At the time of European discovery, the ancient North American forests stretched across nearly half the continent. And while today little remains of this past glory, efforts are underway to bring back some of the diverse ecosystems of that era. America's Ancient Forests: From the Ice Age to the Age of Discovery provides scientists and professionals with essential information for forest restoration and conservation projects, while presenting a compelling and far-reaching account of how the North American landscape has evolved over the past 18,000 years. The book weaves historical accounts and scientific knowledge into a dynamic narrative about the ancient forests and the events that shaped them. Divided into two major parts, it covers first the glaciers and forests of the Ice Age and the influences of native peoples, and then provides an in-depth look at these majestic forests through the eyes of the first European explorers. Changes in climate and elevation, the movement of trees northward, the assembly of modern forests, and qualities that all ancient forests shared are also thoroughly examined.
A special feature of this book is its self-contained introduction to the early history of Native American peoples and their environment. The author draws on his roots in the Osage nation as well as painstaking research through the historical record, offering a complete discussion of how the cultural practices of hunting, agriculture, and fire helped form the ancient forests.