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The animal fur trade played a key role in the development and ultimate ownership of lands and resources on the West Coast of North America. Yet it is often neglected in histories and understanding of the west. In California classrooms it is skipped almost entirely.
The players in this complex conflict included Russia, Great Britain, America, France, Spain, Mexico, Hawaii, and the many First Nations whose lands it had been. At times the fur trade was incredibly profitable and helped make some men and women very rich. The economic returns and taxes also helped support governments.
More often, the fur trade led to suffering, abuse, death, and despair for the sailors, trappers, and fur traders involved. The most profitable period was very short; but the lasting impacts have been severe for the First Nations whose lands were invaded and for the ecosystems that were stripped of sea otter beaver.
Abuse and conflicts led to resistance and warfare that in some cases decimated local communities. Massacres took place, but more often it was not deliberate. The natives were needed to collect furs, but they had little or no resistance to introduced diseases. Beginning at first contact with explorers, a series of epidemics of smallpox, malaria, influenza, syphilis and other diseases swept through the region. A times these killed 50-90% of the people in tribal groups and visitors found only skulls and bones.
The intermittent fever of the 1830s was accidently spread by the Hudson’s Bay Company trappers. It was particularly destructive in Oregon and California. The death of so many native people led to social disruption in even the strongest tribal groups. Many tribes and tribelets were gone before they were noted in a journal or placed on a map. But some survived and they have recovered in population and spirit. Efforts are being made to save, recover, and use native languages.
The impacts from the fur trade are still seen today along the coast and rivers of Alaska, Canada and the American west. Many groups and institutions are working to restore these ecosystems, and everyone can play a part.
Dryland degradation and desertification now affect almost a billion people around the world. Tragically, the biological resources and productivity of millions of acres of land are lost to desertification each year because people remain unaware of strategies and techniques that could improve yields, reduce risk, and begin healing the world's deserts. A Guide for Desert and Dryland Restoration is the first book to offer practical, field-tested solutions to this critical problem.
Author David Bainbridge has spent more than 25 years actively involved in restoring lands across the American Southwest. A Guide for Desert and Dryland Restoration presents the results of his years of fieldwork, as well as research and experience from scientists and practitioners around the globe.
The book discusses the ecology of desert plants, explores the causes of desertification and land abuse, and outlines the processes and procedures needed to evaluate, plan, implement, and monitor desert restoration projects. It sets forth economical and practical field-tested solutions for understanding site characteristics, selecting and growing plants, and ensuring that they survive with a minimal amount of water and care. Each chapter represents a guide to a critical topic for environmental restoration; extensive photographs, diagrams and drawings give detailed information for immediate application, and additional resources are included in appendixes.
A Guide for Desert and Dryland Restoration is the first comprehensive book focused on restoring arid regions, and clearly demonstrates that arid lands can be successfully rehabilitated. In addition to restorationists, the book will be an invaluable resource for anyone working in arid lands, including farmers, ranchers, gardeners, landscapers, outdoor recreation professionals, and activists.
New buildings can be designed to be solar oriented, naturally heated and cooled, naturally lit and ventilated, and made with renewable, sustainable materials—no matter the location or climate.
In this comprehensive overview of passive solar design, two of America’s solar pioneers give homeowners, architects, designers, and builders the keys to successfully harnessing the sun and maximizing climate resources for heating, cooling, ventilation, and daylighting.
Bainbridge and Haggard draw upon examples from their own experiences, as well as those of others, of more than three decades to offer both overarching principles as well as the details and formulas needed to successfully design a more comfortable, healthy, and secure place in which to live, laugh, dance, and be comfortable. Even if the power goes off.
Passive Solar Architecture also discusses “greener” and more-sustainable building materials and how to use them, and explores the historical roots of green design that have made possible buildings that produce more energy and other resources than they use.