By Bruce Babbitt
In this exceptional, gracefully written, and significant new publication, former Secretary of the inner and Governor of Arizona Bruce Babbitt brings clean thought--and clean air--to questions of ways we will construct a destiny we wish to reside in.
We've all skilled America's altering ordinary panorama because the integrity of our forests, seacoasts, and river valleys succumbs to strip department shops, new roads, and subdivisions. Too usually, we think that after land is built it's eternally misplaced to the common world--or wish patchwork of neighborhood conservation concepts can by some means delay opposed to extra large-scale development.
In Cities within the Wilderness, Bruce Babbitt makes the case for why we'd like a countrywide imaginative and prescient of land use. We can have an area software, he issues out, yet right here at domestic we do not have an open-space coverage that could stability the desires for human cost and neighborhood with these for renovation of the wildlife upon which lifestyles relies. but this kind of stability, the writer demonstrates, is as remarkably possible because it is important. this can be no demand constructing a brand new federal paperwork; Babbitt exhibits in its place how a lot can be--and has been--done through making considerate and worthy use of legislation and associations already in place.
A hallmark of the ebook is the author's skill to check innovative imaginative and prescient with sensible figuring out. Babbitt attracts on his large event to take us backstage negotiating the Florida Everglades recovery undertaking, the biggest ever licensed by means of Congress. In California, we find how the Endangered Species Act, nonetheless some of the most potent legislation governing land use, has been hired to revive nearby habitat. within the Midwest, we see how new global alternate association rules should be used to aid repair Iowa's farmlands and rivers. As a key architect of many environmental luck tales, Babbitt finds how extensive recovery initiatives have thrived via federal- kingdom partnership and the way their rules could be prolonged to different components of the country.
Whether writing of land use as mirrored within the Gettysburg battlefield, the motion picture Chinatown, or in presidential political procedure, Babbitt offers us clean perception. during this inspiring and informative booklet, Babbitt units his lens to panoramic--and bargains a imaginative and prescient of land use as grand because the country's ordinary heritage.
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Extra resources for Cities in the Wilderness: A New Vision of Land Use in America
In the following weeks as we developed our position, I came to realize that there was a lot more at stake than just the restoration of the Everglades. Contaminated agricultural runoff was, and still is, the major unresolved water-quality problem in virtually every watershed in the country. In many of our rivers, lakes, and estuaries, water pollution from contaminated agricultural runoff has reached catastrophic proportions. Ch01 (13-54) 7/8/05 34 K 11:45 AM Page 34 CITIES IN THE WILDERNESS Given this history, any plan for the Everglades could become an important precedent, not only for other national parks, but for Chesapeake Bay, the Gulf of Mexico, and for rivers, lakes, and estuaries throughout the country.
The leadership of the Senate had turned over twice, as had that of the House. There had also been continual turnover within the Corps. By now we had worked with three successive commanding generals and three different district engineers in Florida, all the while laboring to keep the project aﬂoat with annual appropriations and to keep the Corps focused on the restoration objective, even as the sugar industry and land developers tried to tilt the outcome in their respective directions. Nonetheless the Corps proposal was a showstopper.
But in truth the answer is more complex, and it is rooted in the changing nature of conservation politics and the process of enacting environmental legislation. Back in the 1960s and ’70s, when environmental concerns came to the national stage, Congress enacted broad, comprehensive laws, including the National Environmental Policy Act, the Wilderness Act, the Clean Air and Clean Water acts, and the Endangered Species Act, to name a few. Since that time the environment has faded somewhat as a political issue, and since 2000 the Bush administration has set out to destroy the bipartisan consensus that produced these laws.