Few people are familiar with the full history that shaped and preserved the fish and wildlife of coastal South Carolina. From Native Americans to the early colonists to plantation owners and their slaves to market hunters and commercial fishermen, all viewed fish and wildlife as limitless. Through time, however, over-harvesting led to population declines, and the public demanded conservation. The process that produced fish and game laws, wardens and wildlife refuges was complex and often involved conflict, but synergy and cooperation ultimately produced one of the most extensive conservation systems on the East Coast. Author James O. Luken presents this fascinating story.
James O. Luken is associate dean and professor of biology at Coastal Carolina University. His research, generally focused on plant ecology and botany, has ranged from Alaska to Florida. Recent work with students and colleagues attempts to elucidate the mostly unknown natural history of the Venus flytrap and also seeks to quantify the cryptic natural capital of coastal ecosystems. He is a frequent consultant on managing working lands within the context of conservation easements. His publications include books, edited volumes and journal articles, as well as popular science articles on angling, travel and plants. Early mornings often find him on the waterways of Horry County in search of opportunities to catch fish.