“After the Lumbermen, What?”

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:
“After the Lumbermen, What?”

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Whenever a lumber company ended its operations at a certain location, the landscapes that were once lush forests became open spaces battered and scarred by human intervention wherein tree limbs sprawlled, small trees staggered, and surface scars from railroad tracks and snaking routes wasted the once splendid natural landscape. This chapter discusses the aftermath of logging and timber acquisition and the intricate relationship of the farmers with the land and the relationships that traditionally existed between farms and forests. After the logging industries left a certain location, the cleared lands were usually used by agriculture for livestock grazing and crop farming. These patchworks of plantations and farms were often seen as the result of humans carrying out their duty to take full advantage of nature's bounty. By attempts of the paternalistic business community to use the cutover lands to bring reform and makeover southern rural life, cutover lands were revived in the form of agriculture. In addition to cultivating these bald patches of land, the farmers, by defending and holding their woodland holdings, steered the cutover development away from primary agricultural solutions to their perceived shortcomings. They steered the reclamation of the cutover toward reforestation. Farmers, by reducing their flocks and herds and by keeping them out of their wooded acreage, contributed to the health of both the forest environment and the mixed cultural economy. As a result, neither a republic of small farms nor an empire of ranches emerged, but rather new forests would aqppear after the lumbermen left.

Keywords: lumber; lumbermen; aftermath of logging; logging; cleared lands; agriculture; cutover lands; new forests

Chapter.  13471 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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