“It Would Seem Necessary to Restrict Such People”

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:
“It Would Seem Necessary to Restrict Such People”

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This chapter discusses the attempt to adopt the concept of conservation as a central tenet of land and resource use. This concept of conservation is broadly conceived as the sustained use and regeneration of natural resource through the efficient, scientific management of their protection, cultivation, and use. Environmental protection and regulation established conservation as an essentially economic proposition which was designed to establish game preserves and state parks for capitalist interests. Conservation therefore was not an environmentalist reproach of business, industry, or capitalism, rather it was a move to serve economic purposes. These conservation movements and programs showed neither an ecological appreciation for the ecosystem they affected nor the greater concern for communal solidarity. The conservation of forest and swamp through the purchase of these lands and the scientific management of these lands was a proposition devoid of sensitivity towards the complexity and diversity of natural and human community alike. Instead, these conservation movements reflected the endeavours of capitalists whose advocacy for capitalist conservation clashed with other local practices and beliefs, especially with those traditional methods of sustenance and land-clearing reform. The perceived need for resource conservation toward proper use in the face of intensified multiple uses and alleged abuses led to the legislation of laws and policies. These bodies of laws which local proponents and their allies advanced demonized traditional forest practices and restricted petty user's access to resources while diminishing the diversity of ecosystems and communities to legible and manageable grids of usefulness. Rather than achieving the progress they perceived, they inscribed their understanding of the local community on broader visions of environmental and economic development.

Keywords: conservation; land use; resource use; sustained use; regeneration; capitalist conservation; traditional forest practices; resource conservation; capitalists

Chapter.  15023 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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