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This environmental history underscores the uneasy balance between conservation and commerce. By using North Carolina's Green Swamp as a case study, Tycho de Boer illustrates the struggle of a rural area trying to preserve its natural environment while encouraging economic growth.
De Boer highlights the complex relationship between the swamp, located in the extreme southeast corner of the state, local inhabitants, and outside entrepreneurs. He traces the growth of agriculture and the turpentine and lumber industries from the mid-seventeenth century to the present, and examines their impact, including the destruction of longleaf pine forests.
Yet he also reveals how businesses in this region took a leading role in managing the environment. What emerges is an understanding of the complex intersections between nature, business, and community. "Nature, Business, and Community in North Carolina's Green Swamp" is a history of a rare natural environment and its transformation that demonstrates how communal values and practices individuals can mitigate--and often have mitigated--the damage capitalist interests inflict on the world.