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America's Public Lands: From Yellowstone to Smokey Bear and by Randall K. Wilson PDF

By Randall K. Wilson

ISBN-10: 1442207973

ISBN-13: 9781442207974

How is it that the United States—the kingdom that cherishes the fitting of personal estate greater than the other within the world—has selected to put aside approximately one-third of its territory as public lands? contemplating this interesting query, Randall ok. Wilson lines the often-forgotten rules of nature that experience formed the evolution of America’s public land approach. the result's a clean and probing account of the main urgent coverage and administration demanding situations dealing with nationwide parks, forests, rangelands, and flora and fauna refuges today.

The writer explores the dramatic tale of the origins of the general public area, together with the century-long push towards privatization and the following emergence of a countrywide conservation excellent. Arguing that we can't totally comprehend one form of public land with out figuring out its relation to the remainder of the procedure, he presents in-depth debts of the different sorts of public lands. together with chapters on nationwide parks, nationwide forests, flora and fauna refuges, Bureau of Land administration lands, and barren region components, Wilson examines key turning issues and significant coverage debates for every land kind. He considers questions of bison and elk administration and up to date disputes over fireplace coverage, roadless parts, mining claims, and grazing charges. This finished assessment deals an opportunity to reconsider our dating with America’s public lands, together with what it says concerning the means we relate to, and cost, nature within the United States.

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Extra resources for America's Public Lands: From Yellowstone to Smokey Bear and Beyond

Sample text

The Northwest Ordinance of 1787 explicitly prohibited states from getting involved in the business of selling the public domain. Nor were states allowed to tax existing federal lands within their borders. So why—once states were created—was it so important for the national government to retain control over public lands, including their transfer into private ownership? One word: money. Like the original colonies, land represented the most valuable commercial asset owned by the United States in the wake of the Revolutionary War.

196 (Washington, DC: GPO, 2012). were granted directly to the railroad companies (with another thirtyseven million acres granted to them via the states). 7 million acres more. The overwhelming “success” of these programs lay in the numerous and diverse means they provided for land to be sold below market value, as well as the ample opportunities they offered for speculation and fraud due to lax enforcement. According to the 1890 census, for the first time in American history, there was no longer a frontier zone as defined by population density.

The primary purpose of this law was to stem the corruption and exploitive land speculation taking place on public lands by repealing the 1873 Timber Culture Act and tightening accountability under the 1876 Desert Land Act. However, in the final minutes of debate, the bill was quietly amended with a rider granting power to the president of the United States to set aside portions of the public domain to create the nation’s first forest reserves. Whereas previous laws creating national parks were considered singular cases, this new executive power allowed for the continuous withdrawal of public lands from settlement at the president’s discretion.

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America's Public Lands: From Yellowstone to Smokey Bear and Beyond by Randall K. Wilson


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