By Lynne Heasley
A Thousand items of Paradise is an ecological historical past of estate and a cultural historical past of rural ecosystems set in a single of Wisconsin’s most renowned areas, the Kickapoo Valley. whereas studying the nationwide struggle on soil erosion within the Nineteen Thirties, a arguable genuine property improvement scheme, Amish land payment, a U.S. military Corps of Engineers dam undertaking, and local American efforts to say longstanding land claims, Lynne Heasley strains the ancient improvement of recent American estate debates inside ever-more-diverse rural landscapes and cultures. Heasley argues that the best way public discourse has framed environmental debates hides the entire 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 strong classes for rural groups looking to comprehend and reconcile competing values approximately land and their position in it.
“So a lot for cookie-cutter stereotypes of the agricultural Midwest! . . . hugely recommended.”—Choice
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Additional resources for A Thousand Pieces of Paradise: Landscape and Property in the Kickapoo Valley
The bar appears blessed with its location near the Kickapoo River. Stretching north and south is a vast deciduous forest whose rippling light green surface is smudged and streaked in places with darker stands of white pine. No Amish land this, but an 8,500-acre natural area called the Kickapoo Valley Reserve. If you mused that it must be absolutely gorgeous here when the leaves turn in the fall, you would follow in the reveries of thousands of tourists who came before you. You might even dream for a moment about buying a little piece of land in the area: What a great place to take a family on weekends.
Coon Valley was the ﬁrst of 147 sites around the country. 49 That was quite a reach. There was real power involved in putting agents and CCC workers on private land, providing payments for cooperation, and enforcing farm plans. One result was that contour strips started to change the face of the landscape. By the early 1940s, they had become popular throughout southwestern Wisconsin. Roy Dingle and his fellow conservationists were responsible for laying out the strips for farmers. ”50 This was perhaps a conservationist’s equivalent to the accountant’s tax season, because Dingle would have as many as three hundred jobs to complete before farmers began planting, and farmers were always eager to plant as soon as possible.
In complicating and redirecting a farmer’s decision about how to manage his or her property, the demonstration project began to shift the relationships inherent in all private rural land—economic, ecological, social, and moral, as well as individual and collective. ” This was a formal erosion control agreement tailored to the site conditions of each farm. The Agreement marked the real revolution, not only for agriculture but also for private property. When a farmer signed on, he committed his labor and his farm for ﬁve years.
A Thousand Pieces of Paradise: Landscape and Property in the Kickapoo Valley by Lynne Heasley