By Bruce Babbitt

In this very good, gracefully written, and significant new booklet, 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 typical panorama because the integrity of our forests, seacoasts, and river valleys succumbs to strip department shops, new roads, and subdivisions. Too frequently, we imagine that once land is built it's without end misplaced to the normal world--or wish patchwork of neighborhood conservation options can by some means delay opposed to additional 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 the following at domestic we do not have an open-space coverage that could stability the desires for human payment and group with these for renovation of the wildlife upon which lifestyles relies. but the sort of stability, the writer demonstrates, is as remarkably achieveable because it is critical. this is often no demand constructing a brand new federal paperwork; Babbitt exhibits as a substitute how a lot can be--and has been--done through making considerate and necessary use of legislation and associations already in place.

A hallmark of the e-book is the author's skill to compare innovative imaginative and prescient with useful figuring out. Babbitt attracts on his vast event to take us backstage negotiating the Florida Everglades recovery venture, the biggest ever licensed via Congress. In California, we find how the Endangered Species Act, nonetheless some of the most powerful legislation governing land use, has been hired to revive nearby habitat. within the Midwest, we see how new global exchange association laws will be used to aid repair Iowa's farmlands and rivers. As a key architect of many environmental luck tales, Babbitt unearths how extensive recovery tasks have thrived via federal- kingdom partnership and the way their rules might 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 technique, Babbitt offers us clean perception. during this inspiring and informative publication, Babbitt units his lens to panoramic--and deals a imaginative and prescient of land use as grand because the country's common heritage.

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Extra resources for Cities in the Wilderness: A New Vision of Land Use in America

Sample text

Environmentalists considered the Corps an agency beyond redemption, guilty of destroying more than 90 percent of the wetlands in the contiguous forty-eight states through its relentless advocacy of dredging, drainage, and dambuilding projects. Their idea of interagency collaboration was to abolish the Corps and distribute its functions to the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of the Interior, and to other government agencies more sensitive to the environment. I also acknowledged the risks to the Corps of a partnership with a secretary, already considered too aggressive by some in Congress, in something as new and untested as the restoration of an entire ecosystem.

Staking our restoration hopes on persuading Congress to end subsidies and thereby drive sugar out of the Everglades was no more practicable than continuing to litigate in the courts. It was time to bargain. I invited Alfie Fanjul, the designated Democrat, to meet. We began by exchanging well-rehearsed, oftrepeated positions. Phosphorous, he explained, “is an essential element for all plant life. The Everglades is phosphorus-deficient. ” I countered by explaining that low phosphorous was precisely what made the Everglades such a distinctive landscape; the unique forms of plant life had evolved in response to the ultralow phosphorus content in the natural waters of the region.

It could be, I suggested, a risky venture for both of us. Environmentalists considered the Corps an agency beyond redemption, guilty of destroying more than 90 percent of the wetlands in the contiguous forty-eight states through its relentless advocacy of dredging, drainage, and dambuilding projects. Their idea of interagency collaboration was to abolish the Corps and distribute its functions to the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of the Interior, and to other government agencies more sensitive to the environment.

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