The most up-to-date and insightful overview available on the environmental history of the West Coast of the United States, a region of extraordinary physical beauty distinguished by its inhabitants' efforts to both sustain and exploit their natural resources.
From the first fur trapping and fishing enterprises in Oregon, to the California Gold Rush, to ongoing efforts to provide Southern California with sufficient water, the North American West Coast has long been a region where humankind has sought to enhance the quality of life by nurturing, battling, and at times exploiting the environment.
This book explores the interplay of ecology, economy, and culture throughout the history of the region of North America where the waters drain to the Pacific Ocean.
Synthesizing the most recent and insightful studies on the region, United States West Coast portrays environmental change in the far western United States from the emergence of humans in the Pacific Northwest (about 12,000 years ago), to the rise of European colonial trade networks, to the era of industrialization and urbanization, to present day Green movements and public policy responses to environmental damage. By investigating how humans interact with their nonhuman surroundings across a specific expanse that encompasses all kinds of landscapes, lifestyles, and commercial enterprises, this insightful volume shows just how interdependent the relationship between people and their environment is.