Bounded People, Boundless Lands: Envisioning a New Land Ethic

Bounded People, Boundless Lands: Envisioning a New Land Ethic
Eric T. Freyfogle

Throughout the book Eric Freyfogle uses examples of poems, fictional stories, and true stories to strengthen his view of the land, and land ethics. One such example is that of the poem by Robert Frost called "Mending Wall" where the phrase "Good fences make good neighbors" came from. Freyfogle uses this poem as a precedence throughout the book, making reference to it, and the contradiction of the meaning of the poem, and that people took that phrase literally, and it has become and anthem for the American culture and how they view the land.

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From the poem on, Freyfogle gives examples of how America has shaped its land, and how boundaries have been set up in American culture. He states, "Boundaries and the bounding process have been central elements of American culture since thefirst days of settlement. The westward expansion of the country, in fact, was a matter not only of taming the land but also of dividing and bounding it. Through a messy process continuing for generations, an interconnected whole became a collection of parcels and pieces. As they divided nature, the settlers severed, mentally and sometimes physically, many of the connections that joined nature's pieces into and organic whole. They had reasons for doing so, of course. But in time, their boundaries and senses of boundedness would take a heavy toll on the land's health" (pgs. 6-7). After this statement Freyfogle goes on to give examples of how this happened, and people and places that it happened at. Such as in California when settlers divided !
the water flows to go to certain places, and companies such as Chauncey & Company that needed water for their sawmill, so they diverted water from Spring Creek in order to do this.

There are many examples that Freyfogle gives throughout the book about the land health and how we need to fix thing…

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