- Paperback: 312 pages
- Publisher: Island Press; None edition (July 1, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1559630612
- ISBN-13: 978-1559630610
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 10 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,071,380 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Rewilding North America: A Vision For Conservation In The 21St Century None Edition
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About the Author
Foreman has published five books, including The Big Outside and his most successful work, Confessions of an Eco-Warrior.
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This book lays out a different vision, one much closer to the kind of manifesto that I've been looking for. Foreman wants to "rewild" large chunks of land in North America. Some of these lands will be strictly preserved, such as wildernesses and national parks, but much of the action takes place in buffer zones, corridors between preserved areas, and thinking about how to make the human-occupied matrix more friendly to nature.
Foreman wants to create four "Continental MegaLinkages," which would preserve a network of preserved lands. The MegaLinkages are breathtaking: the Pacific MegaLinkage (Baja to Alaska); the Spine of the Continent MegaLinkage (Central America to Alaska through the Rockies); the Atlantic MegaLinkage (Florida through the Appalachian Mountains to New Brunswick); and the Arctic-Boreal MegaLinkage (from Alaska across Canada to the Maritimes).
Did you notice that the prairies of the United States and Canada are completely left out? Neither did Foreman. He never discusses them. That was my biggest single disappointment of the book, and it cost him that fifth star.
To make his argument, Foreman talks about how humans have caused extinctions from the Stone Age until the present - - 40,000 years of environmental destruction. Then he talks about the core ideas of conservation biology to set the stage for his proposed MegaLinkages. In particular, he emphasizes the importance of cores, corridors and carnivores.
Both the extinctions chapters and the presentation of conservation biology are well-written and clear. If you're not familiar with these ideas, this is a good place to get an introduction.
Then Foreman descends to the nitty-gritty details about how activists can survey a region and put together proposals for preserved lands and linkages between them. These chapters draw heavily on his own experience in the Southwest, especially in New Mexico. It's not obvious to me that they translate well to, say, boreal Canada - - or to the prairies. A greater diversity of examples would help him here.
Objections aside, this is an impressive and impassioned manifesto. Foreman makes a convincing case that we need to think about how to preserve a lot of lands on a very large scale. There are other books making similar cases, and I've reviewed a few others on Amazon, but this one is the best for the general reader.