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Contested Landscape: The Politics of Wilderness in Utah and the West Paperback – September, 1999

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Doug Goodman is a graduate student in the political science department at the University of Utah. Daniel McCool is associate professor of political science at the University of Utah. He has written or edited several books on water policy issues, including THE WATERS OF ZION: THE POLITICS OF WATER IN UTAH (Utah, 1995) and COMMAND OF THE WATERS:IRON TRIANGLES, FEDERAL WATER DEVELOPMENT, AND INDIAN WATR (1987).

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

From the preface: "Some people of the rural West want to continue the lifestyle that has contributed so much to the American image, while others want to protect the remnants of the wild land that is so important to us as a people. Note that both sides want to preserve something distinctly American."

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 266 pages
  • Publisher: Univ of Utah Pr (T) (September 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0874806046
  • ISBN-13: 978-0874806045
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,629,554 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Meri on July 8, 2009
Format: Paperback
I am biased--I am a chapter author in the book. I have read the only other review of this book and it appears the author was looking for something that spoke to him regarding Washington State wilderness issues. The book is primarily about Utah and how Utah's wilderness issues impact the Western U.S. It is not about Washington, Oregon, Idaho, or other western states.
What the author of the review also does not realize is the class that was formed to study and then write this book was not composed of typical 18-22 year old college students. The class members' ages ranged from 18 to 72, the oldest being a retired Dean of Science with a 35 page Curriculum Vitae. I know this because this man was my father, Cyrus M. McKell. Class members's majors ranged from political science, ecology, business, law, public administration, to undeclared. Class members were undergraduates, graduate students working on masters degrees, law degrees, MBAs, MPAs, to the sole retired class member, whose credentials outranked the professor of the class. Class members's interests ranged from card-carrying Sierra Club members to off-road enthusiasts to ranchers' off-spring. Many came from native Utah families with a stake in the wilderness debate.
The class was an incredible opportunity to examine the issues from all sides. The point was to learn about the other points of view and to express the viewpoints in an even-handed presentation to enable all the interested parties to come back to the wilderness table. I believe it succeeded in that effort. The book was not intended to be diatribe for one side or another. It was not intended to be a poetic view of Utah or wilderness. We leave that to Terry Tempest Williams, Rick Bass, and other wonderful creative writers.
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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 16, 2003
Format: Paperback
Before I talk about this book, I think everyone here should understand that the collective essays in Contested Landscape were written as part of a college class at the University of Utah by graduate and undergraduate students over a two quarter period in 1997. This book showcases a wonderful opportunity for students and for creating a piece of work which the wilderness and multiple use movement could utilize.
However, Contested Landscape does not quite capture the passion behind the debate of wilderness in the west, and it does not exactly examine wilderness issues from all ventures: there are three sides to the issue: those that are `pro' wilderness, those that are against wilderness, and the writers. (which seek a unified, balanced, and compromised approach) Within the wilderness movement in Washington state, there are so many multi-factions of each side that the result is that the movement and the debate is not a polarized black and white, but a collision of two shades of grey in the quest to tackle public lands issues. Subsequent research by others associated with the movement will show that this is true for many states dealing with public lands issues. In Contested Landscape however, the sides are painted to be such unified opposites, it hardly seems real.
Utah is the only other state in the West (besides Hawaii) that has less then 1.5 million acres of wilderness in the state. (it has only 750,000) It is because of the horrendous politics (both national and local) that the state has such a low acreage of wilderness compared with Utah's `western' neighbors: but this notion is not explored anywhere in the book. Contested Landscape paints a picture that the wilderness the state has is a reflection of the politics, of which every western state has.
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