By Bruce Babbitt
In this impressive, gracefully written, and demanding new booklet, former Secretary of the internal and Governor of Arizona Bruce Babbitt brings clean thought--and clean air--to questions of the way we will construct a destiny we wish to dwell in.
We've all skilled America's altering usual panorama because the integrity of our forests, seacoasts, and river valleys succumbs to strip department shops, new roads, and subdivisions. Too frequently, we suppose that after land is constructed it really is perpetually misplaced to the traditional world--or desire patchwork of neighborhood conservation innovations can someway delay opposed to additional large-scale development.
In Cities within the Wilderness, Bruce Babbitt makes the case for why we want a countrywide imaginative and prescient of land use. We can have an area software, he issues out, yet right here at domestic we do not have an open-space coverage which can stability the desires for human payment and neighborhood with these for upkeep of the wildlife upon which existence relies. but this sort of stability, the writer demonstrates, is as remarkably feasible because it is important. this is often no demand constructing a brand new federal forms; Babbitt exhibits as an alternative how a lot can be--and has been--done by means of making considerate and valuable use of legislation and associations already in place.
A hallmark of the booklet is the author's skill to check creative imaginative and prescient with functional knowing. Babbitt attracts on his broad event to take us behind the curtain negotiating the Florida Everglades recovery venture, the most important ever approved through Congress. In California, we find how the Endangered Species Act, nonetheless essentially 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 could be used to assist restoration Iowa's farmlands and rivers. As a key architect of many environmental luck tales, Babbitt unearths how wide recovery tasks have thrived via federal- nation partnership and the way their ideas 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 approach, Babbitt supplies us clean perception. during this inspiring and informative ebook, Babbitt units his lens to panoramic--and deals a imaginative and prescient of land use as grand because the country's usual heritage.
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Extra info for Cities in the Wilderness: A New Vision of Land Use in America
The source of the problem was not even in the park; it originated a hundred miles upstream, far outside park boundaries. The Everglades is a vast wetland, so shallow and so ﬂat that it resembles a tallgrass prairie. But it is in fact a river, a very wide stream of very slow-moving water that was once connected to Lake Okeechobee, a huge inland lake a hundred miles to the north that in turn is fed by the Kissimmee River, which originates in a string of shallow central Florida lakes. The sheet ﬂows of water that sustained the lands within the park originally ebbed and ﬂowed in a seasonal cycle fed by summer rains and by the waters stored in Lake Okeechobee and on the land itself.
By remaining in the background, proceeding under the cover of a military organization, and asking for just a modest appropriation for yet another study, we had managed to begin work on a new vision of land management without attracting undue attention or overt opposition. And I was beginning to appreciate the value of this new partner: the Corps had credibility among conservatives most likely to be suspicious of anything that smacked of environmentalism. We had a foot in the door and now had ﬁve years in which to shepherd the study along, all the while explaining the project to the local and national press and otherwise attempting to transform Everglades restoration into a visible national priority.
The sugar industry, sourly reconciled to settlement as the better alternative to the risks of continued litigation, reluctantly lobbied for our proposal. The legislature, astonished by longtime adversaries in at least temporary agreement, in Ch01 (13-54) 7/8/05 36 K 11:45 AM Page 36 CITIES IN THE WILDERNESS the spring of 1994 passed the Everglades Forever Act, setting mandatory water-quality standards, apportioning costs, and establishing a compliance deadline of 2006. Within a year of construction, the cattail swamps had vindicated our approach.
Cities in the Wilderness: A New Vision of Land Use in America by Bruce Babbitt