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1 POLS 340: ENVIRONMENTAL POLITICS SPRING 2010 T-TH: 1215-130 EDUCATION 106 DR. JOHN FREEMUTH OFFICE: PAA123B OFFICE HOURS: MTW 140-240, TH 2-5, and by appointment OFFICE PHONE 426-3931 E-MAIL: [email protected] .... Westerners live outdoors more than people elsewhere, because outdoors is mainly what they've got. For clerks and students, factory workers and mechanics, the outdoors is freedom, just as surely as it is for the folkloric and mythic figures. They don't have to own the outdoors, or get permission, or cut fences, in order to use it. It is public land, partly theirs, and that space is a continuing influence on their minds and senses. It encourages a fatal carelessness and destructiveness because what is everybody's is nobody's responsibility. It also encourages, in some, an impassioned protectiveness: the battlegrounds of the environmental movement lie in the western public lands. Finally, it promotes certain needs, tastes, attitudes, skills. It is those tastes, attitudes and skills, as well as the prevailing destructiveness and its corrective, love of the land, that relates real Westerners to the myth. Wallace Stegner, 1986 The ruling question of public life is not that of the distribution of material goods or the governance of moral affairs, but that of how people plumb their souls and then present their discoveries, their true selves, to others—unless, as happens here often enough , the fear of not belonging, or the wish for true proof that one does belong, takes over, and people assume the mask that makes them indistinguishable from anyone else. Greil Marcus, 1997 A place is nothing in itself. It has no meaning, it can hardly be said to exist, except in terms of human perception, use and response.
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Wallace Stegner, 1955 The course title is shorthand for a large and complex topic. When we speak about environmental politics we really are talking about two areas, both of which are covered in this course. The first of these is natural resource politics. Natural resource politics has been with us since the Founding. This topic area includes the national forests, national parks, wildlife reserves, public lands, the agencies who administer 2 those lands, and the battles over the uses made of those lands. It also includes water, and the politics surrounding water allocation and use. Idaho is a natural resource state. Much of the state's economy has been based on natural resources, and over 60% of the state is owned and managed by the national government. Hence natural resource politics is an important issue area for many Idahoans. Environmental politics is the second and newer topic area. Included here are such things as air and water pollution, hazardous waste and nuclear waste, as well as issues such as global warming and acid rain. The most common way we deal with many of these issues is through the use of governmental regulation of various activities. There is no neat boundary between these two areas of public policy, and many of
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