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Bayou D’Arbonne Swamp: A Naturalist’s Memoir of Place

  • Bayou D’Arbonne Swamp addresses the vibrant natural, cultural, and social history of a north Louisiana swamp. Kelby Ouchley grew up near Bayou D’Arbonne Swamp, and he later spent much of his professional life as a wildlife biologist and naturalist overseeing the national wildlife refuge created from much of the area. His deep personal and professional connections to the landscape give him valuable insight into the enormous changes that have struck the swamp over the last century and the reasons behind this transformation. In this fascinating narrative, Ouchley offers a kaleidoscopic view of Bayou D’Arbonne Swamp that reveals its unique past and distinctive flora, fauna, and people.

    Although these are stories of a particular swamp, they tell us much about issues facing other wetlands, as well as prairies, mountains, and deserts, when viewed through an ecological, social, and historical lens. Ouchley aims to foster an awareness of the environmental impacts of human decisions that encourages readers to consider ecological choices in their daily lives. The result is a work that presents an intimate and multilayered natural history of Bayou D’Arbonne Swamp that extends beyond the edges of the ever-changing Louisiana wetland, informing the environmental history of Louisiana, conservation, and ecological change.

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