Restoring Colorado River Ecosystems

Author: Robert W. Adler
Publisher: Island Press
ISBN: 9781597267786
Size: 49.35 MB
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Over the past century, humans have molded the Colorado River to serve their own needs, resulting in significant impacts to the river and its ecosystems. Today, many scientists, public officials, and citizens hope to restore some of the lost resources in portions of the river and its surrounding lands. Environmental restoration on the scale of the Colorado River basin is immensely challenging; in addition to an almost overwhelming array of technical difficulties, it is fraught with perplexing questions about the appropriate goals of restoration and the extent to which environmental restoration must be balanced against environmental changes designed to promote and sustain human economic development. Restoring Colorado River Ecosystems explores the many questions and challenges surrounding the issue of large-scale restoration of the Colorado River basin, and of large-scale restoration in general. Robert W. Adler evaluates the relationships among the laws, policies, and institutions governing use and management of the Colorado River for human benefit and those designed to protect and restore the river and its environment. He examines and critiques the often challenging interactions among law, science, economics, and politics within which restoration efforts must operate. Ultimately, he suggests that a broad concept of “restoration” is needed to navigate those uncertain waters, and to strike an appropriate balance between human and environmental needs. While the book is primarily about restoration of Colorado River ecosystems, it is also about uncertainty, conflict, competing values, and the nature, pace, and implications of environmental change. It is about our place in the natural environment, and whether there are limits to that presence we ought to respect. And it is about our responsibility to the ecosystems we live in and use.

To Conserve Unimpaired

Author: Robert B. Keiter
Publisher: Island Press
ISBN: 1610912160
Size: 39.50 MB
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When the national park system was first established in 1916, the goal "to conserve unimpaired" seemed straightforward. But Robert Keiter argues that parks have always served a variety of competing purposes, from wildlife protection and scientific discovery to tourism and commercial development. In this trenchant analysis, he explains how parks must be managed more effectively to meet increasing demands in the face of climate, environmental, and demographic changes. Taking a topical approach, Keiter traces the history of the national park idea from its inception to its uncertain future. Thematic chapters explore our changing conceptions of the parks as wilderness sanctuaries, playgrounds, educational facilities, and more. He also examines key controversies that have shaped the parks and our perception of them. Ultimately, Keiter demonstrates that parks cannot be treated as special islands, but must be managed as the critical cores of larger ecosystems. Only when the National Park Service works with surrounding areas can the parks meet critical habitat, large-scale connectivity, clean air and water needs, and also provide sanctuaries where people can experience nature. Today's mandate must remain to conserve unimpaired—but Keiter shows how the national park idea can and must go much farther. Professionals, students, and scholars with an interest in environmental history, national parks, and federal land management, as well as scientists and managers working on adaptation to climate change should find the book useful and inspiring.

Smarter Growth

Author: John H. Spiers
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
ISBN: 0812250249
Size: 24.38 MB
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Suburban sprawl has been the prevailing feature—and double-edged sword—of metropolitan America's growth and development since 1945. The construction of homes, businesses, and highways that were signs of the nation's economic prosperity also eroded the presence of agriculture and polluted the environment. This in turn provoked fierce activism from an array of local, state, and national environmental groups seeking to influence planning and policy. Many places can lay claim to these twin legacies of sprawl and the attendant efforts to curb its impact, but, according to John H. Spiers, metropolitan Washington, D.C., in particular, laid the foundations for a smart growth movement that blossomed in the late twentieth century. In Smarter Growth, Spiers argues that civic and social activists played a key role in pushing state and local officials to address the environmental and fiscal costs of growth. Drawing on case studies including the Potomac River's cleanup, local development projects, and agricultural preservation, he identifies two periods of heightened environmental consciousness in the early to mid-1970s and the late 1990s that resulted in stronger development regulations and land preservation across much of metropolitan Washington. Smarter Growth offers a fresh understanding of environmental politics in metropolitan America, giving careful attention to the differences between rural, suburban, and urban communities and demonstrating how public officials and their constituents engaged in an ongoing dialogue that positioned environmental protection as an increasingly important facet of metropolitan development over the past four decades. It reveals that federal policies were only one part of a larger decision-making process—and not always for the benefit of the environment. Finally, it underscores the continued importance of grassroots activists for pursuing growth that is environmentally, fiscally, and socially equitable—in a word, smarter.

Environmental Law

Author: David M. Driesen
Publisher: Wolters Kluwer Law & Business
ISBN: 1454874848
Size: 15.21 MB
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Environmental Law: A Conceptual and Pragmatic Approach, 3E organizes its presentation of environmental law around key concepts rather than around statutes, an approach that provides coherence to the study of Environmental Law. In addition, it also orients students in a way that will allow them to become effective practitioners, well acquainted with the central recurring problems in the field. Though the book focuses primarily on pollution control law, it does include a chapter on environmental restoration as well as some treatment of NEPA and the ESA. The book s numerous problems involving global climate disruption give students the opportunity to practice applying the book s concepts and particular statutory provisions to the most important contemporary issue, while allowing them to understand how a single scientific problem can implicate numerous statutes.

Contested Waters

Author: April R. Summit
Publisher: University Press of Colorado
ISBN: 145717393X
Size: 15.88 MB
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"To fully understand this river and its past, one must examine many separate pieces of history scattered throughout two nations--seven states within the United States and two within Mexico--and sort through a large amount of scientific data. One needs to be part hydrologist, geologist, economist, sociologist, anthropologist, and historian to fully understand the entire story. Despite this river's narrow size and meager flow, its tale is very large indeed." —From the conclusion The Colorado River is a vital resource to urban and agricultural communities across the Southwest, providing water to 30 million people. Contested Waters tells the river's story-a story of conquest, control, division, and depletion. Beginning in prehistory and continuing into the present day, Contested Waters focuses on three important and often overlooked aspects of the river's use: the role of western water law in its over-allocation, the complexity of power relationships surrounding the river, and the concept of sustainable use and how it has been either ignored or applied in recent times. It is organized in two parts, the first addresses the chronological history of the river and long-term issues, while the second examines in more detail four specific topics: metropolitan perceptions, American Indian water rights, US-Mexico relations over the river, and water marketing issues. Creating a complete picture of the evolution of this crucial yet over-utilized resource, this comprehensive summary will fascinate anyone interested in the Colorado River or the environmental history of the Southwest.

Dreaming Of Sheep In Navajo Country

Author: Marsha Weisiger
Publisher: University of Washington Press
ISBN: 0295803193
Size: 34.15 MB
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Dreaming of Sheep in Navajo Country offers a fresh interpretation of the history of Navajo (Din�) pastoralism. The dramatic reduction of livestock on the Navajo Reservation in the 1930s -- when hundreds of thousands of sheep, goats, and horses were killed -- was an ambitious attempt by the federal government to eliminate overgrazing on an arid landscape and to better the lives of the people who lived there. Instead, the policy was a disaster, resulting in the loss of livelihood for Navajos -- especially women, the primary owners and tenders of the animals -- without significant improvement of the grazing lands. Livestock on the reservation increased exponentially after the late 1860s as more and more people and animals, hemmed in on all sides by Anglo and Hispanic ranchers, tried to feed themselves on an increasingly barren landscape. At the beginning of the twentieth century, grazing lands were showing signs of distress. As soil conditions worsened, weeds unpalatable for livestock pushed out nutritious native grasses, until by the 1930s federal officials believed conditions had reached a critical point. Well-intentioned New Dealers made serious errors in anticipating the human and environmental consequences of removing or killing tens of thousands of animals. Environmental historian Marsha Weisiger examines the factors that led to the poor condition of the range and explains how the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Navajos, and climate change contributed to it. Using archival sources and oral accounts, she describes the importance of land and stock animals in Navajo culture. By positioning women at the center of the story, she demonstrates the place they hold as significant actors in Native American and environmental history. Dreaming of Sheep in Navajo Country is a compelling and important story that looks at the people and conditions that contributed to a botched policy whose legacy is still felt by the Navajos and their lands today.

Smart Growth And Climate Change

Author: Matthias Ruth
Publisher: Edward Elgar Publishing
ISBN: 9781781956564
Size: 20.78 MB
Format: PDF
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'The consensus on global warming and its effects are now almost unanimous. Even those politicians with serious denial issues are converting. That said, the question becomes: How well does this book deal with urban sprawl and climate change? Professor Ruth is a master at organizing thought (and of creative thought... but an editor most needs the former). He has pulled together a very impressive list of experts from good institutions and organized their contributions to this subject in a meaningful, useful way. I think the coverage of the issue is both very competent and complete.' - Bruce Hannon, University of Illinois, Urbana, US This innovative volume systematically brings together two strands of applied research that, to date, have been carried out separately - 'smart growth' research and climate change adaptability research. By providing theory, models, and case studies from North America, Oceania and Europe, the book creates synergies between the two strands, reconciles differences, and provides insights for decision-makers at national and local levels.

The Clean Water Act 20 Years Later

Author: Robert W. Adler
Publisher: Island Press
ISBN: 1559632666
Size: 18.69 MB
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This volume explores the issues associated with the complex subject of water quality protection in an assessment of the successes and failures of the Clean Water Act over the past twenty years. In addition to examining traditional indicators of water quality, the authors consider how health concerns of the public have been addressed, and present a detailed examination of the ecological health of our waters. Taken together, these measures present a far more complete and balanced picture than raw water quality data alone. As well as reviewing past effectiveness, the book includes specific recommendations for the reauthorization of the Act, which is to be considered by Congress in 1995. This balanced and insightful account will surely shape the debate among legislative and policy experts and citizen activists at all levels who are concerned with issues of water quality.

Drought And Aquatic Ecosystems

Author: P. Sam Lake
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 1444341790
Size: 43.42 MB
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Droughts are a major hazard to both natural and human-dominated environments and those, especially of long duration and high intensity, can be highly damaging and leave long-lasting effects. This book describes the climatic conditions that give rise to droughts, and their various forms and chief attributes. Past droughts are described including those that had severe impacts on human societies. As a disturbance, droughts can be thought of as “ramps” in that they usually build slowly and take time to become evident. As precipitation is reduced, flows from catchments into aquatic systems decline. As water declines in water bodies, ecological processes are changed and the biota can be drastically reduced, though species and populations may survive by using refuges. Recovery from drought varies in both rates and in degrees of completeness and may be a function of both refuge availability and connectivity. For the first time, this book reviews the available rather scattered literature on the impacts of drought on the flora, fauna and ecological processes of aquatic ecosystems ranging from small ponds to lakes and from streams to estuaries. The effects of drought on the biota of standing waters and flowing waters and of temporary waters and perennial systems are described and compared. In addition, the ways in which human activity can exacerbate droughts are outlined. In many parts of the world especially in the mid latitudes, global warming may result in increases in the duration and intensity of droughts. Drought and Aquatic Ecosystems is essential reading for freshwater ecologists, water resource managers and advanced students.

The Eye Of The Crocodile

Author: Val Plumwood
Publisher: ANU E Press
ISBN: 1922144177
Size: 71.55 MB
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Val Plumwood was an eminent environmental philosopher and activist who was prominent in the development of radical ecophilosophy from the early 1970s until her death in 2008. Her book Feminism and the Mastery of Nature (1992) has become a classic. In 1985 she was attacked by a crocodile while kayaking alone in the Kakadu national park in the Northern Territory. She was death rolled three times before being released from the crocodile’s jaws. She crawled for hours through swamp with appalling injuries before being rescued. The experience made her well placed to write about cultural responses to death and predation. The first section of The Eye of the Crocodile consists of chapters intended for a book on crocodiles that remained unfinished at the time of Val’s death. The remaining chapters are previously published papers brought together to form an overview of Val’s ideas on death, predation and nature.