Jim Clifford deposited British ghost acres and environmental changes in the Laurentian forest during the nineteenth century in the group Environmental Humanities on Humanities Commons 4 months ago
This article explores the consequences of the environmental transformations of the Laurentian Valley on the timber trade uniting the Province of Canada and the industrialization of Great Britain during the nineteenth century. The notion of ghost acres used to describe the ecological footprint of resource consumption from abroad is extended to accommodate landscape transformations and enrich our understanding of the environmental impacts of imperial trade. Moving beyond the mere calculation of a surface area to assess the ecological ghost acres of British industrialization, we reconstitute the exchange circuits of wood products, from the extraction sites of different forest areas of the Laurentian Valley to their final destination in the British market, to identify the environmental consequences resulting from the insertion of the colonial forest economy into imperial trade networks. We also explore the adaptation of the British market to the material differences of North American pine and spruce compared with the familiar timber from northern Europe and how this, in turn, shaped the geography of extraction.