The Ecological Indian By Shepard Krech III – Article Example

The paper "The Ecological Indian By Shepard Krech III" is an exceptional example of an article on environmental studies.
“The Ecological Indian” has been one of the most cherished articles among environmentalists. Flapping over the pages of Krech’s book, one cannot avoid raising a question such as, were the Natives living harmoniously with the ecological system and that the Whiteman’s arrival that damaged the environment? Krech explores numerous issues in his book that deserve a mention. However, this review will only focus on some of the two most important issues raised by the author.
First, the extinction of Pleistocene: According to Krech, Paleoindians are in a way to blame for the extinction of Pleistocene approximately 11,000 years ago. During this period, numerous species disappeared from North America because of climate change. Humans are understood to have contributed immensely to the massive animal extinctions by inducing unfavorable changes in the environment.
Second, fire: There was extensive use of fire by North American Indians, especially because they relied on fire for subsistence. The fire was also used for travel, means of passing information as well as aggression. North American Indians used fire to burn down vegetation in some areas so as to push animals to certain areas where they could easily hunt and catch the animals. Krech argues that the natives had a strong hand in sustaining some fire-succession ecosystem. From this, it becomes apparent that the native Indians were never absolutely living in harmony with the environment. They were doing damage to some extent when the first Whiteman arrived. The natives lighted fires that messed up the ecosystem killing most animal species such as deer, elk, buffaloes, and wolves among others. As the author puts it, “The evidence that Indians lit fires that they were allowed to burn destructively and without regard to ecological consequences is abundant” (Krech, 1999, p. 120).