Western Public Lands and Environmental Politics

Overview

Beset by competing interests, efforts by federal agencies, Congress, and the courts to balance ecological and economic values in the development of federal land policies have produced a wide range of outcomes. This revised and updated volume of Western Public Lands and Environmental Politics examines the interplay between political organizations, interest groups, economic conditions, and demographic shifts, offering an explanation of changes in policies during this period that affected the management of ...
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Overview

Beset by competing interests, efforts by federal agencies, Congress, and the courts to balance ecological and economic values in the development of federal land policies have produced a wide range of outcomes. This revised and updated volume of Western Public Lands and Environmental Politics examines the interplay between political organizations, interest groups, economic conditions, and demographic shifts, offering an explanation of changes in policies during this period that affected the management of rangeland, timber, energy, mineral, and wilderness resources. The book takes as its focus the often bitter interaction of state and federal governments, local economic and business interests, and environmental organizations to shape policies toward national forests, mining and energy resources, rangelands, national parks, annd wilderness areas in the Western US. The book also includes a review of different federal programs affecting public lands. It will be of interest to students and scholars of environmental politics and policy, natural resource management, public policy, and environmental history as well as to the general reader.

"A very comprehensive, readable, and informed survey that provides readers with a thorough understanding of the major Western public land policies and their environmental implications. The analysis of the environmental issues is thorough and balanced, with sensitivity to conflicting viewpoints and to the historical development of the issues. This is an excellent book for classroom use and a valuable addition to any library concerned with Western land policy and related environmental issues." -Walter Rosenbaum, University of Florida

"Americans are struggling over how to manage the public legacy of parks, forests, and rangelands, and even whether to divest themselves of these lands. This collection offers much-needed theoretical perspectives on the politics of federal lands, analyzing the struggle in terms of interest group dynamics, bureaucratic models, and political history. The contributors give us an up-to-date look at several federal land issues. The volume is both encouraging and sobering. It shows that political scientists have a good grasp of the enduring social forces affecting public land policy, but the reader can reasonably conclude that political tensions over federal land issues will remain unresolved well into the next century. Federal land managers, often stuck between local interests and national goals, will appreciate its insights on governance. I look forward to using it in my classes." -William E. Riebsame, University of Colorado at Boulder

"The politics associated with the development of public lands in the American West has always made for a fascinating story laced with intrigue, unique personalities, and battles between institutions. Recent changes in the demography of the West, interest group organization, concepts of federalism, and fiscal possibilities suggest that this story will evolve through significant changes in politics and policy. It is important to have a thorough understanding of the forces opposing and promoting change. In focusing on the last thirty years of this history, Western Public Lands and Environmental Politics presents a readable and thorough program-by-program review of federal policy and politics and provides both students and decisionmakers an ability to understand the context of the current debate." -Steven L. Yaffee, University of Michigan

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813389479
  • Publisher: Westview Press
  • Publication date: 2/6/1997
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 6.27 (w) x 9.26 (h) x 0.86 (d)

Meet the Author


Charles Davis is professor of political science at Colorado State University and the author of The Politics of Hazardous Waste(1993).
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Table of Contents

Preface
List of Acronyms
1 Introduction: The Context of Public Lands Policy Change 1
2 Fighting over Public Lands: Interest Groups, States, and the Federal Government 11
3 A Critique of the Multiple Use Framework in Public Lands Decisionmaking 32
4 From Localism to Legalism: The Transformation of Federal Forest Policy 47
5 Politics and Public Rangeland Policy 74
6 Reform at a Geological Pace: Mining Policy on the Federal Lands, 1964-1994 95
7 Energy on Federal Lands 122
8 National Parks Policy 150
9 Wilderness Policy 172
10 Conclusion: Public Lands and Policy Change 193
About the Book 203
About the Editor and Contributors 204
Index 206
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