Shortly after we arrived at BSU, a retirement gave me an opportunity to teach a course about Land Protection, while two outside events helped to shape the way I would teach it for the next two decades. One was the publication of Thoreau's Country and the other was the establishment of Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park.
|The namesakes of the park, courtesy of |
NPS Lego Vignettes
Each of these has shaped what we do in class, but more importantly they have given us places to go for the exploration of the interactions among forest ecology, land protection, and conservation. I teach the course every other year; the park in Vermont is a lot for a day trip, so I have only taken about half of those classes there. I have much more success getting the classes to Harvard Forest, which is managed by David Foster, the author of the book Thoreau's Country mentioned above.
To learn more about the Marsh-Billings property from afar, I recommend the very cursory encyclopedia article I wrote in 2000 and copied onto my website, as well as A Place in the Land, which is a bit more interesting than its trailer suggests. It provides glimpses of some of the amazing artworks that were collected by the families who lived there and that are essential parts of the story of conservation in the United States.