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This book is a natural history of Isle Royale for the layman. It emphasizes the ecology of the island—that is, the relationships among its plants, animals, and physical environment—rather than the characteristics of individual species. The human history has been viewed largely from the standpoint of its impact on the land. The book has been written in a way that we hope will benefit armchair travelers as well as those fortunate persons who actually visit the island.

Scientists have been studying Isle Royale since the mid-1800's, and I have read and learned much from their reports. Current students of the island have been particularly helpful. I would like to thank Dr. Robert Janke and Rolf Peterson, both of Michigan Technological University, for valuable information in the field and for reviewing the text; Dr. Durward Allen, Purdue University, for reviewing; Dr. D. B. Botkin and his research assistants, Yale University, for information in the field; Dr. Peter A. Jordan, co-leader of the Yale group, for a very helpful criticism of the manuscript; and Dr. N. King Huber, U. S. Geological Survey, and Dr. H. E. Wright, University of Minnesota, for reviewing chapters 2 and 3.

Robert Johnsson, of the National Park Service's Division of Museums, a former seasonal naturalist on Isle Royale, has contributed extensively to this book. I greatly appreciate his advice, his oral and written accounts of the island's natural history, the use of his photographs, and his generous support of the project.

Members of the Isle Royale National Park staff were especially helpful with the logistical aspects of my research for the book. I extend thanks particularly to Alan Eliason, Assistant Chief of Interpretation and Resource Management; Superintendent Hugh P. Beattie; and District Ranger Frank Deckert and his wife Gloria, who for two weeks shared their home with me and my family.


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