A Thousand Pieces of Paradise: Landscape and Property in the by Lynne Heasley

By Lynne Heasley

A Thousand items of Paradise is an ecological historical past of estate and a cultural background of rural ecosystems set in a single of Wisconsin’s most famed areas, the Kickapoo Valley. whereas analyzing the nationwide warfare on soil erosion within the Thirties, a arguable genuine property improvement scheme, Amish land payment, a U.S. military Corps of Engineers dam undertaking, and local American efforts to claim longstanding land claims, Lynne Heasley strains the ancient improvement of contemporary American estate debates inside of ever-more-diverse rural landscapes and cultures. Heasley argues that the best way public discourse has framed environmental debates hides the whole form our method of estate has taken in rural groups and landscapes. She indicates how democratic and fluid visions of property—based on neighborhood relationships—have coexisted along individualistic visions of estate rights. during this environmental biography of a panorama and its humans lie robust classes for rural groups trying to comprehend and reconcile competing values approximately land and their position in it.

Published in organization with the heart for American locations, Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Staunton, Virginia. www.americanplaces.org


“So a lot for cookie-cutter stereotypes of the agricultural Midwest! . . . hugely recommended.”—Choice

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Extra resources for A Thousand Pieces of Paradise: Landscape and Property in the Kickapoo Valley

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Epic metaphors abound in both the literature of the time and in later retrospectives. Early prophets like Hugh H. Bennett became revered leaders, preaching the gospel of soil conservation. Everyone concerned— Intended Consequences 31 politicians, bureaucrats, public extension agents, university professors and yeoman farmers alike—made emergency preparations for the war on erosion. One SCS employee in the Kickapoo Valley attended a Bennett sermon and described the performance this way: “There he stood, a big man, probably six-foot-four and big all over.

The land that had produced poets, dreamers, willing hands for industry, friends and neighbors were soon all gone to be replaced with a pasture for a herd of beef cattle. Cattle whose owners didn’t give a hoot whether they made a profit or just returned a deduction on their income tax. Who are these men who have destroyed the beauty spots, the bubbling springs, the prized woodlots, the ethereal little coves where the lady slippers and trilliums grew in profusion? —Kickapoo Valley weekly newspaper, The La Farge Epitaph, May 17, 1978 n their 1961 study of the Soil Bank, economists R.

76 The important point is that farmers came to accept these new relationships as the norm. The conservation plan continued to be everyone’s focal point, and this became even more powerful. Conservation agents began using detailed soil surveys to develop plans for individual farms. From these surveys they produced complicated capability maps. 77 By incorporating a formal scientific rationale for a conservation plan, agencies further reduced the latitude a farmer had in managing his land. Yet more and more, farmers agreed to carry out such plans.

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