Environmental History

10/24/14 – The Passenger Pigeon

September 2014 marked 100 years since the last passenger pigeon died in the Cincinnati zoo. These birds, which at one point made up 20% to 40% of the entire avian population of the United States, lived east of the Rocky Mountains, from central Canada in the north to the southern United States. It is estimated… Read the Rest »

10/22/14 -The Snake River Basin Adjudication—Organization & The Finish Line

As twilight descends upon the Snake River Basin Adjudication (SRBA), it seems fitting to place it into the larger context of water rights settlements in the American West. In Through the Waters: An Oral History of the Snake River Basin Adjudication, editors Randy Stapilus and the Idaho State Bar Water Law Section compiled an impressive… Read the Rest »

10/20/14 – The Snake River Basin Adjudication – Where Did It All Begin?

This past summer, hundreds of people from various backgrounds, including U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia converged in Boise, Idaho to celebrate the completion of the Snake River Basin Adjudication (SRBA), the largest and arguably the most successful water adjudication in U.S. history. Such esteem begs the question, how did this long and arduous process begin?… Read the Rest »

10/15/14 – Sturgeon

In August 2014, when Idaho Power biologists working near the Snake River’s Hells Canyon caught a 10-foot, 400-pound sturgeon, it was far from the largest fish caught on the Snake River.[i] Sturgeon, the largest fresh-water fish in North America, can live to be 75 years old and 14 feet long. Recently, when combing the archives,… Read the Rest »

10/13/14 – Greenbelt and Bike Path History

This October, Boise, Idaho celebrates the 45th anniversary of the creation of the Greenbelt, the 25 miles of biking and walking trails that line both sides of the Boise River. The history of the Greenbelt (see SHRA blog from the summer of 2012) is interesting on its own merit, for it is the story of… Read the Rest »

10/8/14 – Gila Wilderness

On October 2, 1922, Aldo Leopold penned a plea for the preservation of a wilderness area in New Mexico. As a U.S. Forest Service employee stationed in the Land of Enchantment, Leopold lamented the loss of areas fit for wilderness designation that recently had been lost to the rise of automobiles. In his plea, he… Read the Rest »

10/6/14 – Current Troubles with Wilderness

As we honor the 50th anniversary of the 1964 Wilderness Act, it is easy to celebrate the habitats, wild places, and recreational opportunities that it has protected. But it is also important to consider all sides of wilderness and wilderness conservation. In his well-known 1995 essay “The Trouble with Wilderness,” William Cronon tackles the idea… Read the Rest »

9/26/14 – Wilderness Cartoon, 1962-1963

  This cartoon,[i] originally printed in the Washington Daily News, was reprinted in the winter of 1962-63 in Living Wilderness, the publication of the Wilderness Society. As conservationists fought to pass the Wilderness Act, the issue of wilderness and wilderness conservation became part of mainstream conversations and media coverage. When Congress passed the law in… Read the Rest »

9/26/14 – Wilderness Areas, 1964-2014

When Congress first created the National Wilderness Preservation System in September 1964, (1) they protected nine million acres of National Forest. On this 1964 map, which was published in the Wilderness Society’s magazine The Living Wilderness, stars represent those first federally designated wilderness areas. The other icons denote potential wilderness areas, foreshadowing the tremendous growth… Read the Rest »

8/21/14 – A Review of Nature Next Door: Cities and Trees in the American Northeast by Ellen Stroud

In the August 2014 edition of  The Public Historian (University of California Press), SHRA’s Jennifer Stevens reviews Nature Next Door: Cities and Trees in the American Northeast by Ellen Stroud.  You can read the review by clicking the link below and scrolling to pages 7 and 8. Book Reviews from The Public Historian, August 2014

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