A Natural History of the Chicago Region

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Juli 2002



If you had canoed in July of 1673 with Father Jacques Marquette and Louis Joliet-the first Europeans known to have visited the Chicago region-you would have passed through a landscape harboring a biological richness in some ways unsurpassed anywhere else on the planet. Poised on the fertile borderlands where hardwood forests met tallgrass prairies, and rivers and streams meandered through expansive wetlands and into vast lakes, the area teemed with wildlife. And if you were a nineteenth-century visitor in what is now-and was then-the heart of downtown Chicago, you might have been overtaken by a group of men with guns and knives hunting an errant bear who had wandered into the city from the prairie to the west. While Chicago may be known today as a city of "wild life," from Al Capone to the Playboy headquarters, Joel Greenberg dazzles readers with the story of Chicago's true and enduring wildlife.In the sweeping "A Natural History of the Chicago Region," Greenberg takes you on a journey that begins with European explorers and settlers and hasn't ended yet. Along the way he introduces you to the physical forces that have shaped the area from southeastern Wisconsin to northern Indiana and Berrien County in Michigan; the various habitat types present in the region and how European settlement has affected them; and the insects, reptiles and amphibians, birds, fish, and mammals found in them, then amidst the settlers and now amidst the skyscrapers. In all, Greenberg chronicles the development of 19 counties in Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin across centuries of ecological, technological, and social transformations.This is a fascinating story told with humor and passion, of forests battlingprairies for dominance; of storms battering towns and lakes; of prairies plowed, wetlands drained, and species driven extinct in the settlement of the Midwest; and of caring conservationists fighting to preserve and restore the native plants and animals. Drawing on historic


Joel Greenberg is a lawyer, naturalist, and writer who has worked for a number of environmental organizations.


"While I lay sick...in December 1833, the town was thrown into a great commotion by a report that someone had seen a bear cross the prairie from the Oak Woods to the South Branch timber.... The hunter's dogs and guns of the town were soon astir.... At last the motley pack gave tongue as near as I could understand near where the Rock Island Passenger Depot now stands and there on a good size cottonwood tree bruin was found perched as he no doubt thought secure from his enemies, however, he was soon brought to grief and cut up into small pieces that all in the town who were fond of bear meat might have a taste." - Judge John Dean Caton of the Illinois Supreme Court, on one of the last bear hunts in the city of Chicago
EAN: 9780226306483
ISBN: 0226306488
Untertitel: New. Sprache: Englisch.
Erscheinungsdatum: Juli 2002
Seitenanzahl: 592 Seiten
Format: gebunden
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