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Escaping the Dark, Gray CityFear and Hope in Progressive-Era Conservation$
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Benjamin Heber Johnson

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780300115505

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300115505.001.0001

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Landscapes of Reform

Landscapes of Reform

(p.53) Two Landscapes of Reform
Escaping the Dark, Gray City

Benjamin Heber Johnson

Yale University Press

This chapter illustrates how naturalist Enos Mills' utopian vision embodied many of the elements of conservation in the early twentieth century. His sensibility reflected a broad cultural and political program that sought to address what he and many others understood as an environmental crisis. Mills thought that the scientific management of resources and lands would foster both wealth and beauty in places where they already resided and in newly rehabilitated landscapes alike. His mention of the prosperous farms made possible by well-tended forests promised the continuation of economic opportunity and independence for a large portion of the population. Mills' optimism showed forth in the generally utopian cast of his remarks, but also in the confidence he had that his diverse audiences could all find a reason to join his crusade for conservation.

Keywords:   Enos Mills, naturalists, utopian vision, conservation, environmental crisis, rehabilitated landscapes, prosperous farms, diversity

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