Conserving Southern Longleaf: Herbert Stoddard and the Rise of Ecological Land Management

By Conklin, Jamie | Electronic Green Journal, Spring 2012 | Go to article overview

Conserving Southern Longleaf: Herbert Stoddard and the Rise of Ecological Land Management


Conklin, Jamie, Electronic Green Journal


Abstract:

Conserving Southern Longleaf: Herbert Stoddard and the Rise of Ecological Land Management

Review: Conserving Southern Longleaf: Herbert Stoddard and the Rise of Ecological Land Management By Albert Way Reviewed by Jamie L. Conklin Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, USA Way, Albert. Conserving Southern Longleaf: Herbert Stoddard and the Rise of Ecological Land Management. Athens, GA: The University of Georgia Press, 2011. 300pp. ISBN 9780820340173. US $24.95, paperback.

Way, Albert. Conserving Southern Longleaf: Herbert Stoddard and the Rise of Ecological Land Management. Athens, GA: The University of Georgia Press, 2011. 300pp. ISBN 9780820340173. US $24.95, paperback.

Author Albert G. Way sweeps readers to the Red Hills of Georgia and Florida during the years of 1880- 1960 to show how ecological conservation developed amidst the towering longleaf pines found there. The driver of the movement, Herbert Stoddard, worked tirelessly to understand local traditions and to integrate those into his management plans. As Way describes his professional work, we see how Stoddard became nationally recognized as a founding figure for wildlife management. In addition, we gain a bigger picture of how the Southern landscape of plantations and tenant farms, along with its social context, influenced Stoddard's work.

Way describes Stoddard as a self-starter, and by the end of the book, readers are leftwondering if there is anything he couldn't do. His sound judgment in the field landed him a position with the Biological Survey in the Red Hills to study bobwhite quail for landowners. This led him on a path of promoting the benefits of fire to the southern coastal plain, urging the need to study regional effects on prey/predator relationships, and, along with his friend Aldo Leopold, developing wildlife management as a profession. Later, he delved into forestry from an ecological perspective and helped form the Tall Timbers Research Station to educate the public on habitat management and to bring experts together to study the effects of fire.

Perhaps Stoddard's greatest achievement was linking land management and ecological principles to people's roles and needs. As the South became more industrialized in both its agricultural and forestry practices, Stoddard pushed for a patchwork of landscapes that integrated farms, fields, edges, and other land uses for maximum species diversity.

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