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Did they Really Hate Trees? Attitudes of Farmers, Tourists and Naturalists towards Nature in the Rainforests of Eastern Australia

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Feelings of hatred, fear and alienation towards the Australian environment have been amongst the major themes of Australian history. Farmers especially have been characterised as hating trees, particularly in the densely treed, difficult to clear rainforests of eastern Australia. In contrast, in recent years there has been consideration of nineteenth and early twentieth century tourists, naturalists and artists taking delight in these same rainforests. Generally characterised as having urban sentiments, they have been portrayed as in stark opposition to their rural counterparts.

Such a clear-cut division seems too absolute. This paper presents evidence of farmers who greatly appreciated the rainforests. Attempting to preserve rainforests, they failed in some cases, but in others were successful. In some instances, farmers were keen naturalists and in others they gradually evolved into tourism operators.

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Keywords: agriculture; national parks; naturalists; rainforests; tourism

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2002

More about this publication?
  • Environment and History is an interdisciplinary journal which aims to bring scholars in the humanities and biological sciences closer together, with the deliberate intention of constructing long and well-founded perspectives on present day environmental problems.

    Environment and History has a Journal Impact Factor (2019) of 0.698. 5 Year Impact Factor: 0.806.
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