural ecological worldEven so I got much out of this book despite its repetition and scientific terminologyThere was an interesting and devastating chapter on invasive species that have inadvertently been imported through our global economy We have little idea of how these species will be integrated or dominate our natural world – much like the native people did not know the impact that the first Europeans would have on themToronto 1975 on Lake OntarioToronto 2014 on Lake Ontario

  2. Grond Grond says:

    Let's just pretend that I managed toread this book at a normal pace and move on Riley's 'ecological history' is a sobering look at the reality of change that is so much a partnof the 'natural' world as we perceive it The history of nature in the Great Lakes region is wrapped up in the mythology of the 'forest primeval' as experienced by European colonists who weremlargely ignorant of the fact that the land they came to had been under constant care for millenia before the prior custodians were wiped out by war and plague and the relentless march of European hunger for land The endless forests of the Northeastern states and both Canadas were simply the result of an intense wilding that happened when those tenants were removed from the landscape approximately 150 years before the wave of Europeab settlement began in earnestThis fact plays a huge central role in Riley's look at the past and future of this region of the world and offers important sobering insights into how the only constant we can honestly count on is that change is inevitable Despite this Riley's outlook is if not exactly optimistic confident that with intelligent decisionmaking we can and should be able to manage a healthy sustainable relationship with this environment that is both fragile and utterly important to usA well written book with perhaps a tendency to hammer home certain points with many variations of the same historical reporting andor data

  3. Horus Horus says:

    This is an excellent history of the area flora and fauna surrounding the Great Lakes There are lots of interesting details regarding the state of the land when the European explorers first arrived and killed off many of the native tribes with smallpox and other diseases contrasting it with what the land looked like when next explorers reached modern day Ontario Certainly the immigrant ancestors of our non native population have much to answer for the extirpation of natural flora fauna as well as the then existing native way of life There were surprising bits of information related to our modern conservation attempts even on the part of some Ontario premiers It ends finally on a hopeful note which is nice but with the demise of the EPA in the US possibly no longer realistic

  4. Bob Bob says:

    The Foreword by renowned historian Ramsay Cook summarizes the great achievement that is this history of the environment of the Great Lakes region Riley has used an enormous number of sources to create a very extensive summary of what the great lakes basin was like as reported by explorers government officials land developers settlers botanists foresters over the past 400 years plus archeological findings going back 14000 years He also details what happened to the wildlife the forests the prairies alvars cliffs bogs fens and other wetlands Unfortunately since many of those sources said similar things albeit at different times and in different places it can come across as repetitive in places Although it does cover all the Great Lakes and parts of the Atlantic seaboard the focus is on upstate New York and southern Ontario but the ecological implications apply to a larger area In addition to the often depressing history of deforestation and ruining of the land for farms and cities and invasive species ruining what nature remains there is also an account of hope from someone who has been intimately involved in saving land from development through the Ontario government Ontario Nature the Nature Conservancy of Canada and others So don’t miss the last couple of chapters and especially the AfterwordKey point Because contact with Europeans caused the death from European diseases of most of the aboriginal inhabitants followed by social breakdown and war the landscape that was managed by natives – mainly fire to keep the understory clear for hunting and clearing for crops – turned into a closed canopy forest over the 150 years that followed before extensive settlement occurred Many delightful tidbits eg The Creeping Thistle from Europe came to the USA from uebec so they called it Canada Thistle Why do North American botanists perpetuate this mistake – it is Creeping Thistle; there is no such thing as Canada Thistle

  5. Mike Parkes Mike Parkes says:

    John Riley is known to Ontario nature conservation geeks as the chief scientist for the Nature Conservancy of Canada and the author as a botanist of many detailed technical reports prepared for the purpose of identifying candidates for parks and protected areas in Ontario based on their biological distinctiveness and populations of rare or endangered species Here he writes for a much wider audience telling the ecological history of the “Great Lakes country” the watersheds that eventually drain into the lakes focusing mostly on the Ontario side More time is spent on the terrestrial landscape than the Great Lakes themselves While the book is about nature it is a history as well and documents the impacts that humanity has had on the ecology of the Great Lakes country As you might expect these impacts have been mostly negative but Riley’s writing is not all doom and gloom and takes the long view Riley will make you sad for the abundance of wildlife that we have lost but also leave you convinced that nature has a future in the Great Lakes country A wonderful treasure

  6. Eric Eric says:

    Provided a new perspective on the ecological history of the region Not sure I'll ever look at the places around me the same Main theme is that we basically destroyed the ecology of the region with the low point around 1910 Lots of progress made since but still a long way from pre contact abundance Restoration and preservation have made great strides But don't obsess with recreating a primordial ecology The regions ecology has been in constant flux Riley gives practical advice Preserve as much of what exists as we can and we are lucky in the great lakes region because there is still much worth preserving Focus on local because if you take care of the local the global will benefit If doing restoration work encourage growth of local species not because they are superior but because bringing in new species as unpredictable effects often negative Good book Also sprinkles hints of his tremendous experience in working in this space in creation of impressive ecologies

  7. Dunrie Dunrie says:

    Riley discusses myths and reality about Great Lakes country The myths include a primeval forest at European contact where a suirrel could run in the treetops from the ocean to the East to the Mississippi to the West not trueRiley covers landscape management by First Nations prior to European settlement of the area the effects of wars and disease on the landscape management and rewilding between first contact and large scale settlementclearance He touches on how the two countries Canada above the lakes and the United States below had different histories and policies over time He details the loss of species including passenger pigeon caribou elk cougar lynx and He discusses recent rewilding and the ongoing threat from invasive species on land and in the water This book has been prodigiously researched and is exceptionally detailed This wasn't a page turner for me at least in part because the losses are so difficultsadbut the topic and the thoroughness and the scientific rightness its perspective nuanced unflinching brought it to 4 stars

  8. Andrew Andrew says:

    A wide ranging and personal view of the changing landscape and ecology of the country surrounding the Great Lakes by a deeply informed botanist who understands the historical record The changes he describes from the original conditions are staggering and in a sense unexpected in that the original conditions were not al about the climax forest as conventionally understood but rather something involving a mix of managed forest prairie farmland and expansive rich shallows and wetlands around the edges of the lower Great Lakes This book is a real revelation and underscores how little we really know about and appreciate the place 40 million of us call home

  9. Margaret Sankey Margaret Sankey says:

    This is a really magnificent geographic history of the upper Midwest combining geology botany zoology anthropology history and technology to explore how the region south of the Canadian Shield and around the Great Lakes developed became home to animal and human habitation changing those living creatures in the process and then how the landscape itself was significantly changed by those same creatures I read this in galley form electronically and look forward to getting it in hard copy to see the photos maps and graphics as they were intended to be viewed

  10. Marnie Benson Marnie Benson says:

    It is a long read but so comprehensive in covering the ecological history of this place we live and important things we need to understand to protect this earth and survive as a species Love it I shall return to this as a reference often

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The Once and Future Great Lakes Country ➷ The Once and Future Great Lakes Country Free ➭ Author John L. Riley – North America's Great Lakes country has experienced centuries of upheaval Its landscapes are utterly changed from what they were five hundred years ago The region's superabundant fish and wildlife and North America's Great and Future MOBI ó Lakes country has experienced centuries of upheaval Its landscapes are utterly changed from what they were five hundred years ago The region's superabundant fish and wildlife and its magnificent forests and prairies astonished European newcomers who called it an earthly paradise but then ushered in an era of disease warfare resource depletion and land development that transformed it forever The Once and Future Great Lakes Country is a history of environmental change The Once PDF/EPUB ² in the Great Lakes region looking as far back as the last ice age and also reflecting on modern trajectories of change many of them positive John Riley chronicles how the region serves as a continental crossroads one that experienced massive declines in its wildlife and native plants in the centuries after European contact and has begun to see increased nature protection and re wilding Once and Future Great Lakes MOBI :å in recent decades Yet climate change globalization invasive species and urban Once and Future PDF ↠ sprawl are today exerting new pressures on the region’s ecology Covering a vast geography encompassing two Canadian provinces and nine American states The Once and Future Great Lakes Country provides both a detailed ecological history and a broad panorama of this vast region It blends the voices of early visitors with the hopes of citizens now.

  • Hardcover
  • 516 pages
  • The Once and Future Great Lakes Country
  • John L. Riley
  • English
  • 04 March 2015
  • 9780773541771