|1618||Johannes Kepler discovers the third Law of Planetary Motion.|
|1702||Queen Anne becomes the monarch of England upon the death of William III.|
|1790||George Washington delivers the first State of the Union address.|
|1855||The first train crosses Niagara Falls on a suspension bridge.|
|1908||The House of Commons, London, turns down the women’s suffrage bill.|
|1909||Pope Pius X lifts the church ban on interfaith marriages in Hungary.|
|1910||Baroness de Laroche becomes the first woman to obtain a pilot’s license in France.|
|1945||Phyllis Mae Daley receives a commission in the U.S. Navy Nurse Corps. She will become the first African-American nurse to serve duty in World War II.|
|1948||The U.S. Supreme Court rules that religious instruction in public schools is unconstitutional.|
|Born on March 8|
|1841||Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., U.S. Supreme Court Justice|
|1859||Kenneth Grahame, Scottish author (The Wind in the Willows).
Towards a new European wilderness: Embracing unmanaged forest growth and the decolonisation of nature
In Europe today, relatively pristine forest areas are very rare, with only 1.4% of the landscape identified as untouched forest and another 3.3% as having minimal intervention. In response to the small, isolated nature of these forests, ideas have emerged around the re-creation of a “new European wilderness” as a nature conservation strategy. Indeed, since the end of the 19th century, traditional land use practices have been in steady decline throughout many of Europe's rural landscapes, particularly in mountainous regions and areas with poor soils and harsh climates. These very recent ecosystems have been identified as “emerging,” “novel” or “feral,” but given enough time these areas could grow into mature forests. A conservation strategy based upon letting ecosystems evolve out of human control is, as one might expect, a controversial one for Europeans. Indeed, many people enjoy the diverse and small-scale structured landscape shaped by milennia of sustainable practices by farmers, and their loss is usually seen negatively. In this essay I argue the necessity for such a re-wilding strategy and provide examples in unmanaged forests and natural successions of the Mediterranean basin, temperate Europe and floodplains with regard to the ecological benefits that they may bring to in terms of wildlife and social values. Advocating such a perspective may have broader value in diminishing the self-centred tendencies of modern societies in how they manage ecosystems.
Copyright © 2014 Published by Elsevier B.V.
|1923||Cyd Charisse, dancer, actress.|
Sunday, 24 April 2016