This course focuses on natural resources owned and managed by the federal government. It will also discuss state natural resource management as time permits.
The federal government owns approximately one-third of the nation’s land. The resources found on or below these lands have enormous economic, recreational and aesthetic values. Because of the time constraints and the breadth of or nation’s resources the course will focus on the public lands and water resources. It will, however, look at public lands and water from a systems perspective, looking at the interrelationships between land and water development, preservation, environmental review, endangered species, wilderness protection, etc. This class will not focus solely on the legal aspects of resource management but will also include an historical perspective, policy analysis and cultural issues related to resource management as we move into the 21st Century.
Whether the federal government, the state government or private individuals should own the nations natural resources and how these resources should be managed has been the subject of extensive public debate on the local, state, and national level. Debate over these issues is not only grounded in our historic economic structure but also raises issues central to our federal system of government and cultural notions regarding how resources should be valued. To a large extent this course is a survey of these controversies and class discussions will reflect the many divergent values and ideas that are such an important part of this national debate.
This class also requires some basic understanding of American history and principles of American government, public administration and administrative law. For the most part these matters will be covered during the first 4-5 weeks of this class.
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