New Geographies of the American West: Land Use and the Changing Patterns of Place

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Island Press, May 11, 2007 - Architecture - 304 pages
Reconciling explosive growth with often majestic landscape defines New Geographies of the American West. Geographer William Travis examines contemporary land use changes and development patterns from the Mississippi to the Pacific, and assesses the ecological and social outcomes of Western development. Unlike previous "boom" periods dependent on oil or gold, the modern population explosion in the West reflects a sustained passion for living in this specific landscape. But the encroaching exurbs, ranchettes, and ski resorts are slicing away at the very environment that Westerners cherish. Efforts to manage growth in the West are usually stymied at the state and local levels. Is it possible to improve development patterns within the West's traditional anti-planning, pro-growth milieu, or is a new model needed? Can the region develop sustainably, protecting and managing its defining wildness, while benefiting from it, too? Travis takes up the challenge , suggesting that functional and attractive settlement can be embedded in preserved lands, working landscapes, and healthy ecologies.

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Page viii - West one of its most celebrated passages when he described the region as "hope's native home, the youngest and freshest of America's regions, magnificently endowed and with the chance to become something unprecedented and unmatched in the world.
Page 17 - If HOLLYWOOD wanted to capture the emotional center of Western history, its movies would be about real estate. John Wayne would have been neither a gunfighter nor a sheriff, but a surveyor, speculator, or claims lawyer.
Page vii - There shall be sung another golden age, — The rise of empire and the arts; The good and great inspiring epic rage; The wisest heads and noblest hearts; Not such as Europe breeds in her decay: Such as she bred when fresh and young, When heavenly flame did animate her clay, By future poets shall be sung. Westward the course of empire takes its way: The...

About the author (2007)

William Riebsame Travis, Ph.D., Clark, 1981, is associate professor in the Department of Geography at the University of Colorado at Boulder. His work focuses on natural resources management, culture and landscapes of the American West, public lands, and the evolution of governing approaches to western land and resources. He has a long-term research interest in how groups, like ranchers, construct notions of landscapes and resources.

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