Contested Landscape: The Politics of Wilderness in Utah and the West

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9780874806045: Contested Landscape: The Politics of Wilderness in Utah and the West

CONTESTED LANDSCAPE is a collection of essays that frame the wide-ranging passions and details of the political debate over wilderness issues in Utah and the West. Utah contains more Bureau of Land Management acreage than any other state in the United States with the exception of Nevada and Alaska. To some this acreage is more than enough, to others too little, hence the debate. The national debate about this western issue has continued virtually unabated for over twenty years, involving local, state, tribal, and national politics and revealing a diverse national opinion on the value of wilderness. Contested Landscape addresses this heated debate in objective terms, avoiding pejorative labels while exploring the positions of both pro-wilderness and multiple-use advocates. CONTESTED LANDSCAPE clarifies relevant laws, policies, court cases, and political activity. This book provides useful background, examining the evolution of the wilderness concept, the U.S. Constitution and wilderness designation, and the BLM wilderness inventory. It also addresses "hotbutton" political issues: mining and other extractive uses of wilderness, state trust lands, grazing, roadless areas, archaeological resources, and the "cost" of solitude. In their conclusion the editors offer workable solutions including a community contextual approach to negotiation. The broad range of perspectives and issues assembled in CONTESTED LANDSCAPE, although framed by the Utah wilderness debate, is far-reaching enough to allow each reader to draw his or her own conclusions about wilderness issues in the New West. As the editors conclude, this "is not about right or wrong; it's about needs and values. When we begin to consider all of these needs and values, then we will find a solution."

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About the Author:

Doug Goodman is a graduate student in the political science department at the University of Utah. Daniel McCool is associate professor of political science at the University of Utah. He has written or edited several books on water policy issues, including THE WATERS OF ZION: THE POLITICS OF WATER IN UTAH (Utah, 1995) and COMMAND OF THE WATERS:IRON TRIANGLES, FEDERAL WATER DEVELOPMENT, AND INDIAN WATR (1987).

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

From the preface: "Some people of the rural West want to continue the lifestyle that has contributed so much to the American image, while others want to protect the remnants of the wild land that is so important to us as a people. Note that both sides want to preserve something distinctly American."

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Published by Univ of Utah Pr (1999)
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