Cities in the Wilderness: A New Vision of Land Use in by Bruce Babbitt

By Bruce Babbitt

In this magnificent, gracefully written, and significant new e-book, 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 dwell in.

We've all skilled America's altering normal panorama because the integrity of our forests, seacoasts, and river valleys succumbs to strip department shops, new roads, and subdivisions. Too usually, we suppose that after land is built it really is endlessly misplaced to the normal world--or wish patchwork of neighborhood conservation suggestions 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 application, he issues out, yet the following at domestic we do not have an open-space coverage that may stability the wishes for human payment and group with these for renovation of the flora and fauna upon which existence relies. but this type of stability, the writer demonstrates, is as remarkably achieveable because it is important. 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 publication is the author's skill to compare creative imaginative and prescient with useful realizing. Babbitt attracts on his vast adventure to take us behind the curtain negotiating the Florida Everglades recovery undertaking, the biggest ever licensed through Congress. In California, we find how the Endangered Species Act, nonetheless some of the most potent legislation governing land use, has been hired to revive neighborhood habitat. within the Midwest, we see how new global alternate association rules could be used to assist repair Iowa's farmlands and rivers. As a key architect of many environmental good fortune tales, Babbitt unearths how vast recovery tasks have thrived via federal- country 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 method, Babbitt provides us clean perception. during this inspiring and informative e-book, Babbitt units his lens to panoramic--and bargains a imaginative and prescient of land use as grand because the country's usual heritage.

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

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Then several disasters struck. In 1926 a powerful hurricane tracked in off the Atlantic, ripping a swath across the peninsula, destroying thousands of homes and inundating most of the laboriously reclaimed farmlands. The waters receded, the lands dried, and homes were eventually rebuilt. Two years later another monster storm swept inland, this time north of Fort Lauderdale, taking dead aim at Lake Okeechobee. When winds of the counterclockwise swirl hit the lake, giant waves of water poured southward over the rim and across the Everglades, once again inundating the land.

In 1850 Congress Ch01 (13-54) 7/8/05 22 K 11:45 AM Page 22 CITIES IN THE WILDERNESS enacted the Swamplands Act, which offered to divest federal title to swamplands to the states, provided the states in question would agree to drain and transform them into farmland. Florida accepted the offer and ignored the condition. Taking title to vast tracts of the Everglades, the state then handed the lands over to politically connected speculators who promised to assume the state’s obligation to drain the lands.

To store water on the surface to a depth of five to six feet, the Corps enclosed large tracts of the wetlands with earthen dikes that ran for miles across the landscape. From the air they resembled the huge intaglio patterns left by vanished civilizations in the Peruvian deserts. Conservationists got the leftovers, mostly located in the southern portion of the watershed, in the “delta” where the waters converge into Florida Bay. This was the most remote and wild section of the Everglades remaining, the least affected by human development.

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