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Reading Recommendation

By Eleanor Mahoney September 28, 2012

Looking for an interesting read on conservation, preservation, community development, cultural resources – or all of the above? So are we – and we want to hear from you. Let us know what you are reading so we can include it on our Research and Writing page.

In the meantime, here’s one quick recommendation (look for more from time to time) – Crimes Against Nature: Squatters, Poachers, Thieves, and the Hidden History of American Conservation. In this book, author Karl Jacoby explores the lesser-known stories behind of some of the United States’ most iconic protected landscapes: the Adirondack Park, Yellowstone National Park and Grand Canyon National Park.

In contrast to an at-times romanticized narrative of environmentalists fighting heroically against corporate interests, Jacoby chooses to introduce his readers to individuals and rural and indigenous communities ignored, displaced and, indeed, even criminalized, by the designation of public lands. In framing his analysis, Jacoby never goes so far as to say that land conservation is bad or unnecessary; rather, he emphasizes that the creation of parks rarely proceeds in a “clean” or even fashion, creating diverse sets of winners and losers along the way. Though a work of history, this book’s insights should be of interest to contemporary conservationists as well.

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