By Bruce Babbitt
In this tremendous, gracefully written, and significant new publication, former Secretary of the inner and Governor of Arizona Bruce Babbitt brings clean thought--and clean air--to questions of the way we will construct a destiny we wish to stay in.
We've all skilled America's altering normal panorama because the integrity of our forests, seacoasts, and river valleys succumbs to strip shops, new roads, and subdivisions. Too frequently, we think that once land is constructed it really is ceaselessly misplaced to the normal world--or desire patchwork of neighborhood conservation recommendations can in some way delay opposed to extra 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 application, he issues out, yet right here at domestic we do not have an open-space coverage that could stability the wishes for human cost and group with these for renovation of the wildlife upon which lifestyles relies. but one of these stability, the writer demonstrates, is as remarkably available because it is critical. this is often no demand constructing a brand new federal paperwork; Babbitt exhibits as an alternative how a lot can be--and has been--done by way of making considerate and worthwhile use of legislation and associations already in place.
A hallmark of the booklet is the author's skill to compare imaginitive imaginative and prescient with sensible knowing. Babbitt attracts on his large event to take us behind the curtain negotiating the Florida Everglades recovery undertaking, the most important ever licensed by means of Congress. In California, we find how the Endangered Species Act, nonetheless probably the most powerful legislation governing land use, has been hired to revive neighborhood habitat. within the Midwest, we see how new global alternate association rules can be used to assist repair Iowa's farmlands and rivers. As a key architect of many environmental good fortune tales, Babbitt finds how large recovery initiatives 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 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 normal heritage.
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Extra info for Cities in the Wilderness: A New Vision of Land Use in America
Park planners concentrated their gaze and their pencils on the land, not the water, and they assumed that a million acres —about the size of a big western national park like Grand Canyon or Yosemite — would be sufﬁcient to preserve the character of the region and its wildlife. It was becoming increasingly clear by the 1990s that those assumptions were wrong. The notion that the Everglades could function as an isolated remnant of the original ecosystem was mistaken. The national park, located at the terminus of the watershed, where the waters discharge into Florida Bay, is dependent upon upstream waters ﬂowing south from the Lake Okeechobee region.
The conﬂict with the sugar growers had begun more than a decade before my arrival in Washington. In the 1980s naturalists noticed an unusual change in the wetlands downstream of the sugar plantations: the normal dun-colored saw grass bordering the drainage canals was being replaced by brilliant green thickets that resembled the upstream ﬁelds of sugarcane. Wherever the irrigation drainage ﬂowed, the green streaks followed. This new crop was not sugarcane, however, but common cattails, spreading in dense stands and driving out the saw grass, water lilies, and other plants endemic to the natural, low-nutrient waters of the Everglades.
The fate of the Homestead Air Force Base had still not been resolved, although from all appearances the Air Force was still on track to hand it over to the Cuban American jetport developers. Environmentalists, however, had not forgotten the Homestead deal making that took place back in 1993 in the wake of Hurricane Andrew. They now saw their own political opportunity and demanded that candidate Gore publicly declare his intention to kill the project. Gore was in a tough spot. The Cuban community was still seething over Janet Reno’s decision to send Elian Gonzalez, the eight-year-old boat refugee rescued from the Atlantic, back into the outstretched arms of Fidel Castro.