Climate and Agriculture in the Southeast

Stone walls hidden in New England forests show changes in land use over time

Atlas Obscura has a fascinating story about stone walls in New England that are found in the middle of forests. Here’s a quote from the article:

“Who would build a stone wall, let alone hundreds of thousands of miles of them, in the middle of the forest? No one. The walls weren’t built in the forest but in and around farms. By the middle of the 19th century, New England was over 70 percent deforested by settlers, a rolling landscape of smallholdings as far as the eye could see. But by the end of the century, industrialization and large-scale farms led to thousands of fields being abandoned, to begin a slow process of reforestation.”

Read the rest of the article about these iconic walls, including how they find them using remote scanning, at

Stone wall, with moss, Putney, Vermont. Anna Kusmer