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Shaping the land

Remnant of a forested land<br />Tinkers Creek Gorge in the Cleveland Metroparks Bedford Reservation. (Photo by Ian Adams)

It’s a tumultuous land of change, this place called Northeast Ohio. It emerged from under towering ice sheets just a few thousand years ago. Dense forests quickly colonized the raw, scoured terrain. Native Americans lived lightly in the forests in small, transient villages and encampments. And then, in a little more than 200 years, it all changed again. Settlers from New England cleared the forests, plowed the soils, and developed a new industrial landscape. Today, only a few patches of land remain in something like pre-settlement conditions--remnants in parks, nature preserves, private estate lands, or neglected woodlots.

This section describes this reshaping of the land from the first human inhabitants to the surveying and sale of the wilderness. And it ponders what vision of restoration we can have today.

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