Environmental Politics and Policy, Revised Edition
Publication Year: 2007
Population growth and industrial development have put the wide-open spaces and natural resources that define the West under immense stress. Vested interests clash and come to terms over embattled resources such as water, minerals, and even open space. The federal government controls 40 to 80 percent of the land base in many western states; its sway over the futures of the West's communities and environment has prompted the development of unique policies and politics in the West. Zachary A. Smith and John C. Freemuth bring together a roster of top scholars to explicate the issues noted above as well as other key questions in this new edition of Environmental Politics and Policy in the West, which was first published in 1993. This thoroughly revised and updated edition offers Contributors address the policy process as it affects western states, how bureaucracy and politics shape environmental dialogues in the West, how western states innovate environmental policies independently of Washington, and how and when science is involved (or ignored) in management of the West's federal lands. Experts in individual resource areas explore multifaceted issues such as the politics of dam removal and restoration, wildlife resource concerns, suburban sprawl and smart growth, the management of hard-rock mining, and the allocation of the West's tightly limited water resources.
Published by: University Press of Colorado
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The American West is a unique and highly interesting topic for a book on environmental politics and policy. We want to make it clear from the beginning, however, that something that might be obvious to most readers has actually been fought over and argued about for quite awhile. The argument is usually over how to resolve what Dan Kemmis calls the “perennial...
1: The Policy Process and the American West: An Environmental Perspective
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Public policy making in the United States rests in a seemingly inexhaustible set of concepts and processes that have been described as predominantly “chaotic” (Birkland 2001, 3). The diligent student of American public policy must deal with the fact that public policy is said to be inclusive of all political activities and institutions, “from voting, political...
2: Bureaucracy, Politics, and Environmental Policy in the American West
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The West is blessed with the majority of America’s remaining natural resources, which are widely dispersed across the entire region. These resources are extremely valuable, and they require government monitoring and, in many cases, regulation. The federal government manages millions of acres of forests, national and state parks, and areas of scenic beauty, which include coastal ...
3: Innovation in State Environmental Policy: A View from the West
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The conventional wisdom about state environmental policy holds that prior to the 1970s the states had been lethargic, even irresponsible, with little policy capacity and no political will or incentive to undertake new policies, much less exacting ones. Indeed, a general characterization of states before the 1970s holds them to have been “backwaters for the worst excesses of ...
4: Science, Politics, and Federal Lands
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A variety of factors make the western United States unique, but perhaps the most important is the amount of land owned by the national government. As a quick measure of this factor, roughly 46 percent of the total land base of the twelve western states (we are not including Hawaii) is federal land (over 60% in some cases), whereas only about 4 percent of the land base of the ...
5: The Politics of Dam Removal and River Restoration
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Much has been written about the waste and inefficiency of traditional western water projects (Andrews and Sansone 1983; Reisner 1986; Gottlieb 1988; Bates et al. 1993; McCool 1994). Some authors have focused primarily on the negative environmental impacts of supply-centered water development (Fradkin 1981; Palmer 1986; McCully 1996; Grossman 2002). Others have ...
6: Wildlife Resource Policy Issues in the West
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Wildlife policy in the West has been shaped by competition for land and scarce water resources. This chapter examines conflicts that have occurred between the needs of wildlife and those of humans who live and work in the western United States. Political conflict and resource competition are addressed through a series of case studies collectively illustrating the...
7: The Politics of Hard-Rock Mining in the American West
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The symbol of the miner seeking gold or silver has survived for well over a century, the rugged individual replete with hard hat, a pickax, and a mule who dreams of finding mineral wealth through a combination of hard work and luck. The dream remains alive on U.S. federal land because the Mining Law of 1872 continues to offer easy access to mineral-rich land sites ...
8: Suburban Sprawl and Smart Growth in the West
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The Prosperi family has lived and farmed on nearly 600 acres of land in Madera, California, for the past century, but as the suburbs slowly creep closer to their land, they may be forced out of their home. Between 1998 and 2002 Madera’s population jumped by 50 percent, and permits for single-family homes doubled. These circumstances have pushed the suburbs closer ...
9: Water Policy in the Western United States: Historical and Contextual Perspectives
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Every morning at ten o’clock a spray of water shoots 560 feet above the Sonoran desert. Located in the upscale neighborhood of Fountain Hills, Arizona, the highest-shooting manmade fountain in the world emits 7,000 gallons of water per second and operates for fifteen minutes every hour, seven days a week (Gelt 2004). This occurs in one of the most arid regions in the world, a place that ...
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Page Count: 224
Illustrations: 3 tables
Publication Year: 2007