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Keeping Faith with NatureEcosystems, Democracy, and America's Public Lands$
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Robert Keiter

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780300092738

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300092738.001.0001

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Ecology and the Public Domain

Ecology and the Public Domain

(p.47) Three Ecology and the Public Domain
Keeping Faith with Nature

Robert B. Keiter

Yale University Press

This chapter focuses on ecology, ecosystem management, and federal public land policy. Current scientific and philosophical thought generally acknowledges that sustaining interconnected ecological components and processes is vitally important to human welfare, for utilitarian as well as non-utilitarian purposes. Both disciplines, committed to a holistic view of nature, endorse the related proposition that natural resources should be managed on an ecosystem scale. Broader societal trends, ranging from rising affluence and increased urbanization to a new environmental awareness, are helping propel these ideas into the policy arena. The chapter reveals that the public domain is serving as an early battleground over how a functional ecosystem management policy might be fashioned and implemented. It shows that strong criticisms have been leveled against the concept of ecosystem management, and that these criticisms must be addressed for ecosystem management to be fully recognized as a viable natural resource policy.

Keywords:   ecosystem management, land policy, public lands, biodiversity, habitats

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