Carving Up the Commons: Congress & Our Public Lands
By Janine Blaelock, Western Lands Project, P.O. Box 95545, Seattle, WA 98145-2545, www.westernlands.org, 106 pp., $10.
Blaelock puts the politics of public land policy under a microscope and describes what she sees: the wheeling-and-dealing of public land that favors politicians and special interests at the monetary and environmental expense of taxpayers. This meticulously researched book is divided into five chapters detailing key elements of pubic land policy – the past, the process and its pitfalls, the people, projects, pure politics – and concludes with a set of appendices that dissect the anatomy of a land bill, propose suggestions for public participation and offer a Hill staffer’s perspective on congressional land policy.
The Environmental Resource Handbook, 2001/11
By Laura Mars-Proietti, ed., Grey House Publishing, P.O. Box 56, Amenia, NY 12501-0056, www.greyhouse.com, softcover, 1,200 pp., $155.
The revised edition of this reference manual provides up-to-date information for everything environmental, including more than 6,000 environmental listings and 171 tables and charts of environmental statistics and rankings. The manual includes a section devoted to resources, such as lists of associations, organizations, charities and research centers. Also included is a glossary of almost 2,000 commonly used environmental terms, as well as almost 1,5000 abbreviations and acronyms used in the industry.
The National Parks: America’s Best Idea
By Dayton Duncan and Ken Burns, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, NY, www.aaknopf.com, hardcover, 403 pp., $50.
The National Parks: America’s Best Idea is the paper-and-ink companion to Ken Burns’ 12-hour PBS series of the same name. This visually and historically rich narrative traces the history of our national parks from Yellowstone’s establishment in 1872 all the way through recent additions to a system that encompasses nearly 400 sites and 84 million acres. Present-day photographs are displayed alongside an abundance of historic photographs and art. The narrative includes journal entries, poetry and interviews with well-known figures that piece together the idealism, political struggles and uniquely American sentiment involved in the establishment – and evolution – of the U.S. National Park system.