Engineering Earth pp 1369-1382 | Cite as

Historic Land Use and Social Policy Affecting Large-Scale Changes in Forest Cover in the Midwest United States

  • Mikaela Schmitt-Harsh
  • Sean P. Sweeney
  • Tom P. Evans
Chapter

Abstract

The land-cover patterns we see in the United States today are the product of a long legacy of government-sponsored initiatives and local-level land-use practices by a diverse array of private landowners. Federal and state governments have been important actors in encouraging conservation and reforestation, particularly in the 20th century. Through the development and implementation of conservation programs, and the purchase of extensive agricultural areas that were abandoned from the 1930s to 1950s, the amount of forested land in the United States has increased in the last century. Collectively, these large-scale projects have had important implications for land resources, some with very long-lasting effects. Global economic conditions are factors in the development of these past policy initiatives and also impact land-use decision-making of individual private landowners. An understanding of the complex pattern of land cover in the U.S. requires a historical perspective that encompasses the dynamics associated with both short- and long-term processes at multiple spatial scales of analysis.

References

  1. Aaron, D., Hofstadter, R., & Miller, W. (1967). The United States. The history of a republic (2d ed. rev.). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
  2. Arthur, W. B. (1988). Urban systems and historical path dependence. In J. H. Ausubel & R. Herman (Eds.), Cities and their vital systems (pp. 85–97). Washington, DC: National Academies Press.Google Scholar
  3. Atkinson, G., & Oleson, T. (1996). Urban sprawl as a path dependent process. Journal of Economic Issues, 30, 609–615.Google Scholar
  4. Balmann, A. (2001). Modeling land use with multi-agent systems. Perspectives for the analysis of agricultural policies. In Microbehavior and macroresults. Proceedings of the tenth biennial conference of the International Institute of Fisheries Economics and Trade Presentations (CD-ROM; non-sequential page numbers). Corvallis, OR: Oregon State University. Retrieved on 5 April 2009, from http://oregonstate.edu/dept/IIFET/2000/papers/balmann.pdf.
  5. Brown, D. G., Page, S., Riolo, R., Zellner, M., & Rand, W. (2005). Path dependence and the validation of agent-based spatial models of land use. International Journal of Geographic Information Systems, 19(2), 153–174.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Chomitz, K., & Gray, D. (1996). Roads, land use, and deforestation. A spatial model applied to Belize. The World Bank Economic Review, 10(3), 487–512.Google Scholar
  7. Cox, T. R., Maxwell, R. S., Thomas, P. D., & Malone, J. J. (1985). This well-wooded land. Americans and their forests from colonial times to the present. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.Google Scholar
  8. Dangerfield, C. W., Jr., Newman, D. H., Moorhead, D. J., & Thompson, L. W. (1995). Land use when CRP payments end. What history tells us in Georgia. Washington, DC: National Resources Conservation Service, United States Department of Agriculture. Retrieved on 22 April 2009, from http://warnell.forestry.uga.edu/service/library/crp01/crp01.pdf.Google Scholar
  9. Daniels, T. L. (1988). America’s conservation reserve program. Rural planning or just another subsidy? Journal of Rural Studies, 4(4), 405–411.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Evans, T. P., Donnelly, S., & Sweeney, S. P. (2009). Threats to the forest transition in the Midwest United States. In H. Nagendra, & J. Southworth (Eds.), Reforesting landscapes. Linking pattern and process. Dordrecht: Springer.Google Scholar
  11. Evans, T. P., Green, G. M., & Carlson, L. A. (2001). Multi-scale analysis of landcover composition and landscape management of public and private lands in Indiana. In A. Millington, S. Walsh, & P. Osborne (Eds.), GIS and remote sensing applications in biogeography and ecology (pp. 271–287). Boston: Kluwer.Google Scholar
  12. Evans, T. P., & Kelley, H. (2004). Multi-scale analysis of a household level agent-based model of landcover change. Journal of Environmental Management, 72(1–2), 57–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Foley J. A., DeFries, R., Asner, G. P., Barford, C., Bonan, G., Carpenter, S. R., et al. (2005). Global consequences of land use. Science, 309, 570–574.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Geoghegan, J., Pritchard, L., Jr., Ogneva-Himmelberger, Y., Roy Chowdhury, R., Sanderson, S., & Turner II, B. L. (1998). “Socializing the pixel” and “pixelizing the social” in land-use and land-cover change. In D. Liverman, E. F. Moran, R. R. Rindfuss, & P. C. Stern (Eds.), People and pixels. Linking remote sensing and social science (pp. 51–69). Washington, DC: National Academies Press.Google Scholar
  15. Gibbs, J. (1933). Tree planting aids unemployed. American Forests, 39(4), 159–161.Google Scholar
  16. Kellog, R. S. (1909). The timber supply of the United States. Forest Resource Circular No. 166. Washington, DC: United States Department of Agriculture.Google Scholar
  17. Michaux, F. A. (1817). North American sylva. Paris: C. D’Hautel.Google Scholar
  18. Moulton, R. J., & Hernandez, G. (2000). Tree planting in the United States—1998. Tree Planters’ Notes, 49(2), 23–36. Retrieved on 7 April 2009, from http://www.srs.fs.usda.gov/pubs/ja/ja_moulton003.pdf.Google Scholar
  19. Nelson, J. (1998). Indiana’s forests: Past, present, and future. The Woodland Steward, 7(3). Retrieved on 22 April 2009, from http://www.inwoodlands.org
  20. Paige, J. C. (1985). The civilian conservation corps and the national park service, 1933–1942. An administrative history. Washington, DC: National Park Service, United States Department of the Interior. Retrieved on 5 April 2009, from http://www.nps.gov/history/history/online_books/ccc/index.htm.Google Scholar
  21. Parker, G. R. (1997). The wave of settlement. In M. T. Jackson (Ed.), The natural heritage of Indiana (pp. 369–381). Bloomington: Indiana University Press.Google Scholar
  22. Patz, J. A., Daszak, P., Tabor, G. M., Aguirre, A. A., Pearl, D., Epstein, J., et al. (2004). Unhealthy landscapes. Policy recommendations on land use change and infectious disease emergence. Environmental Health Perspectives, 112(10), 1092–1098.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Recknagel, A. B. (1932). Woodland work for the unemployed. American Forests, 38 (September), 494.Google Scholar
  24. Salmond, J. A. (1967). The civilian conservation corps 1933–1942. A new deal case study. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.Google Scholar
  25. Wilson, A. G. (2000). Complex spatial systems. The modelling foundations of urban and regional analysis. New York: Pearson.Google Scholar
  26. Wirth, C. L. (1980). Parks, politics, and the people. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mikaela Schmitt-Harsh
    • 1
  • Sean P. Sweeney
    • 2
  • Tom P. Evans
    • 3
  1. 1.School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Center for the Study of Institutions, Population, and Environmental ChangeIndiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA
  2. 2.Center for the Study of Institutions, Population, and Environmental ChangeIndiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA
  3. 3.Department of Geography, Center for the Study of Institutions, Population, and Environmental ChangeIndiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA

Personalised recommendations