Natural Resources: Ecology, Economics, and Policy (2nd Edition)

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9780130933881: Natural Resources: Ecology, Economics, and Policy (2nd Edition)
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Unlike other natural resource management volumes that focus solely on the ecological aspects of resources—and with an overly pessimistic view of the future—this volume explores natural resource management in context in a functional, applied framework by integrating ecology, history, planning, economics, and policy into coverage of each natural resource, and by providing a balanced, guarded optimistic view of the most current research and technology's capability to overcome natural resource problems. Exceptionally straightforward and readable, it is easily accessible to readers with limited background in ecology, biology, and economics. The volume provides an overview of natural resources, and a complete analysis of management foundations, air, water, and land resources, the land-based renewable resources, the wild living resources, the mineral and energy resources, plus an integration of natural resources management. For foresters, wildlife biologists, geologists, range managers, and environmental scientists.

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Coupling the latest concepts and technology with proven traditional approaches, this new edition introduces readers to the science of natural resource management by integrating ecology, history, planning, economics, and policy into coverage of each natural resource. This text sets the stage for coverage of specific natural resources, giving readers a chance to review important concepts and to start thinking in a new integrated way about natural resource management in a more complex real-world context.

Some features of the new .edition include:
  • Detailed history of natural resource management in the United States
    • Helps readers understand that today's environmental problems did not just happen "naturally," but rather came about as the result of a complex mix of events, many well intentioned at the time
  • Computers, scientific breakthroughs, and natural resource management and planning
    • Shows readers how computers are used in natural resource management and how scientific breakthroughs will affect the environment and quality of life in the 21st century
  • A full chapter dedicated to natural resources and international development
    • Exposes readers to the importance of natural resources in developing countries, and the issue of how political policies affect economic growth and environmental quality.
  • A basic discussion of economic principles and systems
    • Introduces readers to the advantages and disadvantages of market, socialistic, and mixed economies in terms of human welfare, technological advance, and impacts on environmental quality

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

The purpose of this book is to introduce students to the science of natural resource management by coupling the latest concepts and technology with proven traditional approaches. We hope our intended audience includes managers on public and private lands, foresters, wildlife biologists, marine biologists, earth scientists, farmers, ranchers, hydrologists, urban planners,: environmental scientists, conservation biologists, economists, politicians, and the growing segment of the public interested in natural resource management. We have tried to provide a comprehensive text for those concerned with natural resource management, not only in the United States but in other parts of the world as well.

Our approach has involved coupling fundamental topics such as plant ecology, soil science, climatology, economics, and policy with the most recent research. Some traditional concepts and viewpoints on natural resource management have been substantially altered as a result of new findings. This is particularly true in areas such as forestry, range management, plant ecology, energy conservation, urban planning, and wildlife management.

The management of natural resources has become more integrated through its 100-year history. Our textbook on natural resource management attempts to integrate ecological, economic, and policy factors into a functional, applied framework. We believe sound natural resource management requires an understanding of the interactions between natural and social processes. While the natural processes are predominantly ecological, the relevant social processes are primarily economic and political. We consider economics, the measurement of relative value, a critical part of natural resource management decision making. Therefore, we have made economics an important component of our book, in contrast to many of the other books on natural resource management. Political policy affects the will of society in regard to choices concerning how natural resources will be conserved, produced, managed, and allocated.

We recognize that many natural resources cannot be readily valued monetarily, such as scenic beauty, open space, natural wonders, and rare plant and animal species, but they contribute greatly to human quality of life. It is the intent of our book to help managers make more rational choices between material and spiritual well-being. At the same time, the future welfare of society must be considered as well as the present.

Because a diversity of benefits is usually the object of most natural resource management, today's resource managers need a broad understanding of various natural resource categories as well as specialization in certain specific areas. Foresters, wildlife biologists, geologists, range managers, environmental scientists, and others need a basic understanding of all the other disciplines. Most comprehensive natural resource management is done through teamwork and requires strong communication and interpersonal skills. Therefore, we have made planning an important component of our book.

While many books on the environment and natural resources have been somewhat pessimistic about the future on planet earth, our book presents a view of guarded optimism. Although the human population of the world continues to increase, major breakthroughs in technology show great promise for alleviating resource scarcity, pollution, and degradation. Improved political economic systems are resulting in more equitable distribution of resources to human populations in many parts of the world. At the same time, we readily acknowledge that elimination of rain forests, reductions in biodiversity, global warming, loss of open space, loss of the ozone layer, and the human population increase are all important natural resource challenges. However, we believe that through science, technology, universal education, and application of proven socioeconomic principles humanity can overcome these daunting problems.

We freely acknowledge that this text will not convey everything there is to know about natural resource management. However, we believe it will provide the reader with a powerful understanding of how basic principles of ecology and economics can be integrated to successfully solve natural resource problems.

We have drawn heavily from many other great books on various aspects of natural resource management to develop our subject. We express deep gratitude to Raymond Dasman, G. Tyler Miller, Jr., Bradley Schiller, Oliver S. Owen, Daniel D. Chiras, Eric G. Bolen, William L. Robinson, Bernard J. Nebel, Richard T. Wright, and Ronald D. Knutson whose textbooks provided the basis for coverage of many of our subjects. Appreciation is given to Dr. Frank A. Ward for his contribution to Chapter 4, Conservation Economics.

We received both encouragement and helpful criticism from many of our colleagues. Special thanks are given to John Davis, William H. Fleming, Sam Fuhlenborf, James Teer, and James D. Yoakum for their valuable suggestions on our manuscript.

JERRY L. HOLECHEK
RICHARD A. COLE
JAMES T. FISHER
RAUL VALDEZ

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