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Monica Zabroski Professor Holtzman GIS: 3353 3 March 2014 Pinelands: A Natural History "It is in the midst of this compromised and complex situation--the reciprocal influences of a changing nature and a changing society--that environmental history must find its home (White 335). History is where humans learn from their mistakes and when we mix that with the environment. J. Michael Martinez stated a very significant fact about humans and their fierceness for the future. Martinez states that, Humans are magnificent creatures that can overcome boundaries and impediments of the world, leaving the future limitless (163). Humans progressed from creating light with fire to extracting fossils fuels deep within the earth. Yet, our advancement understanding and knowledge as left us facing traumatic effects upon the environment. There is a new turn in the way we think of history. Instead of everyday dilemmas and resolutions, history through eyes of nature involves the interaction between us and the environment. Environmental history will give a better perspective on the safety of human health caused by defecting the environmental qualities that sustain life. Concerns regarding the environment have gone back decades prior to popular understanding. Martinez mentioned that, Progressivism focused on curing the social ills post-Civil War when members became frustrated with their economic prospects of rural families (163). Popular belief would have it that the counterculture

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movement was the starting history for protecting the environment. Indeed those individuals gave time to focus on the life of nature, but it was the minds of many Progressive thinkers including John Muir and President Theodore Roosevelt. . These men thought of nature and its future prior to the start of the twentieth century and created the pathway for the protection of the environment. Roosevelt is known by many as the quintessential example of anthropocentric environmentalist (Martinez 58). Another man was John Muir and through his eyes, saw the destruction that industrialization imposed on the environment including its natural resources. His way of activism started with promoting and enhancing the Americas National Parks system (Martinez 165). These two men did, fortunately worked together to create the National Parks system in 1901 (Martinez 169). Following the Roosevelts and Muirs successes, Aldo Leopold whom was a graduate of Yale, discussed and explained the interconnection of all things. The Land Ethic, simply enlarges the boundaries of the community to include soils, waters, plants and animals, or collectively: the land (Martinez 175). Leopold stressed the importance of the connection between the interaction of humans and the environment. Martinez explained that he created the community in which these interactions took place: the watershed (177). A watershed, as defined by the Environmental Protection Agency in 1970, is that area of land, a bounded hydrologic system, within which all living things are inextricably linked by their common water course and where, as humans settled, simple logic demanded that they become part of a community. A community of all living things are the key

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words of this passage. The interaction of living things are a concern for these Americans and protection was needed. Following the work of Aldo Leopold, Rachel Carson made a huge movement in environmental history when she wrote her book, Silent Springs. This book changed the way modern Americans would think. She was a courageous woman who did not mind fighting the chemical industry and in turn she raised many questions that would stun Americans for decades. This book was released in 1962 and included the harmful issues centralized around the use of DDT, a major pesticide at the time. The Natural Resource Defense Council, established in 1970, presented the best way of explaining Carson and her book on their website. They explained her work as this, The most important legacy of Silent Spring, though, was a new public awareness that nature was vulnerable to human intervention. Rachel Carson had made a radical proposal: that, at times, technological progress is so fundamentally at odds with natural processes that it must be curtailed. Conservation had never raised much broad public interest, for few people really worried about the disappearance of wilderness. But the threats Carson had outlined -- the contamination of the food chain, cancer, genetic damage, the deaths of entire species -- were too frightening to ignore. For the first time, the need to regulate industry in order to protect the environment became widely

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accepted, and environmentalism was born (National Resource Defense Council 1970). Carson indeed paved the way many Americans looked at their lives and their surrounding environments. Concern arose within every state and began to establish standings where the government could not ignore. Americas environmental concerns were finding their way to New Jersey. During the 1970s, the environment in New Jersey witnessed the most supreme act. The National Parks Reserve of 1978 protected roughly 1.4 million acres of the Pine Barrens or in governmental terminology the Pinelands. Howard Boyd puts into context the brief history of the Pine Barrens prior to the establishment of the act as saying, This area was considered by the first settlers as barren because they were unable to raise their traditional vegetables and crops in this sandy, acid soils of these regions. Today we know these areas are not entirely barren for many forms of plant lifesuch as members of the pine family, cranberries, and heath family do well in this sandy acidic soils(Boyd 2). Yet, many years following there were many principle uses of the Pine Barrens including hiking, canoeing, camping, photography, hunting, etc. All these things were included when the Pinelands National Reserve of 1978 was established. The Pinelands National Reserve of 1978 established the total governmental ownership of 280,000 acres of the 1.4 million acres included within this reserve that

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would not ever be able to be touched or altered in any way that would affect the integrity of the Pines and its unique ecosystem (Boyd 68). The protection of this area must keep within the Comprehensive Management Plan which includes all the details surrounding the importance and integrity of the pine, according to the New Jersey Pinelands Commission, which was approved by the United Secretary of Interior in 1981 ( New Jersey Pinelands Commission 1978). The history of the United States paved the way of preserving hundreds of thousands of acres of unique land in the Southern New Jersey area. This area would protect wildlife, the seven trillion ton aquifer Kirkwood-Cohansey, and the native human population and these that are all within the Integrity of the Pines preservation implemented plan sand ideas. Even current issues evolve every day that pressure the integrity of the Pinelands and which are thankfully pushed away by the helping hands of the Pinelands Preservation Alliance. This group established during the early 1990s to help make sure that this unique piece of land and legislature was being protected and followed. Recently this alliance is fighting against South Jersey Gas whom are imposing details and a plan to construct a pipeline throughout the Pinelands (Pinelands Preservation Alliance 1991). Each and every day history is being fought for, protected, and enhanced. The environment is part of the history that will be made and with the help of many beautifully hearted people history can be preserved for its beauty, nature, and future.

Zabroski 6 Boyd, Howard P. A Field Guide to the Pine Barrens of New Jersey: Its Flora, Fauna, Ecology, and Historic Sites. Medford, NJ: Plexus Pub., 1991. Print.Works Cited

Martinez, J. Michael. American Environmentalism: Philosophy, History, and Public Policy. Boca Raton: CRC, 2014. Print.

"PPA Blog." Pine Barrens, New Jersey Pinelands Protection. Pinelands Preservation Alliance, n.d. Web. 15 Feb. 2014. <>.

"The Story of Silent Spring." Silent Spring Summary. National Resource Defense Council, n.d. Web. 14 Feb. 2014.

United States. Department of the Interior. Pinelands Commission. New Jersey Pinelands National Reserve Act of 1978. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Web. 28 Feb. 2014

"What Is a Watershed?" Home. Environmental Protection Agency, n.d. Web. 28 Feb. 2014. <>.

White,Robert "Historiographical Essay, American Environmental History: The Development of a New Field," 54, Pacific Historical Review (1985): 297-335, quotation on p. 335