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 analyzing the nationwide conflict on soil erosion within the Thirties, a debatable actual property improvement scheme, Amish land cost, 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 way in which public discourse has framed environmental debates hides the complete form our procedure of estate has taken in rural groups and landscapes. She indicates how democratic and fluid visions of property—based on group 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 info for A Thousand Pieces of Paradise: Landscape and Property in the Kickapoo Valley
My argument is that contour strip cropping was not preordained; it was instead the result of powerful government programs aimed at inﬂuencing private landowners, primarily farmers. Such programs, moreover, fostered a number of entirely new land tenure relationships: of agriculture to science-based conservation techniques; of landowners to government and In the Kickapoo Valley, a rectangular ﬁeld alongside ﬁelds in contour strips. Since the 1930s, soil conservation agents in southwestern Wisconsin have encouraged farmers to use contour strips on slopes.
86 According to historian David Danbom, the cumulative result was that the Soil Bank helped empty the American countryside. ”87 For this reason primarily, the Soil Bank explains some of what happened in Liberty during the 1960s. The Soil Bank must have seemed like a comprehensive means to ﬁnally accomplish twin economic and environmental ends. ) But the program sat on the cusp of widespread upheavals in American agriculture. Soon to follow was a concentration of both land and production. Included in this trend would be rising capital outlays for equipment and buildings, heavier reliance on fertilizers and pesticides, a shift in cropping systems to monocultures, and a corresponding shift in national agricultural policies toward production for export.
In 1936, he took a joint position with the Soil Conservation Service and the University of Wisconsin Extension. Zeasman participated in nearly all aspects of soil conservation in Wisconsin up until his retirement in 1956. ”26 Yet some of Zeasman’s colleagues thought he was not holistic enough. ”27 The problem, however, was that halting the progress of a single gully did nothing to change the wider farming practices that caused the gully in the ﬁrst place. Aldo Leopold was skeptical of wholly technical approaches to conservation.
A Thousand Pieces of Paradise: Landscape and Property in the Kickapoo Valley by Lynne Heasley