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Bringing Down the Mountains

The Impact of Mountaintop Removal on Southern West Virginia Communities

Shirley Stewart Burns

Coal is West Virginia’s bread and butter. For more than a century, West Virginia has answered the energy call of the nation—and the world—by mining and exporting its coal. In 2004, West Virginia’s coal industry provided almost forty thousand jobs directly related to coal, and it contributed $3.5 billion to the state’s gross annual product. And in the same year, West Virginia led the nation in coal exports, shipping over 50 million tons of coal to twenty-three countries. Coal has made millionaires of some and paupers of many. For generations of honest, hard-working West Virginians, coal has put food on tables, built homes, and sent students to college. But coal has also maimed, debilitated, and killed. Bringing Down the Mountains provides insight into how mountaintop removal has affected the people and the land of southern West Virginia. It examines the mechanization of the mining industry and the power relationships between coal interests, politicians, and the average citizen.

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Britain's Habitats

A Guide to the Wildlife Habitats of Britain and Ireland

Sophie Lake

A photographic guide to habitats, this lavishly illustrated book provides a comprehensive overview of the natural history and conservation landscape of Britain and Ireland. In essence a field guide, the book leads the reader through all the main habitat types, with information on their characteristics, extent, geographical variation, key species, cultural importance, origins and conservation. It aims to help visitors to the countryside recognize the habitats around them, understand how they have evolved and what makes them special, and imagine how they might change in the future.

This book is the perfect companion for anyone travelling in Britain and Ireland, and essential reading for all wildlife enthusiasts, professional ecologists and landscape architects.

  • Individual sections on all the main habitat types found in Britain and Ireland
  • More than 680 evocative colour photographs, including images from around Britain and Ireland in all seasons
  • Details and photographs of key species and features associated with the different habitats
  • Up-to-date information—including maps—on the distribution, extent and importance of all habitat types
  • Information on key nature conservation designations and different systems of habitat classification

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Britain's Sea Mammals

Whales, Dolphins, Porpoises, and Seals and Where to Find Them

John Dunn

Britain's Sea Mammals is the essential field guide to all the sea mammals--whales, dolphins, porpoises, and seals--found in coastal Britain. The book features more than 100 stunning photographs and close to 40 detailed and beautiful illustrations of 34 species of sea mammals, paying special attention to the 14 species most readily seen and most likely to be encountered. Factoring in behavior and locations, introductory chapters look at sea mammal biology and ecology, and how, when, and where these creatures can be spotted. Species accounts highlight key identification characteristics and include information on status, habitat requirements, and distribution. Handy and informative, Britain's Sea Mammals is the ideal guide to sea mammal watching in the United Kingdom.

  • The only guide that focuses on the 34 species of sea mammal recorded in Britain, particularly the 14 most readily seen species
  • More than 100 photos and almost 40 illustrations highlight species, their behavior, and locations
  • Introductory chapters explore how, when, and where to look for sea mammals
  • Species accounts highlight key identification features, including information on status, habitat requirements, and distribution

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Brush Management

Past, Present, Future

By Wayne T. Hamilton, Allan McGinty, Darrell N. Ueckert, C. Wayne Hanselka and Michelle R. Lee

The presence of brush in rangeland environments continually tops the list of priority issues among landowners, and not just in Texas. Whether they manage their land for livestock, hunting, or wildlife watching, what to do about unwanted woody plants remains a serious and pervasive question for landowners everywhere. In the pages of this book, leading range management professionals introduce and explain not only the mechanisms of managing brush but also the changes in management philosophy and technology that have taken place over time. From the futile attempts at eradication to the successes of integrated brush management, expert practitioners examine mechanical, biological, chemical, and fire-related methods from three perspectives—the past, the present or “state-of-the-art,” and the future. In a final discussion, three specialists address the timely and important subject of brush management as it relates to water yield, economics, and wildlife. Brush Management: Past, Present, Future gives readers a straightforward and comprehensive view of a topic that remains a consistent concern for livestock, wildlife, and land management—one that will serve as a useful and interesting summary of the subject for teachers, students, landowners, and management professionals.

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Burley

Kentucky Tobacco in a New Century

Ann K. Ferrell

Once iconic American symbols, tobacco farms are gradually disappearing. It is difficult for many people to lament the loss of a crop that has come to symbolize addiction, disease, and corporate deception; yet, in Kentucky, the plant has played an important role in economic development and prosperity. Burley tobacco -- a light, air-cured variety used in cigarette production -- has long been the Commonwealth's largest cash crop and an important aspect of regional identity, along with bourbon, bluegrass music, and Thoroughbred horses.

In Burley: Kentucky Tobacco in a New Century, Ann K. Ferrell investigates the rapidly transforming process of raising and selling tobacco by chronicling her conversations with the farmers who know the crop best. She demonstrates that although the 2004 "buyout" ending the federal tobacco program is commonly perceived to be the most significant change that growers have had to negotiate, it is, in reality, only one new factor among many. Burley reveals the tangible and intangible challenges tobacco farmers face today, from the logistics of cultivation to the growing stigma against the crop.

Ferrell uses ethnography, archival research, and rhetorical analysis to tell the complex story of burley tobacco production in twenty-first-century Kentucky. Not only does she give a voice to the farmers who persevere in this embattled industry, but she also sheds light on their futures, contesting the widely held assumption that they can easily replace the crop by diversifying their opera-tions with alternative crops. As tobacco fades from both the physical and economic landscapes, this nuanced volume documents and explores the culture and practices of burley production today.

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Burntwater

In Navajo country, where the land is thick with legends and forgotten histories, a writer sets out to find a place that no longer exists except on a few old maps: Burntwater. The story opens when two friends get stuck in a remote pocket of the desert as a winter storm moves in. They are taking a wandering route across the Four Corners region, curving through Utah, New Mexico, and Arizona on a long arc into the mythic heart of the country. As they travel, the author calls up past experiences in this land where the past flows seamlessly into the present. He remembers a medicine man whose chanting could start the cold engine of a Volkswagen. He describes an act of sabotage against an oil company by two Vietnam vets armed with deer rifles. He recalls how a winter of herding sheep for a Navajo family and a search for a Hopi known as the Sun Chief led him further into a human landscape as strange and compelling as the terrain. This book takes the backroads, crossing the Colorado Plateau from the headwaters of the Virgin River to the mouth of the Dirty Devil, from the badlands below Twin Angels to a remote mesa in Bandelier. As the miles go by and the stories unfold, there is a growing sense of mystery, of words not spoken, of messages carried on the wind. Reaching the Shrine of the Stone Lions, the writer recounts a near-fatal descent into the Grand Canyon where he finds a way to reconnect with the beauty of life. There his journey ends with an emotional punch that goes straight to the mind and the heart.

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The Butterflies of Iowa

This beautiful and comprehensive guide, many years in the making, is a manual for identifying the butterflies of Iowa as well as 90 percent of the butterflies in the Plains states.
    It begins by providing information on the natural communities of Iowa, paying special attention to butterfly habitat and distribution. Next come chapters on the history of lepidopteran research in Iowa and on creating butterfly gardens, followed by an intriguing series of questions and issues relevant to the study of butterflies in the state.
    The second part contains accounts, organized by family, for the 118 species known to occur in Iowa. Each account includes the common and scientific names for each species, its Opler and Warren number, its status in Iowa, adult flight times and number of broods per season, distinguishing features, distribution and habitat, and natural history information such as behavior and food plant preferences. As a special feature of each account, the authors have included questions that illuminate the research and conservation challenges for each species.
    In the third section, the illustrations, grouped for easier comparison among species, include color photographs of all the adult forms that occur in Iowa. Male and female as well as top and bottom views are shown for most species. The distribution maps indicate in which of Iowa’s ninety-nine counties specimens have been collected; flight times for each species are shown by marking the date of collection for each verified specimen on a yearly calendar.
    The book ends with a checklist, collection information specific to the photographs, a glossary, references, and an index. The authors’ meticulous attention to detail, stimulating questions for students and researchers, concern for habitat preservation, and joyful appreciation of the natural world make it a valuable and inspiring volume.

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Caddo

Visions of a Southern Cypress Lake

Thad Sitton

In a stunning tribute to one of Texas’ most enigmatic waterways, a veteran East Texas historian and a professional photographer have together created an homage to a lake like no other—half Texas, half Louisiana, a swampy labyrinth of bald cypress and water plants filled with mystery, legend, and a staggering amount of biological complexity.

Classified as a Category 1 Habitat for wildlife by the US Fish and Wildlife Service and encompassing a state wildlife management area as well as a state park, Caddo Lake and adjacent areas have also been designated as a Ramsar Site under the international convention to preserve world-class wetlands and their waterfowl. In both words and pictures, writer Thad Sitton and photographer Carolyn Brown have captured the human, animal, and plant life of Caddo, as well as the history of the lake itself, better likened to an ever-changing network of cypress woodlands, bayou-like channels, water-plant meadows, and hardwood bottoms covered more or less by water.

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California

A Fire Survey

Stephen J. Pyne

The coastal sage and shrublands of California burn. The mountain-encrusting chaparral burns. The conifer forests of the Sierra Nevada, Cascades, and Trinity Alps burn.  The rain-shadowed deserts after watering by El Niño cloudbursts and the thick forests of the rumpled Coast Range—all burn according to local rhythms of wetting and drying. Fire season, so the saying goes, lasts 13 months.

In this collection of essays on the region, Stephen J. Pyne colorfully explores the ways the region has approached fire management and what sets it apart from other parts of the country. Pyne writes that what makes California’s fire scene unique is how its dramatically distinctive biomes have been yoked to a common system, ultimately committed to suppression, and how its fires burn with a character and on a scale commensurate with the state’s size and political power. California has not only a ferocity of flame but a cultural intensity that few places can match. California’s fires are instantly and hugely broadcast. They shape national institutions, and they have repeatedly defined the discourse of fire’s history. No other place has so sculpted the American way of fire.

California is part of the multivolume series describing the nation’s fire scene region by region. The volumes in To the Last Smoke also cover Florida, the Northern Rockies, the Great Plains, the Southwest, and several other critical fire regions. The series serves as an important punctuation point to Pyne’s fifty-year career with wildland fire—both as a firefighter and a fire scholar. These unique surveys of regional pyrogeography are Pyne’s way of “keeping with it to the end,” encompassing the directive from his rookie season to stay with every fire “to the last smoke.”

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Cape Cod

An Environmental History of a Fragile Ecosystem

John T. Cumbler

To many, Cape Cod represents the classic setting for an American summer vacation. Attracting seasonal tourists with picturesque beaches and abundant seafood, the Cape has held a place in our national imagination for almost two hundred years. People have been drawn to its beauty and resources since Native Americans wandered up its long sandy peninsula some 12,000 years ago, while writers such as Henry David Thoreau and Norman Mailer have celebrated its mystery and allure. But, despite its idealized image, Cape Cod has a long history of scarcity and an increasingly evident fragility. John T. Cumbler’s book offers an environmental, social, and economic history of Cape Cod told through the experiences of residents as well as visitors. He notes that over the past four hundred years the Cape has experienced three regimes of resource utilization. The first regime of Native Americans who lived relatively lightly on the land was supplanted by European settlers who focused on production and extraction. This second regime began in the age of sail but declined through the age of steam as the soil and seas failed to yield the resources necessary to sustain continuing growth. Environmental and then economic crises during the second half of the nineteenth century eventually gave way to the third regime of tourism and recreation. But this regime has its own environmental costs, as residents have learned over the last half century. Although the Cape remains a special place, its history of resource scarcity and its attempts to deal with that scarcity offer useful lessons for anyone addressing similar issues around the globe.

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