A Thousand Pieces of Paradise: Landscape and Property in the by Lynne Heasley

By Lynne Heasley

A Thousand items of Paradise is an ecological background of estate and a cultural heritage of rural ecosystems set in a single of Wisconsin’s most renowned areas, the Kickapoo Valley. whereas reading the nationwide warfare on soil erosion within the Thirties, a debatable actual property improvement scheme, Amish land payment, a U.S. military Corps of Engineers dam undertaking, and local American efforts to claim longstanding land claims, Lynne Heasley strains the ancient improvement of recent American estate debates inside ever-more-diverse rural landscapes and cultures. Heasley argues that the way in which public discourse has framed environmental debates hides the complete form our procedure of estate has taken in rural groups and landscapes. She exhibits how democratic and fluid visions of property—based on group relationships—have coexisted along individualistic visions of estate rights. during this environmental biography of a panorama and its humans lie strong classes for rural groups looking to comprehend and reconcile competing values approximately land and their position in it.

Published in organization with the guts for American locations, Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Staunton, Virginia. www.americanplaces.org


“So a lot for cookie-cutter stereotypes of the agricultural Midwest! . . . hugely recommended.”—Choice

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Coulee country, it seems, is also Amish country. All these Amish farms send a pretty strong signal that agriculture is not dead in the Valley (notwithstanding the motocross), but 18 Prologue: Weekend Drive, Summer 2002 how have the Amish done it? Why do they look so prosperous when other farmers have obviously not prospered? A mere three-mile detour southeastward and the Rockton Bar provides a pleasant rest stop for a cold Bud, if you want one. The bar appears blessed with its location near the Kickapoo River.

Bennett, too, would surely have agreed that federal policy could accomplish more on the farm. But in the 1950s he was concerned with another long-standing policy argument. During a commemoration of the Coon Creek Demonstration Project in 1954, Bennett reiterated a justification for federal soil conservation efforts that harked back twenty years to the Agricultural Adjustment Administration. 81 Bennett was emphasizing a persistent theme in national policy: that with the right approach, control over agricultural commodities and control over erosion could walk hand in hand.

From a high in 1954, cultivated land in Liberty fell almost 60 percent. In many rural places, changes in land ownership are bound up with what has become their overriding story, the decline of farm communities. In its most generic form, the story explains the relationship between the two sets of maps as follows: During the twentieth century, national and global market forces clasped an ever-tighter grip on rural America. Farmers had to meet international market demands or get out of agriculture.

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