By Daniel S. Wovcha
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Extra resources for Minnesota's St. Croix River Valley and the Anoka Sandplain: A Guide to Native Habitats
1993). Afthougn the forest canopy seems to have recovered from the clearing in A - the 1800s, in the 1960s and 1970s it was ravaged by Dutch elm disease, which Killed many large American elm trees.
The [European fur] traders often burn the prairies with the same view. Independent of these, the fires of [Indian] encampments frequently spread in dry weather, and burn away the grass to a great distance. American Indians also used fire to ease travel through dense vegetation; to flush, concentrate, confuse, or injure large animals they were hunting; and to kill and dry trees for firewood. Early accounts most commonly mentioned American Indians using fire as an aid in hunting or to alter the vegetation to attract animals such as deer and bison.
Some of the more rural areas, assuming that lower density would ensure more green space and more comfortable living, have adopted zoning ordinances calling for minimum lot sizes as large as five acres in an effort to control residential development and subdivision of land (Bergstrom and McGriff 1985). One effect of these ordinances, however, has been to spread the fragmentation of the landscape even more widely, reducing the remaining large intact open spaces, including native habitats. Furthermore, development has been spurred by the construction of sewers, roads, and utility lines in undeveloped areas, which has made these areas more profitable and desirable for residential development (Ohrn 1983).