How The Environment Has Shaped the State

From Sustenance to Leisure on Minnesota Land

Expert Essay: Associate professor of history Michael J. Lansing, published in Environmental History as well as Ethics, Place, and Environment, highlights the many ways people have made use of Minnesota's flora and fauna over time and reviews the state's more recent efforts at conservation.

Workers cutting timber

Workers cutting timber

Workers cutting timber into logs, ca. 1900.

Lumberjacks

Lumberjacks

Lumberjacks rolling a log. Oil-on-board painting by an anonymous artist, ca. 1900.

Drain tile ditching machine

Drain tile ditching machine

Drain-tile ditching machine. Photograph by Joseph Zalusky, ca. 1916.

Taconite stockpile

Taconite stockpile

Taconite stockpile, Silver Bay. Photograph by Walter H. Wettschreck, ca. 1965.

Mississippi River dam at Little Falls

Mississippi River dam at Little Falls

Mississippi River and dam, Little Falls, ca. 1890.

Lake Itasca

Lake Itasca

Lake Itasca, early 1980s. Photograph by Stephen R. Davis.

Dam on Elk Lake

Dam on Elk Lake

Dam on Elk Lake, Itasca State Park, ca. 1940.

Fort Snelling

Fort Snelling

Fort Snelling. Oil-on-canvas painting by Alexis Jean Fournier, 1888.

Aerial view of St Peter State Hospital

Aerial view of St Peter State Hospital

Aerial view of St Peter State Hospital (St. Peter, Minnesota), April 13, 1954. Photo by the Minneapolis Star Journal–Tribune.

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