December 17, 2017


TABLE OF CONTENTS | Vol. 18, No. 2


Scrubs and Squatters: The Coming of the Dukuduku Forest, an Indigenous Forest in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa by Frode Sundnes

Transforming the Forests of a Counterfeit Nation: Japan’s “Manchu Nation” in Northeast China by Patrick J. Caffrey

Forests, Fuelwood, Pulpwood, and Lumber in Spain, 1860–2000: A Non-Declensionist Story by Iñaki Iriarte-Goñi

Erosion in the Mediterranean: The Case of Olive Groves in the South of Spain (1752–2000) by Juan Infante Amate, Manuel González de Molina, Tom Vanwalleghem, David Soto Fernández, and José Alfonso Gómez

Organic Farming in Nazi Germany: The Politics of Biodynamic Agriculture, 1933–1945 by Peter Staudenmaier


Norman Rockwell’s Glen Canyon Dam by Robin Kelsey

Out of the Shadows: Norman Rockwell, Navajos, and American Politics by Erika Bsumek





Issue 18.2 – April 2013

Who should have access to scholarly publications? The recent suicide of the American researcher and Internet activist Aaron Swartz brings this question into sharp relief. Swartz was being prosecuted by the US government for releasing articles from JSTOR for open access. JSTOR had urged the federal government not to pursue the case and had settled civil claims against Swartz, yet the federal prosecutor continued to pursue the case.

Many of us revered Swartz as a brilliant, talented, and passionate activist for free and open scholarship, and his death is a terrible blow. Yet the questions he raised have no simple answers. Those of us involved in the publication of Environmental History have long debated exactly how open the journal should be. Even though we volunteer thousands of hours each year, publishing a journal is expensive. Open access is appealing, but someone has to pay the costs. Scientific publications are increasingly moving toward a model that shifts the financial burden from readers and libraries to researchers. Most scientists have grants that can cover the resultant publication fees, but few historians apply for grants to pay these fees.

At Environmental History, we have tried to strike a balance between going broke and closing access to those who are not affiliated with wealthy universities. We chose Oxford as our publisher because, as a nonprofit, it charges libraries far lower subscription fees than many for-profit publishers. Authors retain copyright on their articles, and they are provided with a link that provides free access to the paper. They have the right to place this link on their own personal websites, and they may also provide the link to public or institutional repositories, allowing free public access twelve months after online publication. The journal offers inexpensive or free subscriptions to institutions and individuals from poorer countries.

Environmental History is part of JSTOR’s new “Register & Read” program that offers limited access to independent scholars. JSTOR also notes that 150 public libraries around the world have entered into agreements that give their library-card holders access. That’s helpful for patrons of those 150 libraries. But 72,000 libraries are represented in WorldCat alone, which means that only a tiny fraction of library patrons have access. Even with JSTOR’s new initiatives, scholarly information is still inaccessible for too many people. In 2010, according to Steve Kolowich in Inside Higher Ed, JSTOR blocked “150 million attempts to access its content.”1 That’s a lot of times that a potential reader found herself on the wrong side of a pay wall.

We can’t expect digitization, scholarship, editing, and production to happen for free. But we can all strive to make our scholarship broadly available—not just to fellow scholars at universities, but to the largest possible audiences.

The articles in this issue provide excellent examples of why a broad readership is deserved. Frode Sundnes, in “Scrubs and Squatters: The Coming of the Dukuduku Forest, an Indigenous Forest in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa,” explores forest change against the backdrop of land restitution in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. A second essay on forest change, Patrick Caffrey’s “Transforming the Forests of a Counterfeit Nation: Japan’s ‘Manchu Nation’ in Northeast China,” focuses on the ways that war affects environments.

Iñaki Iriarte-Goñi’s essay turns to the history of consumption. The piece, “Forests, Fuelwood, Pulpwood, and Lumber in Spain, 1860–2000,” tells a nondeclensionist tale of wood consumption. A second essay on Spain, by Juan Infante Amate and colleagues, examines the social and institution context of olive cultivation. The agricultural and war themes are continued in the issue’s final essay, Peter Staudenmaier’s “Organic Farming in Nazi Germany: The Politics of Biodynamic Agriculture, 1933–1945.”