A Storied Wilderness: Rewilding the Apostle Islands

Paperback | February 26, 2013

byJames W. FeldmanForeword byWilliam Cronon

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The Apostle Islands are a solitary place of natural beauty, with red sandstone cliffs, secluded beaches, and a rich and unique forest surrounded by the cold, blue waters of Lake Superior. But this seemingly pristine wilderness has been shaped and reshaped by humans. The people who lived and worked in the Apostles built homes, cleared fields, and cut timber in the island forests. The consequences of human choices made more than a century ago can still be read in today’s wild landscapes.

A Storied Wilderness traces the complex history of human interaction with the Apostle Islands. In the 1930s, resource extraction made it seem like the islands’ natural beauty had been lost forever. But as the island forests regenerated, the ways that people used and valued the islands changed - human and natural processes together led to the rewilding of the Apostles. In 1970, the Apostles were included in the national park system and ultimately designated as the Gaylord Nelson Wilderness.

How should we understand and value wild places with human pasts? James Feldman argues convincingly that such places provide the opportunity to rethink the human place in nature. The Apostle Islands are an ideal setting for telling the national story of how we came to equate human activity with the loss of wilderness characteristics, when in reality all of our cherished wild places are the products of the complicated interactions between human and natural history.

Check out the book trailer: http://www.youtube.com/user/UWashingtonPress#p/u/6/frECwkA6oHs

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The Apostle Islands are a solitary place of natural beauty, with red sandstone cliffs, secluded beaches, and a rich and unique forest surrounded by the cold, blue waters of Lake Superior. But this seemingly pristine wilderness has been shaped and reshaped by humans. The people who lived and worked in the Apostles built homes, cleared f...

James W. Feldman is associate professor of history and environmental studies at the University of Wisconsin

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:320 pages, 8.98 × 6 × 0.9 inPublished:February 26, 2013Publisher:University Of Washington PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0295992921

ISBN - 13:9780295992921

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Table of Contents

Foreword by William CrononAcknowledgements

Introduction. Stories in the Wilderness1. Lines in the Forest2. Creating a Legible Fishery3. Consuming the Islands4. Sand Island Stories5. A Tale of Two Parks: Rewilding the Islands, 1929-19706. Rewilding and the Manager's DilemmaEpilogue Reading Legible Landscapes

NotesSelected BibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

The Apostle Islands are a solitary place of natural beauty, with red sandstone cliffs, secluded beaches, and a rich and unique forest surrounded by the cold, blue waters of Lake Superior. But this seemingly pristine wilderness has been shaped and reshaped by humans. The people who lived and worked in the Apostles built homes, cleared fields, and cut timber in the island forests. The consequences of human choices made more than a century ago can still be read in today’s wild landscapes. A Storied Wilderness traces the complex history of human interaction with the Apostle Islands. In the 1930s, resource extraction made it seem like the islands’ natural beauty had been lost forever. But as the island forests regenerated, the ways that people used and valued the islands changed - human and natural processes together led to the rewilding of the Apostles. In 1970, the Apostles were included in the national park system and ultimately designated as the Gaylord Nelson Wilderness.How should we understand and value wild places with human pasts? James Feldman argues convincingly that such places provide the opportunity to rethink the human place in nature. The Apostle Islands are an ideal setting for telling the national story of how we came to equate human activity with the loss of wilderness characteristics, when in reality all of our cherished wild places are the products of the complicated interactions between human and natural history.Check out the book trailer: http://www.youtube.com/user/UWashingtonPress#p/u/6/frECwkA6oHsLong before it became a place for pleasure, the sylvan paradise that is today's Apostle Islands National Lakeshore was logged, farmed, quarried, lived upon, and loved by people whose footprints have largely disappeared. Jim Feldman makes the important point that history and nature together have shaped this once—again wild place, and we should not miss those stories for the trees. - Dennis McCann, longtime Milwaukee Journal Sentinel travel writer