For 400 years, explorers, traders, and settlers plundered North American wildlife in an escalating rampage, but in the 20th century an incredible turnaround took place. Conservationists created wildlife sanctuaries, restored habitats, and imposed regulations on hunters and trappers. Over decades, they nursed many wild populations back to health.
Then, after World War II, something happened that conservationists hadn’t foreseen: sprawl. People moved into suburbs, and then kept moving outward. All the while, well-meaning efforts to protect animals allowed wild populations to burgeon out of control, causing damage costing billions, degrading ecosystems, and touching off disputes that polarized communities. The result is a mix of people and wildlife that should be an animal-lover’s dream, but often turns into a sprawl-dweller’s nightmare.
Deeply researched, eloquently written, and perceptively humorous, Nature Wars expresses the need for organic reconnection with our natural ecosystem by offering a provocative look at how Americans created an inadvertent mess.