John Copeland Nagle shows how our reliance on environmental law affects the natural environment through an examination of five diverse places in the American landscape: Alaska's Adak Island; the Susquehanna River; Colton in California's Inland Empire; Theodore Roosevelt National Park in the badlands of North Dakota; and Alamogordo in New Mexico. Nagle asks why some places are preserved by the law while others are not, and he finds that environmental laws often have unexpected results while other laws have surprising effects on the environment. Nagle argues that sound environmental policy requires better coordination among the many laws, regulations, and social norms that determine the values and uses of our scarce lands and waters.

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