Thesis

California's first fuel crisis and eucalyptus plantings

The following work contains research on the development of California's first fuel crisis, a shortage of fuel wood. To understand what caused the shortage of fuel wood in California, data gathered from the existing literature describing the landscape are analyzed for timber resources before 1849 and a comparison is made to the resulting landscape after the gold rush of that date. The large population influx during the gold rush placed further strain on the timber resources. Within ten years of the arrival of the first miners to California, all timber resources were threaten. Concerned citizens began to experiment with different tree types to find one that would be suitable to reforest California. One genus, Eucalyptus, seemed to have the necessary traits. Endorsed by the leading scientists and influential citizens, people began to plant eucalyptus, mainly E. globulus, in forest plantations. Remnants of this crisis are still very visible features of California's landscape today.

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