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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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Shaping a New Heritage

Shaping a New Heritage

Preservation in the Age of Ecology

Chapter:
(p.171) Six Shaping a New Heritage
Source:
Keeping Faith with Nature
Author(s):

Robert B. Keiter

Publisher:
Yale University Press
DOI:10.12987/yale/9780300092738.003.0006

This chapter focuses on preservation and public land policy. It is now understood that undeveloped wilderness serves as the last refuge for many of the most imperiled species, making it both the real and symbolic heart of any ecosystem management strategy. The traditional enclave strategy of nature conservation does not meet contemporary biodiversity concerns and ecological needs. The chapter reveals that public land preservation decisions are inherently political decisions, and that Congress has routinely deferred to local political preferences in shaping new wilderness legislation, effectively devolving this power to local congressional delegations. It argues that large-scale wilderness preservation proposals must surmount major political obstacles, which often leaves them languishing in legislative limbo, and also presents a discussion on the Montana wilderness debate.

Keywords:   preservation, public land policy, imperiled species, nature conservation, biodiversity

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