Long recognized by naturalists and adventurers as a dramatically unique region, the Arctic has recently emerged as an area of increasing political, strategic, and economic importance. The Arctic is both one of the world’s largest and smallest regions, encompassing 15% of the earth’s land mass, yet inhabited by fewer than 1% of the world’s population. Its physical vastness is coupled with a wealth of natural resources; in oil alone, the Far North contributes that majority of Russia’s production and 25% of US output. At the same time, the Circumpolar North is home to diverse indigenous peoples and cultures, thus setting the stage for conflicts of international scope. In this collection of essays, Oran Young provides a foundation for studying the politics of the Arctic as a distinctive international region. Expanding the traditional approach to area studies, he examines the Far North not only for its unique features, but also as an arena within which to develop new approaches to various issues of worldwide interest. Young challenges persistent stereotypes that marginalize the region, moving beyond the romanticism of many observers to arrive at an understanding of the complex social and ecological systems of the Far North. In doing so, Young thoughtfully establishes the Arctic as an area of international importance both in its own right and in relation to other geopolitical regions.
Humans are plagued by shortsighted thinking, preferring to put off work on complex, deep-seated, or difficult problems in favor of quick-fix solutions to immediate needs. When short-term thinking is applied to economic development, especially in fragile nations, the results—corruption, waste, and faulty planning—are often disastrous. In Bringing in the Future, William Ascher draws on the latest research from psychology, economics, institutional design, and legal theory to suggest strategies to overcome powerful obstacles to long-term planning in developing countries.
Drawing on cases from Africa, Asia, and Latin America, Ascher applies strategies such as the creation and scheduling of tangible and intangible rewards, cognitive exercises to increase the understanding of longer-term consequences, self-restraint mechanisms to protect long-term commitments and enhance credibility, and restructuring policy-making processes to permit greater influence of long-term considerations. Featuring theoretically informed research findings and sound policy examples, this volume will assist policy makers, activists, and scholars seeking to understand how the vagaries of human behavior affect international development.
Climate change demands a change in how we envision, prioritize, and implement conservation and management of natural resources. Addressing threats posed by climate change cannot be simply an afterthought or an addendum, but must be integrated into the very framework of how we conceive of and conduct conservation and management.
In Climate Savvy, climate change experts Lara Hansen and Jennifer Hoffman offer 18 chapters that consider the implications of climate change for key resource management issues of our time—invasive species, corridors and connectivity, ecological restoration, pollution, and many others. How will strategies need to change to facilitate adaptation to a new climate regime? What steps can we take to promote resilience?
Based on collaboration with a wide range of scientists, conservation leaders, and practitioners, the authors present general ideas as well as practical steps and strategies that can help cope with this new reality.
While climate change poses real threats, it also provides a chance for creative new thinking. Climate Savvy offers a wide-ranging exploration of how scientists, managers, and policymakers can use the challenge of climate change as an opportunity to build a more holistic and effective philosophy that embraces the inherent uncertainty and variability of the natural world to work toward a more robust future.
Stretching from the four corners of Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and Utah, the Colorado Plateau is a natural laboratory for a wide range of studies. This volume presents 23 original articles drawn from more than 100 research projects presented at the Sixth Biennial Conference of Research on the Colorado Plateau. This scientific gathering revolved around research, inventory, and monitoring of lands in the region. The book's contents cover management techniques for cultural, biological, and physical resources, representing collaborative efforts among federal, university, and private sector scientists and land managers. Chapters on cultural concerns cover benchmarks of modern southwestern anthropological knowledge, models of past human activity and impact of modern visitation at newly established national monuments, challenges in implementing the 1964 Wilderness Act, and opportunities for increased federal research on Native American lands. The section on biological resources comprises sixteen chapters, with coverage that ranges from mammalian biogeography to responses of elk at the urban-wildland interface. Additional biological studies include the effects of fire and grazing on vegetation; research on bald eagles at Grand Canyon and tracking wild turkeys using radio collars; and management of palentological resources. Two final chapters on physical resources consider a proposed rerouting of the Rio de Flag River in urban Flagstaff, Arizona, and an examination of past climate patterns over the Plateau, using stream flow records and tree ring data. In light of similarities in habitat and climate across the Colorado Plateau, techniques useful to particular management units have been found to be applicable in many locations. This volume highlights an abundance of research that will prove useful for all of those working in the region, as well as for others seeking comparative studies that integrate research into land management actions.
The publication of The Colorado Plateau: Cultural, Biological, and Physical Research in 2004 marked a timely summation of current research in the Four Corners states. This new volume, derived from the seventh Biennial Conference on the Colorado Plateau in 2003, complements the previous book by focusing on the integration of science into resource management issues. The 32 chapters range in content from measuring human impacts on cultural resources, through grazing and the wildland-urban interface issues, to parameters of climate change on the Plateau. The book also introduces economic perspectives by considering shifting patterns and regional disparities in the Colorado Plateau economy. A series of chapters on mountain lions explores the human-wildland interface. These chapters deal with the entire spectrum of challenges associated with managing this large mammal species in Arizona and on the Colorado Plateau, conveying a wealth of timely information of interest to wildlife managers and enthusiasts. Another provocative set of chapters on biophysical resources explores the management of forest restoration, from the micro scale all the way up to large-scale GIS analyses of ponderosa pine ecosystems on the Colorado Plateau. Given recent concerns for forest health in the wake of fires, severe drought, and bark-beetle infestation, these chapters will prove enlightening for forest service, park service, and land management professionals at both the federal and state level, as well as general readers interested in how forest management practices will ultimately affect their recreation activities. With broad coverage that touches on topics as diverse as movement patterns of rattlesnakes, calculating watersheds, and rescuing looted rockshelters, this volume stands as a compendium of cutting-edge research on the Colorado Plateau that offers a wealth of insights for many scholars.
Roughly centered on the Four Corners region of the southwestern United States, the Colorado Plateau covers an area of 130,000 square miles. The relatively high semi-arid province boasts nine national parks, sixteen national monuments, many state parks, and dozens of wilderness areas. With the highest concentration of parklands in North America and unique geological and ecological features, the area is of particular interest to researchers. Derived from the Eighth Biennial Conference of Research on the Colorado Plateau, this third volume in a series of research on the Colorado Plateau expands upon the previous two books. This volume focuses on the integration of science into resource management issues, summarizes what criteria make a successful collaborative effort, outlines land management concerns about drought, provides summaries of current biological, sociological, and archaeological research, and highlights current environmental issues in the Four Corner States of Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and Utah. With broad coverage that touches on topics as diverse as historical aspects of pronghorn antelope movement patterns through calculating watershed prescriptions to the role of wind-blown sand in preserving archaeological sites on the Colorado River, this volume stands as a compendium of cuttingedge management-oriented research on the Colorado Plateau. The book also introduces, for the first time, tools that can be used to assist with collaboration efforts among landowners and managers who wish to work together toward preserving resources on the Colorado Plateau and offers a wealth of insights into land management questions for many readers, especially people interested in the natural history, biology, anthropology, wildlife, and cultural management issues of the region.
Roughly centered on the Four Corners region of the southwestern United States, the Colorado Plateau covers some 130,000 square miles of sparsely vegetated plateaus, mesas, canyons, arches, and cliffs in Arizona, Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico. With elevations ranging from 3,000 to 14,000 feet, the natural systems found within the plateau are dramatically varied, from desert to alpine conditions.
This book focuses on the integration of science and resource management issues in this unique and highly varied environment. Broken into three subsections, this volume addresses conservation biology, biophysical resources, and inventory and monitoring concerns. The chapters range in content, addressing conservation issues—past, present, and future—on the Colorado Plateau, measurement of human impacts on resources, grazing and wildland-urban interfaces, and tools and methods for monitoring habitats and species.
An informative read for people interested in the conservation and natural history of the region, the book will also serve as a valuable reference for those people engaged in the management of cultural and biological resources of the Colorado Plateau, as well as scientists interested in methods and tools for land and resource management throughout the West.
Roughly centered on the Four Corners region of the southwestern United States, the Colorado Plateau covers some 130,000 square miles of sparsely vegetated plateaus, mesas, canyons, arches, and cliffs in Arizona, Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico. With elevations ranging from 3,000 to 14,000 feet, the natural systems found within the plateau are dramatically varied, from desert to alpine conditions.
This volume, the fifth from the University of Arizona Press and the tenth overall, focuses on adaptation of resource management and conservation to climate change and water scarcity, protecting biodiversity through restructured energy policies, ensuring wildlife habitat connectivity across barriers, building effective conservation networks, and exploring new opportunities for education and leadership in conservation science.
An informative read for people interested in the conservation and natural history of the region, the book will also serve as a valuable reference for those people engaged in the management of cultural and biological resources of the Colorado Plateau, as well as scientists interested in methods and tools for land and resource management throughout the West.
Covering 130,000 square miles and a wide range of elevations from desert to alpine in Arizona, Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico, the Colorado Plateau has long fascinated researchers. The Colorado Plateau VI provides readers with a plethora of updates and insights into land conservation and management questions currently surrounding the region.
The Colorado Plateau VI’s contributors show how new technologies for monitoring, spatial analysis, restoration, and collaboration improve our understanding, management, and conservation of outcomes at the appropriate landscape scale for the Colorado Plateau. The volume’s chapters fall into five major themes: monitoring as a key tool for addressing management challenges, restoration approaches to improving ecosystem condition and function, collaboration and organizational innovations to achieve conservation and management objectives, landscape-scale approaches to understanding, and managing key species and ecological communities.
Focusing on the integration of science into resource management issues over the Colorado Plateau, this volume includes contributions from dozens of leading scholars of the region. The Colorado Plateau VI proves a valuable resource to all interested in the conservation management, natural history, and cultural biological resources of the Colorado Plateau.
Community Based Monitoring Programs in the Arctic explores the concept and use of community-based monitoring (CBM) of ecological conditions in the Arctic. The authors analyze current programs and determines that CBM, while widespread and effective, nonetheless still has untapped potential. Presenting numerous examples and substantial data from a pan-Arctic survey and several workshops around the Arctic, Ths book offers a state of the field and a guide for mapping out the next steps.
Contributors include Finn Danielsen, Noor Johnson, Olivia Lee, Maryann Fidel, Lisbeth Iversen, Michael K. Poulsen, Hajo Eicken, Ania Albin, Simone G. Hansen, Peter L. Pulsifer, Peter Thorne, and Martin Enghoff.
States in sub-Saharan Africa, as anywhere else, are vested with the authority to implement laws and sanction their application. But in spite of a growing emphasis in Africa on participatory approaches to legislation, little research has focused on the extent to which the public has become involved in policy making and whether the state regulations that have been produced have proven publicly beneficial. Offering a new anthropological perspective, Competing Norms fills that gap by exploring how people in sub-Saharan Africa view new regulations in the light of preexisting local norms with which new regulations often compete. A collection of international, interdisciplinary contributors discusses the competing local, state, and international norms as they have evolved over time, unfolding the intricate ambivalences and contradictions that often characterize state regulations.
Spanning nine time zones, the Russian Arctic was mostly unexplored before the twentieth century. Paul Josephson describes the massive effort under Stalin to assimilate the Arctic into the Soviet empire--effects still being felt today, as Putin redoubles efforts to secure the Arctic, which he sees as key to Russia's economic and military status.
The conservation easement is an effective and flexible technique for land preservation. The Conservation Easement in California, written by California attorneys expert in conservation law for The Trust for Public Land, is an authoritative legal handbook for the use of conservation easements in California. This book puts the conservation easement in context, discusses the historical and legal background of the conservation easement in California, its state and federal tax implications and the problems involved in drafting easements. Of special importance is the book's clear exposition of the statutory distinction between conservation and open space easements, which should be especially helpful to land trusts and public agencies at all levels who want to put these innovative techniques into practise.
Successful natural resource management is much more than good science; it requires working with landowners, meeting deadlines, securing funding, supervising staff, and cooperating with politicians. The ability to work effectively with people is as important for the conservation professional as it is for the police officer, the school teacher, or the lawyer. Yet skills for managing human interactions are rarely taught in academic science programs, leaving many conservation professionals woefully unprepared for the daily realities of their jobs.
Written in an entertaining, easy-to-read style, The Conservation Professional’s Guide to Working with People fills a gap in conservation education by offering a practical, how-to guide for working effectively with colleagues, funders, supervisors, and the public. The book explores how natural resource professionals can develop skills and increase their effectiveness using strategies and techniques grounded in social psychology, negotiation, influence, conflict resolution, time management, and a wide range of other fields. Examples from history and current events, as well as real-life scenarios that resource professionals are likely to face, provide context and demonstrate how to apply the skills described.
The Conservation Professional’s Guide to Working with People should be on the bookshelf of any environmental professional who wants to be more effective while at the same time reducing job-related stress and improving overall quality of life. Those who are already good at working with people will learn new tips, while those who are petrified by the thought of conducting public meetings, requesting funding, or working with constituents will find helpful, commonsense advice about how to get started and gain confidence.
Our economies must react. "Sustainable behavior must pay off" - this is one of the central tenets of The Sustainability Project. Costing the Earth: Restructuring the Economy for Sustainable Development outlines the economic conditions for achieving the goal of sustainable development, in Europe and around the world. It also explains the incentives for sustainable economic management using economic tools.
In Crossing the Next Meridian, Charles F. Wilkinson, an expert on federal public lands, Native American issues, and the West's arcane water laws explains some of the core problems facing the American West now and in the years to come. He examines the outmoded ideas that pervade land use and resource allocation and argues that significant reform of Western law is needed to combat desertification and environmental decline, and to heal splintered communities. Interweaving legal history with examples of present-day consequences of the laws, both intended and unintended, Wilkinson traces the origins and development of the laws and regulations that govern mining, ranching, forestry, and water use. He relates stories of Westerners who face these issues on a day-to-day basis, and discusses what can and should be done to bring government policies in line with the reality of twentieth-century American life.
Toby Craig Jones Harvard University Press, 2010 Library of Congress DS244.52.J66 2010 | Dewey Decimal 953.805
This is an environmental and political history of Saudi Arabia, revealing the power of the environment to shape and influence the political state. Jones traces the modernization of the Saudi state and its rich oil reserves that were developed with the help of U.S. expertise and a technocratic elite who managed not only the vast oil reserves and water supplies but also the growth of political institutions. From the time oil was discovered in the 1930s, its control has been at the center of Saudi political authority and of the modern state. In addition the state quickly learned to exploit access to water as a means of controlling the population. Jones demonstrates the power of the Saudi environment to influence its modern political institutions and ideologies over the last eighty years. It is a fascinating story that helps explain not only how the Saudi state was transformed but also how the U.S. was inextricably involved in its technological and political modernization from the beginning.
This is one of the first books to address how gender plays a role in helping to achieve the sustainable use of natural resources. The contributions collected here deal with the struggles of women and men to negotiate such forces as global environmental change, economic development pressures, discrimination and stereotyping about the roles of women and men, and diminishing access to natural resources—not in the abstract but in everyday life. Contributors are concerned with the lived complexities of the relationship between gender and sustainability.
Bringing together case studies from Asia and Latin America, this valuable collection adds new knowledge to our understanding of the interplay between local and global processes. Organized broadly by three major issues—forests, water, and fisheries—the scholarship ranges widely: the gender dimensions of the illegal trade in wildlife in Vietnam; women and development issues along the Ganges River; the role of gender in sustainable fishing in the Philippines; women’s inclusion in community forestry in India; gender-based confrontations and resistance in Mexican fisheries; environmentalism and gender in Ecuador; and women’s roles in managing water scarcity in Bolivia and addressing sustainability in shrimp farming in the Mekong Delta.
Together these chapters show why gender issues are important for understanding how communities and populations deal daily with the challenges of globalization and environmental change. Through their rich ethnographic research, the contributors demonstrate that gender analysis offers useful insights into how a more sustainable world can be negotiated—one household and one community at a time.
María Luz Cruz-Torres
Lisa L. Gezon
Hong Anh Vu
Examining the geographical dimensions of environmental management and conservation activities implemented on landscapes worldwide, Globalization and New Geographies of Conservation creates a new framework and collects original case studies to explore recent developments in the interaction of humans and their environment.
Globalization and New Geographies of Conservation makes four important arguments about the recent coupling of conservation and globalization that is reshaping the place of nature in human-environmental change. First, it has led to an unprecedented number of spatial arrangements whose environmental management goals and prescribed activities vary along a spectrum from strict biodiversity protection to sustainable utilization involving agriculture, food production, and extractive activities. Conservation and globalization are also leading, by necessity, to new scales of management in these activities that rely on environmental science, thus shifting the spatial patterning of humans and the environment. This interaction results, as well, in the unprecedented importance of boundaries and borders; transnational border issues pose both opportunities and threats to global conservation proposed by organizations and institutions that are themselves international. Lastly, Globalization and New Geographies of Conservation argues that the local level has been integral to globalization, while the regional level is often eclipsed at the peril of the successful implementation of conservation and management programs.
Bridging the gap between geography and life science, Globalization and New Geographies of Conservation will appeal to a broad range of students of the environment, conservation planning; biodiversity management, and development and globalization studies.
Increasingly sophisticated technology and an ever-expand-ing base of knowledge have not been enough to allow humans to halt the worldwide progression of environmental degradation. Extensive fieldwork in both Africa and the United States convinced Allan Savory that neither the forces of nature nor commonly blamed culprits -- overpopulation, poor farming practices, lack of financial support -- were causing the decline of once-healthy ecosystems. He also noted that once land has become degraded, leaving it alone seldom helps revitalize it. Savory eventually came to realize that on the most fundamental level, environmental problems are caused by human management decisions, and only through wholesale changes in the way decisions are made can functioning ecosystems be restored. In response to that startling discovery, Savory began to develop a revolutionary new approach to decision-making and management. Known initially as Holistic Resource Management, and now as simply Holistic Management, it considers humans, their economies, and the environment as inseparable. It includes a common-sense decision-making framework that requires no specialized knowledge or elaborate technology to utilize, and is applicable in any environment or management situation. At the heart of the approach lies a simple testing process that enables people to make decisions that simultaneously consider economic, social, and environmental realities, both short- and long-term.Holistic Management is a newly revised and updated edition of Holistic Resource Management (Island Press, 1988), which was the first book-length treatment of Savory's decision-making framework and how it could be applied. A decade of trial-and-error implementation has strengthened and clarified the book's ideas, and has expanded the scope of the process to include all manner of decisions and management situations, not just those that relate to land and resource management.Holistic Management has been practiced by thousands of people around the world to profitably restore and promote the health of their land through practices that mimic nature, and by many others who have sought a more rewarding personal or family life. This book is an essential handbook for anyone involved with land management and stewardship -- ranchers, farmers, resource managers, and others -- and a valuable guide for all those seeking to make better decisions within their organizations or in any aspect of their personal lives.
Fossil fuels and livestock grazing are often targeted as major culprits behind climate change and desertification. But Allan Savory, cofounder of the Savory Institute, begs to differ. The bigger problem, he warns, is our mismanagement of resources. Livestock grazing is not the problem; it’s how we graze livestock. If we don’t change the way we approach land management, irreparable harm from climate change could continue long after we replace fossil fuels with environmentally benign energy sources.
Holistic management is a systems-thinking approach for managing resources developed by Savory decades ago after observing the devastation of desertification in his native Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). Properly managed livestock are key to restoring the world’s grassland soils, the major sink for atmospheric carbon, and minimizing the most damaging impacts on humans and the natural world. This book updates Savory's paradigm-changing vision for reversing desertification, stemming the loss of biodiversity, eliminating fundamental causes of human impoverishment throughout the world, and climate change. Reorganized chapters make it easier for readers to understand the framework for Holistic Management and the four key insights that underlie it. New color photographs showcase before-and-after examples of land restored by livestock.
This long-anticipated new edition is written for new generations of ranchers, farmers, eco- and social entrepreneurs, and development professionals working to address global environmental and social degradation. It offers new hope that a sustainable future for humankind and the world we depend on is within reach.
Peder ANKER Harvard University Press, 2001 Library of Congress GF551.A65 2001 | Dewey Decimal 304.209041
From 1895 to the founding of the United Nations in 1945, the promising new science of ecology flourished in the British Empire. Peder Anker asks why ecology expanded so rapidly and how a handful of influential scientists and politicians established a tripartite ecology of nature, knowledge, and society.
Patrons in the northern and southern extremes of the Empire, he argues, urgently needed tools for understanding environmental history as well as human relations to nature and society in order to set policies for the management of natural resources and to effect social control of natives and white settlement. Holists such as Jan Christian Smuts and mechanists such as Arthur George Tansley vied for the right to control and carry out ecological research throughout the British Empire and to lay a foundation of economic and social policy that extended from Spitsbergen to Cape Town.
The enlargement of the field from botany to human ecology required a broader methodological base, and ecologists drew especially on psychology and economy. They incorporated those methodologies and created a new ecological order for environmental, economic, and social management of the Empire.
Table of Contents:
From Social Psychology to Imperial Ecology General Smuts's Politics of Holism and Patronage of Ecology The Oxford School of Imperial Ecology Holism and the Ecosystem Controversy The Politics of Holism, Ecology, and Human Rights Planning a New Human Ecology
Conclusion: A World without History An Ecology of Ecologists
Notes Sources Index
Reviews of this book: Peder Anker's Imperial Ecology is the unexpected story of how late-imperial British ecologists took their arcane studies of marine life off Spitzbergen or the game of southern Africa and brought them to bear on very different areas of interest. These ecologists fashioned from their studies a view of human ecology broad enough, in this telling, to embrace cycles of sexual activity in Japanese brothels, famine in central Asia, the building blocks for national economic planning and the cultural underpinnings of Nazism. An eye-opener. --Fred Pearce, New Scientist
Reviews of this book: Few books are truly original; however, Anker...puts an original perspective on the history of ecology, linking two major schools of thought...to the imperial aspirations of Great Britain. The UK provided patronage (grants) to support ecologists who in turn provided important concepts strengthening Britain's imperial grip by enhancing resource management and incorporating human ecology into colonial ecosystems...This thought-provoking book provides many new insights into the history of a discipline. It will be news to most ecologists, whose knowledge of their own history is often sketchy at best. --J. Burger, Choice
Anker has written a ruthlessly honest political and cultural history of ecology, setting it firmly in the world of nineteenth-century colonialism. Illusions vanish here: turn of the century ecology did not stand for a pure pacifism or an eden of natural harmony. Instead, we find that both the liberal mechanism of British ecologist Arthur George Tansley and the holistic ecology of South African statesman Jan Christian Smuts were both firmly built upon nationalism--and a nationalism that mattered a great deal, militarily, racially, and socially. This is important work and a riveting read. --Peter Galison, Harvard University
The construction of the Three Gorges Dam on China's Yangtze River. The transformation of the Amazon into a site for huge cattle ranches and aluminum smelters. The development of Nevada's Yucca Mountain into a repository for nuclear waste. The extensive irrigation networks of the Grand Coulee and Kuibyshev Dams. On the face of it, these massive projects are wonders of engineering, financial prowess, and our seldom-questioned ability to modify nature to suit our immediate needs. For nearly a century we have relied increasingly on science and technology to harness natural forces, but at what environmental and social cost?In Industrialized Nature, historian Paul R. Josephson provides an original examination of the ways in which science, engineering, policy, finance, and hubris have come together, often with unforeseen consequences, to perpetuate what he calls "brute-force technologies"—the large-scale systems created to manage water, forest, and fish resources. Throughout the twentieth century, nations with quite different political systems and economic orientations all pursued this same technological subjugation of nature. Josephson compares the Soviet Union's heavy-handed efforts at resource management to similar projects undertaken in the United States, Norway, Brazil, and China. He argues that brute-force technologies require brute-force politics to operate. He shows how irresponsible—or well-intentioned but misguided—large-scale manipulation of nature has resulted in resource loss and severe environmental degradation.Josephson explores the ongoing industrialization of nature that is happening in our own backyards and around the world. Both a cautionary tale and a call to action, Industrialized Nature urges us to consider how to develop a future for succeeding generations that avoids the pitfalls of brute-force technologies.
Climate change. Finite fossil fuels. Fresh water depletion. Rising commodity prices. Ocean acidification. Overpopulation. Deforestation. Feeding the world’s billions. We’re beset by an array of natural resource and environmental challenges. They pose a tremendous risk to human prosperity, to world peace, and to the planet itself. Yet, if we act, these problems are addressable. Throughout history we’ve overcome similar problems, but only when we’ve focused our energies on innovation. For the most valuable resource we have isn’t oil, water, gold, or land – it’s our stockpile of useful ideas, and our continually growing capacity to expand them. In this remarkable book, Ramez Naam charts a course to supercharge innovation – by changing the rules of our economy – that can lead the whole world to greater wealth and human well-being, even as we dodge looming resource crunches and environmental disasters and reduce our impact on the planet. “Most books about the future are written by blinkered Pollyannas or hand-wringing Cassandras. Ramez Naam—Egypt-born, Illinois-raised, a major contributor to the computer revolution—is neither. Having thought about science, technology and the environment for decades, he has become that rarest of creatures: a clear-eyed optimist. Concise, informed and passionately argued, The Infinite Resource both acknowledges the very real dangers that lie ahead for the human enterprise and the equally real possibility that we might not only survive but thrive.” —Charles Mann, New York Times bestselling author of 1491 and 1493 “An amazing book. Throughout history, the most important source of new wealth has been new ideas. Naam shows how we can tap into and steer that force to overcome our current problems and help create a world of abundance.” —Peter H. Diamandis, MD, chairman and CEO, X PRIZE Foundation; chairman, Singularity University; and author, Abundance—The Future Is Better Than You Think
The struggle between Indians and whites for land did not end on the battlefields in the 1800s. When this hostile era closed with Native Americans forced onto reservations, no one expected that rich natural resources lay beneath these lands that white America would desperately desire. Yet oil, timber, fish, coal, water, and other resources were discovered to be in great demand in the mainstream market, and a new war began with Indian tribes and their leaders trying to protect their tribal natural resources throughout the twentieth century.
In The Invasion of Indian Country in the 20th Century, Donald Fixico details the course of this struggle, providing a wealth of information on the resources possessed by individual tribes and the way in which they were systematically defrauded and stripped of these resources. Fixico contends that federal policies originally devised to protect Indian interests ironically worked against the Indian nations as the tribes employed new tactics with the Council of Energy Resources Tribes, using the law in courts and applying aggressive business leadership to combat the capitalist invasion by mainstream America.
Fixico's analysis of this war being waged throughout the century and today serves as an indispensable reference tool for anyone interested in Native American history and current government policy with regard to Indian lands.
The Invasion of Indian Country in the Twentieth Century, Second Edition is updated through the first decade of the twenty-first century and contains a new chapter challenging Americans--Indian and non-Indian--to begin healing the earth. This analysis of the struggle to protect not only natural resources but also a way of life serves as an indispensable tool for students or anyone interested in Native American history and current government policy with regard to Indian lands or the environment.
Investing in Natural Capital presents the results of a workshop held following the second biannual conference of the International Society for Ecological Economics. It focuses on the relation of human development to natural capital, and the relation of natural capital to environmental processes.Because we are capable of understanding our impact on the environment and the importance of managing it sustainably, humans play a special role in our ecosystem. The book emphasizes the essential connections between natural ecosystems and human socioeconomic systems, and the importance of insuring that both remain resilient. Specific chapters deal with methodology, case material, and policy questions, and offer a thorough exploration of this provocative and important alternative to conventional economics.
Five companies dominate the U.S. petroleum industry. Five control the worldwide trade in grain. Two have a corner on the private market for drinking water. In terms of actual dollars, trade in heroin, cocaine, and tobacco ranks alongside that in grain or metals. There are more slaves in the world today than ever before. Resource by resource, It’s All for Sale uncovers and discloses who owns, buys, and sells what. Some resources—such as fuel, metals, fertilizers, drugs, fibers, food, forests, and flowers—have, for better or worse, long been thought of as commodities. Others—including fresh water, human beings, the sky, the oceans, and life itself (in the form of genetic codes)—are more startling to think of as products with price tags, but, as James Ridgeway shows, they are treated as such on a massive scale in lucrative markets around the world.
Revealing the surprisingly small number of companies that control many of the basic commodities we use in everyday life, It’s All for Sale confirms in specific detail that globalization has been accompanied by an extraordinary concentration of ownership. At the same time, it is about much more than what company has cornered the market in corn or diamonds. Corporations and captains of industry, wars and swindles, oppressors and the oppressed, empires and colonies, military might and commercial power, economic boom and bust—all these come alive in Ridgeway’s canny and arresting reporting about the global scramble for power and profit. It’s All for Sale is an invaluable source for researchers, activists, and all those concerned with globalization, corporate power, and the exploitation of individuals and the environment.
Between Barkley and Kentucky Lakes—two great, artificial bodies of water in western Tennessee and western Kentucky—lies a wooded land that looks from above like the flattened thumb of a green giant. Once a land of marginal farms and small settlements, this 240-square-mile peninsula, known as the Land Between the Lakes, has been a national recreation area for the last half-century. Its rolling, wooded hills and open bottomlands give the place charm but little majesty. The place swallows up its few campgrounds and visitors they attracts, creating a vacuous tranquility. In this volume, Foresta explores how this forgotten and bypassed region became a national recreation area. He uses its history to retrieve our old attitudes toward nature, progress, and personal development. He also uses its history to retrieve a vision of the future that rallied idealists, intellectuals, and even public officials to its banner.
In the early 1960s, the Tennessee Valley Authority set out to create a great park for posterity at the Land Between the Lakes. The park was to host the vast stretches of leisure that wealthy, secure, and more equal Americans of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries would have at their disposal. It would be a place where such Americans could turn that leisure into happiness, psychic well-being, and strength of character. The TVA cleared the land of its inhabitants to create the park, removing people from their homes and severing their roots, thus effacing the history of the place. It then set about reshaping the land in the image of an anticipated future. But when that future never arrived, managers struggled to fit the place to the America that actually came into being. In the end they failed, leaving the Land Between the Lakes enveloped in a haunting sense of emptiness.
A deft blend of environmental history, geography, politics, and cultural history, Land Between the Lakes demonstrates both the idealism of mid-twentieth-century planners and how quickly such idealism can fall out of alignment with the flow of history. In so doing it explores a forgotten vision of the future that was in many ways more appealing than the present that came into being in its place.
This report examines potential transformations that could alter Russia’s current cooperative stance in the Arctic. It analyzes current security challenges related to climate and geography, economy, territorial claims, and military power, suggests some ways in which these could undermine Arctic cooperation, and offers recommendations for the U.S. government to manage the risks to cooperation.
Across the United States, diverse groups are turning away from confrontation and toward collaboration in an attempt to tackle some of our nation's most intractable environmental problems. Government agencies, community groups, businesses, and private individuals have begun working together to solve common problems, resolve conflicts, and develop forward-thinking strategies for moving in a more sustainable direction.Making Collaboration Work examines those promising efforts. With a decade of research behind them, the authors offer an invaluable set of lessons on the role of collaboration in natural resource management and how to make it work. The book: explains why collaboration is an essential component of resource management describes barriers that must be understood and overcome presents eight themes that characterize successful efforts details the specific ways that groups can use those themes to achieve success provides advice on how to ensure accountability Drawing on lessons from nearly two hundred cases from around the country, the authors describe the experience in practical terms and offer specific advice for agencies and individuals interested in pursuing a collaborative approach. The images of success offered can provide ideas to those mired in traditional management styles and empower those seeking new approaches. While many of the examples involve natural resource professionals, the lessons hold true in a variety of public policy settings including public health, social services, and environmental protection, among others.Making Collaboration Work will be an invaluable source of ideas and inspiration for policy makers, managers and staff of government agencies and nongovernmental organizations, and community groups searching for more productive modes of interaction.
Drawing on case studies developed over a two-year period, 1987–1989, by Fellows in the Program in International Development Policy at Duke University, including experienced representatives from developing countries, the World Bank, and scholars, the authors integrate the growing interest in environmental protection and resource conservation into the existing body of knowledge about the political economy of developing countries. This book is about the links that tie resource use, environmental quality, and economic development, and the way in which those links are affected by the distribution of income and resource ownership. The links may be relatively simple, as in the case of peasant farmers too poor to conserve resources for the future and with nothing to gain from sound environmental practices. Or they may be very complex—as the authors find when they demonstrate how achievement of higher incomes by the rich can increase environmentally destructive behavior by the poor. Many of the links in some way involve rural land use, whether for agriculture or forestry. Natural Resource Policymaking in Developing Countries argues that the policies that matter are not merely those dealing with resources and the environment, but a much broader set that includes income distribution and asset ownership.
China’s westernmost province of Xinjiang has experienced escalating cycles of violence, interethnic strife, and state repression since the 1990s. In their search for the roots of these growing tensions, scholars have tended to focus on ethnic clashes and political disputes. In Natural Resources and the New Frontier, historian Judd C. Kinzley takes a different approach—one that works from the ground up to explore the infrastructural and material foundation of state power in the region.
As Kinzley argues, Xinjiang’s role in producing various natural resources for regional powers has been an important but largely overlooked factor in fueling unrest. He carefully traces the buildup to this unstable situation over the course of the twentieth century by focusing on the shifting priorities of Chinese, Soviet, and provincial officials regarding the production of various resources, including gold, furs, and oil among others. Through his archival work, Kinzley offers a new way of viewing Xinjiang that will shape the conversation about this important region and offer a model for understanding the development of other frontier zones in China as well as across the global south.
Nevada's relatively brief history (it became a state in 1864) has been largely a story of the exploitation of its natural resources. Mining has torn down mountains and poisoned streams and groundwater. Uncontrolled grazing by vast herds of sheep and cattle has denuded grasslands and left them prey to the invasion of noxious plant species and vulnerable to wildfire. Clear-cut logging practices have changed the composition of forests and induced serious soil erosion. More recently, military testing, including hundreds of atomic blasts to determine the efficacy of nuclear weapons, has irreversibly polluted expanses of fragile desert landscape. And rampant development throughout the state over the past four decades, along with the public's growing demand for recreational facilities, has placed intolerable demands on the arid state's limited water resources and threatened the survival of numerous rare plant and animal species. Veteran historian and Nevada native James W. Hulse considers the state's complex environmental history as a series of Faustian bargains between the state's need for economic development and the industries, government agencies, and individuals that have exploited Nevada's natural resources with little concern for the long-term consequences of their activities. His survey covers all these issues, and examines public attitudes about the environment and the role of federal and state agencies in creating, interpreting, and enforcing environmental policies.
This book explores the changes that are leading to a new century of natural resources management. It places the current situation in historical perspective, analyzes the forces that are propelling change, and describes and examines the specific changes in goals, policy, and practice that are transforming all aspects of natural resources management.The book is an important overview for wildlife biologists, foresters, and others working for public land agencies; professors and students of natural resources; and all those whose livelihood depends on the use of public natural resources.
According to Wikipedia: "A wicked problem is one that is impossible or difficult to solve because of incomplete, contradictory, and changing requirements that are often difficult to recognize. The term 'wicked' refers to such a problem's resistance to resolution, not to an evil nature. Classic examples of wicked problems include economic, environmental, and political issues.”
We now live in a world full of wicked problems, most of them urgent challenges calling out for creative, democratic, and effective solutions. Ed Weber, Denise Lach, and Brent Steele, of the Oregon State University School of Public Policy, solicited papers from a wide variety of accomplished scholars in the fields of science, politics, and policy with significant research experience to address this challenge. The resultant collection focuses on major contemporary environmental and natural resource policy issues, and proposes an assortment of alternative problem-solving methodologies to tackle such problems.
New Strategies for Wicked Problems will appeal to scholars, students, and decision-makers wrestling with wicked problems and “post-normal” science settings beyond simply environmental and natural resource-based issues. It will provide much needed guidance to policymakers, citizens, public managers, and various stakeholders who are struggling with wicked problems in their professional lives.
Ann C. Keller
Anna Pakenham Stevenson
Christopher M. Weible
Daniel R. Williams
North America’s Galapagos: The Historic Channel Islands Biological Survey recounts the story of a group of researchers, naturalists, adventurers, cooks, immigrants, and scientifically curious teenagers who came together in the late 1930s to embark upon a series of ambitious expeditions never before, or since, attempted. Their mission: to piece together the broken shards of the Channel Islands’ history and evolution. California’s eight Channel Islands, sometimes called “North America’s Galapagos,” each support unique ecosystems with varied flora and fauna and differing human histories. The thirty-three men and women who set out to explore the islands hoped to make numerous discoveries that would go down in history along with their names. More than eighty years ago, a lack of funds and dearth of qualified personnel dogged the pre-WWII expeditions, but it was only after America entered the war and the researchers were stranded on one of the islands that the survey was aborted, their work left for future scientists to complete.
This untold saga of adventure, discovery, and goals abandoned is juxtaposed against the fresh successes of a new generation of Channel Island scholars. Engagingly written, North America’s Galapagos illuminates the scientific process and reveals remarkable modern discoveries that are rewriting archaeological textbooks and unraveling the answer to the age-old question: how and when were the Americas populated?
Anyone interested in the work conducted behind closed museum doors will want to read this book—so will history buffs, environmentalists, scientists, and general readers curious about our world.
Whether profiling the chief of the last hunter-gatherers on the river, an early settler witnessing her first prairie fire and a modern wildlife biologist using fire to manage prairies, the manager of the Granger Farmer’s Co-op Creamery, or a landowner whose bottomlands are continually eaten away by floods, Faldet steadily develops the central idea that people are walking tributaries of the river basin in which they make their homes.
Faldet moves through the history of life along the now-polluted Upper Iowa, always focusing on the ways people depend on the river, the environment, and the resources of the region. He blends contemporary conversations, readings from the historical record, environmental research, and personal experience to show us that the health of the river is best guaranteed by maintaining the biological communities that nurture it. In return, taking care of the Upper Iowa is the best way to take care of our future.
In 2006, Resilience Thinking addressed an essential question: As the natural systems that sustain us are subjected to shock after shock, how much can they take and still deliver the services we need from them? This idea caught the attention of both the scientific community and the general public.
In Resilience Practice, authors Brian Walker and David Salt take the notion of resilience one step further, applying resilience thinking to real-world situations and exploring how systems can be managed to promote and sustain resilience.
The book begins with an overview and introduction to resilience thinking and then takes the reader through the process of describing systems, assessing their resilience, and intervening as appropriate. Following each chapter is a case study of a different type of social-ecological system and how resilience makes a difference to that system in practice. The final chapters explore resilience in other arenas, including on a global scale.
Resilience Practice will help people with an interest in the “coping capacity” of systems—from farms and catchments to regions and nations—to better understand how resilience thinking can be put into practice. It offers an easy-to-read but scientifically robust guide through the real-world application of the concept of resilience and is a must read for anyone concerned with the management of systems at any scale.
Increasingly, cracks are appearing in the capacity of communities, ecosystems, and landscapes to provide the goods and services that sustain our planet's well-being. The response from most quarters has been for "more of the same" that created the situation in the first place: more control, more intensification, and greater efficiency. "Resilience thinking" offers a different way of understanding the world and a new approach to managing resources. It embraces human and natural systems as complex entities continually adapting through cycles of change, and seeks to understand the qualities of a system that must be maintained or enhanced in order to achieve sustainability. It explains why greater efficiency by itself cannot solve resource problems and offers a constructive alternative that opens up options rather than closing them down. In Resilience Thinking, scientist Brian Walker and science writer David Salt present an accessible introduction to the emerging paradigm of resilience. The book arose out of appeals from colleagues in science and industry for a plainly written account of what resilience is all about and how a resilience approach differs from current practices. Rather than complicated theory, the book offers a conceptual overview along with five case studies of resilience thinking in the real world. It is an engaging and important work for anyone interested in managing risk in a complex world.
Natural resource extraction has fueled protest movements in Latin America and existing research has drawn considerable scholarly attention to the politics of antimarket contention at the national level, particularly in Ecuador, Bolivia, and Argentina. Despite its residents reporting the third-highest level of protest participation in the region, Peru has been largely ignored in these discussions.
In this groundbreaking study, Moisés Arce exposes a longstanding climate of popular contention in Peru. Looking beneath the surface to the subnational, regional, and local level as inception points, he rigorously dissects the political conditions that set the stage for protest. Focusing on natural resource extraction and its key role in the political economy of Peru and other developing countries, Arce reveals a wide disparity in the incidence, forms, and consequences of collective action.
Through empirical analysis of protest events over thirty-one years, extensive personal interviews with policymakers and societal actors, and individual case studies of major protest episodes, Arce follows the ebb and flow of Peruvian protests over time and space to show the territorial unevenness of democracy, resource extraction, and antimarket contentions. Employing political process theory, Arce builds an interactive framework that views the moderating role of democracy, the quality of institutional representation as embodied in political parties, and most critically, the level of political party competition as determinants in the variation of protest and subsequent government response. Overall, he finds that both the fluidity and fragmentation of political parties at the subnational level impair the mechanisms of accountability and responsiveness often attributed to party competition. Thus, as political fragmentation increases, political opportunities expand, and contention rises. These dynamics in turn shape the long-term development of the state.
Resource Extraction and Protest in Peru will inform students and scholars of globalization, market transitions, political science, contentious politics and Latin America generally, as a comparative analysis relating natural resource extraction to democratic processes both regionally and internationally.
How can environmental degradation be stopped? How can it be reversed? And how can the damage already done be repaired? The authors of this volume argue that a two-pronged approach is needed: reducing demand for ecosystem goods and services and better management of them, coupled with an increase in supply through environmental restoration.
Restoring Natural Capital brings together economists and ecologists, theoreticians, practitioners, policy makers, and scientists from the developed and developing worlds to consider the costs and benefits of repairing ecosystem goods and services in natural and socioecological systems. It examines the business and practice of restoring natural capital, and seeks to establish common ground between economists and ecologists with respect to the restoration of degraded ecosystems and landscapes and the still broader task of restoring natural capital. The book focuses on developing strategies that can achieve the best outcomes in the shortest amount of time as it:
• considers conceptual and theoretical issues from both an economic
and ecological perspective
• examines specific strategies to foster the restoration of natural
capital and offers a synthesis and a vision of the way forward
Nineteen case studies from around the world illustrate challenges and achievements in setting targets, refining approaches to finding and implementing restoration projects, and using restoration of natural capital as an economic opportunity. Throughout, contributors make the case that the restoration of natural capital requires close collaboration among scientists from across disciplines as well as local people, and when successfully executed represents a practical, realistic, and essential tool for achieving lasting sustainable development.
Our national parks are more than mere recreational destinations. They are repositories of the nation's biological diversity and contain some of the last ecosystem remnants needed as standards to set reasonable goals for sustainable development throughout the land. Nevertheless, public pressure for recreation has largely precluded adequate research and resource monitoring in national parks, and ignorance of ecosystem structure and function in parks has led to costly mistakes--such as predator control and fire suppression--that continue to threaten parks today. This volume demonstrates the value of ecological knowledge in protecting parks and shows how modest investments in knowledge of park ecosystems can pay handsome dividends. Science and Ecosystem Management in the National Parks presents twelve case studies of long-term research conducted in and around national parks that address major natural resource issues. These cases demonstrate how the use of longer time scales strongly influence our understanding of ecosystems and how interpretations of short-term patterns in nature often change when viewed in the context of long-term data sets. Most importantly, they show conclusively that scientific research significantly reduces uncertainty and improves resource management decisions. Chosen by scientists and senior park managers, the cases offer a broad range of topics, including: air quality at Grand Canyon; interaction between moose and wolf populations on Isle Royale; control of exotic species in Hawaiian parks; simulation of natural fire in the parks of the Sierra Nevada; and the impact of urban expansion on Saguaro National Monument. Because national parks are increasingly beset with conflicting views of their management, the need for knowledge of park ecosystems becomes even more critical--not only for the parks themselves, but for what they can tell us about survival in the rest of our world. This book demonstrates to policymakers and managers that decisions based on knowledge of ecosystems are more enduring and cost effective than decisions derived from uninformed consensus. It also provides scientists with models for designing research to meet threats to our most precious natural resources. "If we can learn to save the parks," observe Halvorson and Davis, "perhaps we can learn to save the world."
Contents I. Introduction
1. Natural Resources Management in U.S. National Parks: Evolving from Belief to Science
2. Management in National Parks: from Scenery to Science II. Long-term Versus Short-term Views
3. Fire Research and Management in the Sierra Nevada National Parks
4. Yellowstone Lake and Its Cutthroat Trout
5. Moose and Wolf Populations on Isle Royale National Park
6. Saguaro Cactus Dynamics
7. Alien Species in Hawaiian National Parks III. No Park Is an Island
8. Water Rights and Devil's Hole Pupfish at Death Valley National Monument
9. Urban Encroachment at Saguaro National Monument
10. Karst Hydrological Research at Mammoth Cave National Park
11. Air Quality in Grand Canyon
IV. Protection Versus Use
12. Rare Plant Monitoring at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore
13. Wilderness Research and Management in the Sierra Nevada National Parks
14. River Management at Ozark National Scenic Riverways
V. Summary and Analysis
15. Summary of Long-term Research Applied to Major Resource Issues in U.S. National Parks
16. Lessons Learned from a Century of Applying Research Results to Management of National Parks
Russia is a huge storehouse of natural resources, including oil, gas, and other energy sources, which she can trade with the rest of the world for advanced technology and wheat. In this book, leading experts evaluate the Soviet potential in major energy and industrial raw materials, giving special attention to implications for the world economy to the end of the twentieth century.
The authors examine the mineral and forest resources that the Soviet Union has developed and may yet develop to provide exports during the 1980s. They discuss the regional dimension of these resources, especially in Siberia and the Soviet Far East; individual mineral raw materials, such as petroleum, natural gas, timber, iron ore, manganese, and gold; and finally the role of raw materials in Soviet foreign trade.
The authors, representing the United States, Canada, and Great Britain, are primarily geographers, but they include economists, political scientists, and a geologist. Their work is based on primary sources (for most of these reports, current information is no longer being released to researchers) and on interviews with Soviet officials.
Stewardship Across Boundaries
Edited by Richard L. Knight and Peter B. Landres Island Press, 1998 Library of Congress HD205.S74 1998 | Dewey Decimal 333.730973
Every piece of land, no matter how remote or untrammeled, has a boundary. While sometimes boundary lines follow topographic or biological features, more often they follow the straight lines of political dictate and compromise. Administrative boundaries nearly always fragment a landscape, resulting in loss of species that must disperse or migrate across borders, increased likelihood of threats such as alien species or pollutants, and disruption of natural processes such as fire. Despite the importance and ubiquity of boundary issues, remarkably little has been written on the subject.Stewardship Across Boundaries fills that gap in the literature, addressing the complex biological and socioeconomic impacts of both public and private land boundaries in the United States. With contributions from natural resource managers, historians, environmentalists, political scientists, and legal scholars, the book:develops a framework for understanding administrative boundaries and their effects on the land and on human behavior examines issues related to different types of boundaries -- wilderness, commodity, recreation, private-public presents a series of case studies illustrating the efforts of those who have cooperated to promote stewardship across boundaries synthesizes the broad complexity of boundary-related issues and offers an integrated strategy for achieving regional stewardshi.Stewardship Across Boundaries should spur open discussion among students, scientists, managers, and activists on this important topic. It demonstrates how legal, social, and ecological conditions interact in causing boundary impacts and why those factors must be integrated to improve land management. It also discusses research needs and will help facilitate critical thinking within the scientific community that could result in new strategies for managing boundaries and their impacts.
Lake Superior has been known by many names through the centuries, from Kitchi Gami to le lac superieur, but the lake itself remains the same expansive and inspiring body of water. Here, Thomas F. Waters explores the natural and human history of the Superior basin.
From the trout and salmon swimming in its icy depths to the red and white pines towering overhead, Lake Superior has an ancient past. As Waters depicts the geology of the region, he traces the development of the rugged shoreline from Duluth to Thunder Bay to Sault Ste. Marie. The Superior North Shore also vividly describes the human history lived out in this sometimes harsh, always spectacular natural setting, from the earliest Native Americans to the voyageurs to the modern fishing industry.
Charmingly illustrated by Carol Yonker Waters, this volume conveys to the reader an intimacy with the legends of Lake Superior, as well as a sense of the grandeur behind this unique and vital ecological system.
"Waters's vivid prose transports you from the volcanic origins of the Superior Basin, to the Ojibwe Kitchi Gami (the "great lake"), to the wild, daunting days of exploration and exploitation of the area's natural resources, primarily fur and fish." Imprint
"Thomas F. Waters gives a detailed account of the region's land and waters, resources, and human settlement. His description of the series of frontiers--the fishermen's frontier, the mining frontier, the lumbering frontier, and the development of recreation--admirably combines human and natural history." Journal of Forest History
Thomas F. Waters is a professor emeritus of the University of Minnesota. He is also the author of Streams and Rivers of Minnesota (1998).
Broadening our understanding of what constitutes "realism," Nicolas Witschi artfully demonstrates the linkage of American literary realism to the texts, myths, and resources of the American West.
From Gold Rush romances to cowboy Westerns, from hard-boiled detective thrillers to nature writing, the American West has long been known mainly through hackneyed representations in popular genres. But a close look at the literary history of the West reveals a number of writers who claim that their works represent the "real" West. As Nicolas Witschi shows, writers as varied as Bret Harte, John Muir, Frank Norris, Mary Austin, and Raymond Chandler have used claims of textual realism to engage, replicate, or challenge commonly held assumptions about the West, while historically acknowledged realists like William Dean Howells and Mark Twain have often relied on genre-derived impressions about the region.
The familiar association of the West with nature and the "great outdoors" implies that life in the West affords an unambiguous relationship with an unalloyed, non-human, real nature. But through a combination of textual scholarship, genre criticism, and materialist cultural studies, Witschi complicates this notion of wide open spaces and unfettered opportunity. The West has been the primary source of raw materials for American industrial and economic expansion, especially between the California Gold Rush and World War II, and Witschi argues that the writers he examines exist within the intersections of cultural and material modes of production. Realistic depictions of Western nature, he concludes, must rely on the representation of the extraction of material resources like minerals, water, and oil.
With its forays into ecocriticism and cultural studies, Traces of Gold will appeal to students and scholars of American literature, American studies, and western history.
This book identifies a major problem facing developing nations and the countries and sources that fund them: the lack of attention and/or effective strategies available to prevent farmers in underdeveloped and poorly endowed regions from sinking still deeper into poverty while avoiding further degradation of marginal environments. The contributors propose an alliance of scientific knowledge with native skill as the best way to proceed, arguing that folk systems can often provide effective management solutions that are not only locally effective, but which may have the potential for spatial diffusion. While this has been said before, the volume makes one of the best articulated statements of how to implement such an approach.
The most acute water crises occur in everyday contexts in impoverished rural and urban areas across the Global South. While they rarely make headlines, these crises, characterized by inequitable access to sufficient and clean water, affect over one billion people globally. What is less known, though, is that millions of these same global citizens are at the forefront of responding to the challenges of water privatization, climate change, deforestation, mega-hydraulic projects, and other threats to accessing water as a critical resource.
In Transforming Rural Water Governance Sarah T. Romano explains the bottom-up development and political impact of community-based water and sanitation committees (CAPS) in Nicaragua. Romano traces the evolution of CAPS from rural resource management associations into a national political force through grassroots organizing and strategic alliances.
Resource management and service provision is inherently political: charging residents fees for service, determining rules for household water shutoffs and reconnections, and negotiating access to water sources with local property owners constitute just a few of the highly political endeavors resource management associations like CAPS undertake as part of their day-to-day work in their communities. Yet, for decades in Nicaragua, this local work did not reflect political activism. In the mid-2000s CAPS’ collective push for social change propelled them onto a national stage and into new roles as they demanded recognition from the government.
Romano argues that the transformation of Nicaragua’s CAPS into political actors is a promising example of the pursuit of sustainable and equitable water governance, particularly in Latin America. Transforming Rural Water Governance demonstrates that when activism informs public policy processes, the outcome is more inclusive governance and the potential for greater social and environmental justice.
For 150 years, the American West has been shaped by persistent conflicts over natural resources. This has given rise to a succession of strategies for resolving disputes-prior appropriation, scientific management, public participation, citizen ballot initiatives, public interest litigation, devolution, and interest-based negotiation. All of these strategies are still in play, yet the West remains mired in gridlock. In fact, these strategies are themselves a source of conflict. The Western Confluence is designed to help us navigate through the gridlock by reframing natural resource disputes and the strategies for resolving them. In it, authors Matthew McKinney and William Harmon trace the principles of natural resource governance across the history of western settlement and reveal how they have met at the beginning of the twenty-first century to create a turbid, often contentious confluence of laws, regulations, and policies. They also offer practical suggestions for resolving current and future disputes. Ultimately, Matthew McKinney and William Harmon argue, fully integrating the values of interest-based negotiation into the briar patch of existing public decision making strategies is the best way to foster livable communities, vibrant economies, and healthy landscapes in the West. Relying on the authors' first-hand experience and compelling case studies, The Western Confluence offers useful information and insight for anyone involved with public decision making, as well as for professionals, faculty, and students in natural resource management and environmental studies, conflict management, environmental management, and environmental policy.
Thomas Sheridan's study of the municipio of Cucurpe, Sonora, offers new insight into the ability of peasants to respond to ecological and political change. In order to survive as small rancher-farmers, the Cucurpeños battle aridity and one another in a society characterized by sharp economic inequality and long-standing conflict over the distribution of land and water. Sheridan has written an ethnography of resource control, one that weds the approaches of political economy and cultural ecology in order to focus upon both the external linkages and internal adaptations that shape three peasant corporate communities. He examines the ecological and economic constraints which scarce and necessary resources place upon households in Cucurpe, and then investigates why many such households have formed corporate communities to insure their access to resources beyond their control. Finally, he identifies the class differences that exist within the corporate communities as well as between members of those organizations and the private ranchers who surround them. Where the Dove Calls (the meaning of "Cucurpe" in the language of the Opata Indians), an important contribution to peasant studies, reveals the household as the basic unit of Cucurpe society. By viewing Cucurpe's corporate communities as organizations of fiercely independent domestic units rather than as expressions of communal solidarity, Sheridan shows that peasants are among the exploiters as well as the exploited. Cucurpe¤os struggle to maintain the autonomy of their households even as they join together to protect corporate grazing lands and irrigation water. Any attempt to weaken or destroy that independence is met with opposition that ranges from passive resistance to violence.
Americans are having an increasing impact on the rural landscape as development further encroaches in former wilderness areas. This disruptive land use is causing a decline in wildlife and wildlife habitats. Wildlife and Habitats in Managed Landscapes presents a new strategy for solving this problem by redefining habitats to include the concept of landscape. Employing this strategy, natural resource managers apply tools of planning, management, and design to entire landscapes to meet the needs of both wildlife and humans.