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Crossing the Next Meridian: Land, Water, and the Future of the West Reprint Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1559631495
ISBN-10: 155963149X
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Legal scholar, environmentalist and author of The Eagle Bird, Wilkinson explicates basic environmental issues being faced in the American West. Natural resources, he contends, are controlled by laws, policies and regulations that, formed in the 19th century, do not embrace today's economic trends, scientific knowledge and social values. Wilkinson cites five particular areas requiring reform: the Hardrock Mining Law (1872), public rangelands, forest lands, dams and energy development. Reviewing the history and practice of Western laws and regulations, he describes their practice in specific cases today and discusses possible solutions. Wilkinson advocates that the West give up its reliance on extractive industries and pursue instead the promise of an economy based on recreation and tourism. This important study should be read by lawmakers at every level of government.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

"I know of no book about the structure, attitudes, history, and future of Western Society that does so much, so clearly, and so fairly, as this one."
(Wallace Stegner)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Island Press; Reprint edition (June 1, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 155963149X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1559631495
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #172,609 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
A very scholarly, but accessible, history of the development of the West and the social/political/economic structures that shaped land, water and resource rights there. In particular, Wilkinson is addressing the notorious Hardrock Mining Act of 1872 (still in effect), the distribution of land and grazing rights, the fisheries of the Pacific Northwest, and the timber industry. His analysis of the Lords of Yesterday - his term for the antiquated statutes that govern those industries - is very convincing. The book's only weakness is that this is a 1992 text (presumably researched in the decade previous) that doesn't reflect changes in the laws and political pressures over the past decade. It would benefit from a new edition.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Wilkinson's analysis of the West is a great read. It isn't so dense and inaccessible that I felt bogged down and he keeps things engaging by revealing glimpses of small town life and personal stories that tie into the greater overall picture he's weaving. His analysis looks at the history of the West through the lens of Law and policy, and it's very interesting to see what conclusions he draws. The final chapters of the book veered off a bit and I found myself disagreeing with some of his theories, but overall the book is a very interesting way to look back through the American development of the Wild West.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A bit dry. Not really what I was expecting, but I did finish it despite putting the book aside for weeks at a time before coming back to it. It's full of information -- probably more than I really wanted to get out of this book. I would have perhaps preferred the Dummies version, unless the writing was a little more interesting.
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Format: Paperback
Wilkinson offers a balanced account of the forces that created the law and policy of the American West, and also of the forces that keep those outdated policies active in a very different West. As a native of Colorado, it was apparent that Wilkenson has spent a great deal of time in the American West and truly understands the complex issues that the region faces today. Very well researched, very easy to read.
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