Conflicts over Natural Resources: A Reference Handbook

Conflicts over Natural Resources: A Reference Handbook

Conflicts over Natural Resources: A Reference Handbook

Conflicts over Natural Resources: A Reference Handbook

Synopsis

This work is an overview of the critical natural resource conflicts facing the United States and the world, and current attempts to resolve them peacefully.

Excerpt

The United States has a heritage in both the preservation and the utilization of natural resources: its trees, water, minerals, and public lands. From the beginning of the country’s history until today, efforts have been made to consider the effects of industrialization, westward expansion, land acquisition and disposal, population growth, and consumerism of those resources, once thought to be almost limitless.

This book is designed to provide an overview of the disputes over natural resources that are at the center of both U.S. and global debates. Chapter 1 begins with a more detailed definition of renewable and nonrenewable resources and identifies six key periods in world and U.S. history that have both defined and contributed to contemporary conflicts. Chapter 2 consists of four subsections that describe key controversies over natural resources in the United States, chosen from a much lengthier list because they are enduring issues. The first subsection, on minerals, oil and natural gas exploration and drilling, represents one of the most historically contentious bases of natural resource conflict. The battle over “black gold” begins with the discovery of deposits in the West and attempts to extract oil and natural gas to fuel the growing demands for energy by both consumers and industry.

In 1872, when land to create Yellowstone National Park was set aside by the government, the United States started a lengthy debate over protected area policy, the second subsection in Chapter 2. From the enactment of the Forest Reserve Act of 1891 to today’s concerns about user fees and the resources of the National Park Service to maintain hundreds of designated units, stakeholders have argued over the cost of protecting scenic areas and . . .

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