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Theodore C. Blegen Award
Previous Winners

The Forest History Society's (FHS) Theodore C. Blegen Award recognizes the best scholarship in forest and conservation history published in a journal other than Environmental History. FHS initiated the award in 1972.

Previous Recipients

2010 Blegan Award
Swanson, Drew Addison. “Fighting over Fencing: Agricultural Reform and Antebellum Efforts to Close the Virginia Open Range.” Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 117, No. 2 (2009): 104-139. Swanson revisits the literature and offers a reinterpretation of the drive for enclosure in the antebellum South based on concerns about productivity and fertility, rather than class.
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2009 Blegen Award
Dant, Sara. “Making Wilderness Work: Frank Church and the American Wilderness Movement.” Pacific Historical Review 77, No. 2 (May 2008): 237-272. Argues that Church was not only at the vanguard of the evolving definition of wilderness in America but also established a viable process for designating wilderness areas. Church's coalition-building vision of wilderness as a communally defined natural space, not necessarily “untrammeled by man,” became the standard for wilderness designation

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2008 Blegen Award
Hsiung, David C. "Food, Fuel, and the New England Environment in the War for Independence, 1775-1776" published in The New England Quarterly 80, No. 4 (December 2007):614-651. Discusses the impact of agricultural and forest products on the first year of the Revolution and the importance of local production and supply systems on the fight for control over the rebelling colonies.
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2007 Blegen Award
Willis, Roxanne. "A New Game in the North: Alaska Native Reindeer Herding, 1890-1940." Western Historical Quarterly 37 (Autumn 2006): 277-301. Assesses the introduction of domesticated reindeer to Alaska by the missionary Sheldon Jackson, ostensibly for the benefit of native communities. Explores new ground with a compelling narrative and a keen sense for the complexities of the interaction between Native Alaskans, do-gooding Anglo-Americans, and the shifting economy of the far north.
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2006 Blegen Award
Fiege, Mark. "The Weedy West: Mobile Nature, Boundaries, and Common Space in the Montana Landscape." Western Historical Quarterly 36 (Spring 2005): 22-47. Examines the movement of weeds across human boundaries in Montana during the 20th century, and how collective responses to that movement created common geographic space in which people adjusted land allocation to ecology.

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2005 Blegen Award
Feldman, James "The View from Sand Island: Reconsidering the Peripheral Economy" Western Historical Quarterly 35 (Autumn 2004): 285-307. An intriguing assessment of the relationship between local communities and their economies and the broader sweep of western environmental history.

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2004 Blegen Award
Senter, Jim. "Live Dunes and Ghost Forests: Stability and Change in the History of North Carolina's Maritime Forests." North Carolina Historical Review 80 (July 2003): 334-371. Argues that sea level rise and increased storm frequency since the end of the Little Ice Age, rather than human activity during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, have been the primary causes of vegetation change on the barrier islands along the coast of North Carolina.
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2003 Blegen Award
Wondrak, Alice K. "Wrestling with Horace Albright: Edmund Rogers, Visitors, and Bears in Yellowstone National Park. Part I; Part II" 52 Montana the Magazine of Western History (Autumn; Winter 2002): 2-15; 18-31. On the establishment and difficulties of prohibiting bear feeding practices within the Yellowstone National Park during the 1930s and 1950s.

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2002 Blegen Award
Ewert, Sara E. "Evolution of an Environmentalist: Senator Frank Church and the Hells Canyon Controversy," Montana the Magazine of Western History 51 (Spring 2001): 36-51. Examines the gradual evolution of the views toward environmental politics held by Senator Frank Church of Idaho.

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2001 Blegen Award
Andrew H. Fisher. "Working in the Indian Way: The Southwest Forest Firefighter Program and Native American Wage Labor," Arizona History, Vol. 41, No. 2, (Summer 2000):121-148.
2000 Blegen Award
Stacy Mitchell. "Union in the North Woods: The Timber Strikes of 1937," Minnesota History, Vol. 56, No. 5, (Spring 1999): 262-277.

1999 Blegen Award
Taylor, Joseph E., III, "El Nino and Vanishing Salmon: Culture, Nature History, and the Politics of Blame" in Western Historical Quarterly, Vol. 29, No. 4, (Winter, 1998):437-457.

1998 Blegen Award
Fisher, Andrew H.
"The 1932 Handshake Agreement: Yakama Indian Treaty Rights and Forest Service Policy in the Pacific Northwest" in Western Historical Quarterly , Vol. 28, No. 2, (Summer 1997): 187-217.
1997 Blegen Award
Outland, Robert B., III. "Slavery, Work, and the Geography of the North Carolina Naval Stores Industry, 1835-1860" in Journal of Southern History , Vol. 57 (February 1996): 27-56.


1996 Blegen Award
Mccullough, Robert I. "A Forest in Every Town: Vermont's History of Communal Woodlands" in Vermont History , Vol. 64 (Winter 1996):5-35.


1995 Blegen Award
Pyne, Stephen J. "Nataraja: India's Cycle of Fire" in Environmental History Review , Vol. 18 (Fall 1994): 1-20.
1994 Blegen Award
Rajala, Richard A. "The Forest as Factory: Technological Change and Worker Control in the West Coast Logging Industry, 1880-1930" in Labour/Le Travail , Vol. 32 (Fall 1993): 73-104.
1993 Blegen Award
Cronon, William J. "A Place for Stories: Nature, History, and Narrative" in Journal of American History , Vol. 78 (March 1992): 1347-1376.
1992 Blegen Award
Duncan, Colin A.M. "On Identifying a Sound Environmental Ethic in History: Prolegomena to Any Future Environmental History" in Environmental History Review , Vol. 15 (Summer 1991): 5-30.
1991 Blegen Award
Dilsaver, Lary M. and Douglas H. Strong. "Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks: One Hundred Years of Preservation and Resource Management" in California History , Vol. 69 (Summer 1990): 98-117.

Updated: August 18, 2016