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Good Stewardship and the Challenges of Managing the Stuart Royal Forests in England, 1603–1714

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Abstract

This article explores some practical difficulties of environmental stewardship through an examination of the complexity of competing interests in the English royal forests in the seventeenth century. Various human, animal, and other environmental interests often came into conflict in ways that defied any easy solution. While some instances of poor stewardship came from intentional exploitation of the forests for short-term gain, others were the unintended consequences of well-intended policies and practices. The ambiguity of the most prudent course of action led many to experiment, leaving behind a whole body of literature—some more helpful than others—on the right practices of good stewardship of forests. In the end, the sustainability of the forests required a near-impossible balancing act between multiple stakeholders and care for the environment that went beyond mere good intentions.

Sara Morrison, "Good Stewardship and the Challenges of Managing the Stuart Royal Forests in England, 1603-1714," Journal of Markets & Morality 17, no. 2 (Fall 2014): 405-427.


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