July 16, 2020

Picking and Defining What’s Wild for Purpose

“The notion that America was “wild” when Europeans found it is more than a little racist; it assumes that Indians didn’t act like humans everywhere else did by changing their environment. Native Americans weren’t Ur-hippies taking only photos — or I guess drawings — and leaving only footprints. They cultivated plants, cleared forests with extensive burning to boost the population of desired animals, and otherwise altered the landscape in ways that may have seemed natural to newcomers but were nonetheless profound. As biologist Charles Kay observes, “Native Americans were the ultimate keystone species, and their removal has completely altered ecosystems . . . throughout North America.””<<<Read More>>>

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