“A Country But Wild and Imperfect”

Tycho De Boer

in Nature, Business, and Community in North Carolina's Green Swamp

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print September 2008 | ISBN: 9780813032481
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813038360 | DOI:
“A Country But Wild and Imperfect”

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This chapter focuses on North Carolina's Green Swamp which on the interior lends an image of a place devoid of human alteration. Along the North Carolina state highway sits the Nature Conservancy, a preserve of more than 15,000 acres of rare swamp-land and pine forest which is thought to be in a relatively pristine condition. However, upon closer inspection of the landscape, the lines between the built environment and natural environment turn out to be far less distinct. While roads, farms, and logging roads that lie along NC 211 may not register on this type of road, they are among the many human-made structures that reach deep into the presumed pristine swamp. Marked trials cut through forest and swamp to lead hikers to docks, campsites, and shelters. These are part of the “human footprint” that render areas of landscape to be neither entirely human-made nor all natural. This patchwork of environment reveals a complex blend of human-made environment with the natural, a blend that travels in several directions, where the former seems to obliterate the latter or where the latter dominates the former. The wildest environments are defined and delineated by the very human-made structure that circumscribe them wherein the presumed natural environment may be the product of human intervention.

Keywords: North Carolina; Green Swamp; natural environment; environment; human intervention; human-made environment

Chapter.  12611 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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