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    Author(s): George Sabo; Jami Joe Lockhart; Jerry E. Hilliard
    Date: 2004
    Source: Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS-73. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station. pp. 30-35
    Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
    PDF: View PDF  (936 KB)

    Description

    Study of past human land use in the Lee Creek Unit of the Ozark National Forest challenges the existence of "pristine" forests predating the arrival of historic Americans. The distribution of early nineteenth century American settlements corresponds closely to the distribution of late prehistoric Native American archeological sites. One explanation for this finding is that pioneer American settlers occupied lands already altered by earlier Native Americans. To test this hypothesis, we used historical accounts and Geographic Information Systems approaches to develop a model of late prehistoric land use, emphasizing agricultural field clearing practices and wood consumption for building and fuel use. The extrapolated impacts of these Native American activities may well account for the forest environment encountered by historic American settlers. The major implication of this study is that long-term dynamics of forest ecosystems are best understood when human populations are included as components of those systems.

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    Citation

    Sabo, George, III; Lockhart, Jami Joe; Hilliard, Jerry E. 2004. The Forest as a Resource: From Prehistory to History in the Arkansas Ozarks. Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS-73. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station. pp. 30-35

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