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HIS 351 - Water Justice Resource Guide: Forests
This guide provides students in Dr. Newfont's HIS 351 "Water Justice" course (Fall 2020) with additional primary and secondary resources to aid in research, discussion, and class projects.
In the early 1980s, the University of Kentucky Board of Trustees began considering a proposal to mine in Robinson Forest in order to generate revenue for the university. Students to Save Robinson Forest was formed as a response to this plan. The forest, which is comprised of over 14,000 acres in Eastern Kentucky, was deeded to the university in 1923 by E. O. Robinson; in 1930, he gave the university the coal and mineral rights. In both cases, it was noted that the land was to be used for research and education.
The Minnie Belle Bates photographs (dated 1915-1928; 0.03 cubic feet, 36 items in one flat box) comprise 36 sepia-toned, black-and-white snapshots of Minnie Belle Bella Bates' friends from the University of Kentucky, 1915-1928. The majority of the photographs show individuals, groups of young people, and recreational scenes on and near the Kentucky River, including boats, cabins, forest, rocks, and streams.
The Kentucky Rivers Coalition (KRC) was founded in 1976 to unite individual landowners in the Northeastern and Eastern portions of Kentucky to deal with policy issues concerning water resources and oil-shale strip mining. The original interest of KRC was to "protect landowners and rural communities from proliferating dams promoted by the Army Corps of Engineers." Later the KRC became interested in issues concerning strip mining's effect on water resources.
The Anne MacKinnon coal research files (dated 1866-1977, undated; 3.23 cubic feet; 1 record carton, 11 shoe boxes, 1 oversize box, 1 oversize folder) comprise photographs, research notes, grey literature, and reports that document the former Kentucky journalist's research for an unpublished book on coal and its impact on Appalachia and Kentucky communities.
The Mary E. Wharton papers (dated 1856-1993; 20.49 cubic feet; 52 boxes) consist of diaries, correspondence, notebooks, realia, photographs, and research files documenting the work of botanist Mary E. Wharton.
The Audubon Society of Kentucky papers contain records related to the Audubon Society of Kentucky from the years 1911-1977. The records include several yearly calendars; information guides of group field trips, events, bird walks, film screenings; membership lists; legal documents; and general ornithological pamphlets and manuals. In addition, one folder includes three pamphlets of general Lexington and Central Kentucky ephemera.
Robinson Forest in eastern Kentucky is one of our most important natural landscapes-and one of the most threatened. Covering fourteen thousand acres of some of the most diverse forest region in temperate North America, it is a haven of biological richness within an ever-expanding desert created by mountaintop removal mining. Written by two people with deep knowledge of Robinson Forest, The Embattled Wilderness engagingly portrays this singular place as it persuasively appeals for its protection.
In Venerable Trees: History, Biology, and Conservation in the Bluegrass, Tom Kimmerer showcases the beauty, age, size, and splendor of these ancient trees and the remaining woodland pastures. Documenting the distinctive settlement history that allowed for their preservation, Kimmerer explains the biology of Bluegrass trees and explores the reasons why they are now in danger.
The rise of the conservation movement, the beginnings of the national forests, the development of scientific forestry and establishment of forest schools, the advance of chemical research into the use of wood pulp -- all converged even as the 1930s brought to the South the sweeping reclamation programs of the Civilian Conservation Corps and the Tennessee Valley Authority; in their wake came a new generation of wood-using industries concerned not so much with the immediate exploitation of timber as with the maintenance of a renewable resource. In The Greening of the South, this dramatic story is told by one of the participants in the renewal of the forest. Thomas D. Clark, author of many books about southern history, is also an active timber producer on lands in both Kentucky and South Carolina.
No matter where they are located in the world, communities living in mountain regions have shared experiences defined in large part by contradictions. These communities often face social and economic marginalization despite providing the lumber, coal, minerals, tea, and tobacco that have fueled the growth of nations for centuries. They are perceived as remote and socially inferior backwaters on one hand while simultaneously seen as culturally rich and spiritually sacred spaces on the other. These contradictions become even more fraught as environmental changes and political strains place added pressure on these mountain communities.