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by William R. Lowry
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Engineering
  • Author:
    William R. Lowry
  • ISBN:
    0815752970
  • ISBN13:
    978-0815752974
  • Genre:
  • Publisher:
    Brookings Inst Pr (August 1, 1995)
  • Pages:
    380 pages
  • Subcategory:
    Engineering
  • Language:
  • FB2 format
    1150 kb
  • ePUB format
    1547 kb
  • DJVU format
    1201 kb
  • Rating:
    4.7
  • Votes:
    160
  • Formats:
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The national parks of North America are great public treasures, visited by 300 . The Capacity for Wonder provides a revealing comparison of the . National Park Service (NPS) and the Canadian Parks Service (CPS).

The national parks of North America are great public treasures, visited by 300 million people each year. Set aside to be kept in relatively natural condition, these remarkable places of forests, rivers, mountains, and wildlife still inspire our "capacity for wonder. This book, enriched with personal anecdotes of the author's trips throughout the parks of North America, examines changes in the park services of the United States and Canada over the past fifteen years.

The Capacity for Wonder book. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Start by marking The Capacity for Wonder: Preserving National Parks as Want to Read: Want to Read savin. ant to Read.

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Home Browse Books Book details, The Capacity for Wonder: Preserving National Parks. The Capacity for Wonder: Preserving National Parks.

The national parks of North America are great public treasures, visited by 300 . Set aside to be kept in relatively natural condition, these remarkable places of forests, rivers, mountains, and wildlife still inspire our capacity for wonder.

William Lowry describes the many challenges facing the parks-such as rising crime, tourism, and overcrowding .

The Capacity for Wonder provides a revealing comparison of the . The author explains that, while the services are similar in many ways, the priorities of these two agencies have changed dramatically in recent years.

The Capacity for Wonder. Preserving National Parks. By William Lowry December 1, 2010. The national parks of North America are great public treasures, visited by 300 million people each year.

The country's treasured national parks. Intergenerational Goods(Georgetown, 1998), and The Capacity for Wonder: Preserving National Parks (Brookings, 1994). William R. Lowry is a professor of political science at Washington University in St. Louis and one of the foremost scholars of . environmental and natural resource policy. He is the author of Dam Politics: Restoring America's Rivers (Georgetown University Press, 2003), Preserving Public Lands for the Future: The Politics of Intergenerational Goods(Georgetown, 1998), and The Capacity for Wonder: Preserving National Parks (Brookings, 1994).

The capacity for wonder: Preserving national parks. Brookings Institution Press, 2010. Preserving public lands for the future: the politics of intergenerational goods. Potential focusing projects and policy change. Georgetown University Press, 1998. Disentangling Energy Policy from Environmental Policy. Washington: Brookings, 1994.

Working Papers Journal Articles Books and Chapters Software Components. JEL codes New Economics Papers. This site is part of RePEc and all the data displayed here is part of the RePEc data set.

The national parks of North America are great public treasures, visited by 300 million people each year. Set aside to be kept in relatively natural condition, these remarkable places of forests, rivers, mountains, and wildlife still inspire our "capacity for wonder." Today, however, the parks are threatened by increasingly difficult problems from both inside and outside their borders.This book, enriched with personal anecdotes of the author's trips throughout the parks of North America, examines changes in the park services of the United States and Canada over the past fifteen years. William Lowry describes the many challenges facing the parkssuch as rising crime, tourism, and overcrowding, pollution, eroding funding for environmental research, and the contentious debate over preservation versus useand the abilities of the agencies to deal with them.The Capacity for Wonder provides a revealing comparison of the U.S. National Park Service (NPS) and the Canadian Parks Service (CPS). The author explains that, while the services are similar in many ways, the priorities of these two agencies have changed dramatically in recent years. Lowry shows how increasing conflicts over agency goals and decreasing institutional support have make the NPS vulnerable to interagency disputes, reluctant to take any risks in its operations, and extremely responsive to political pressures. As a result, U.S. national parks are now managed mainly to serve political purposes. Lowry illustrates how in the 1980s politicians pushed the NPS to expand private uses of national parks through development, timber harvesting, grazing, and mining, while environmental groups push the NPS in the other direction. Over the same period, the CPS enjoyed a clarification of goals and increased institutional supports. As a result, the CPS has been able to decentralize its structure, empower its employees, and renew its commitment to preservation.Lowry considers several proposals to change the institutions governing the parks. His own recommendations are more in line with proposals to revitalize public agencies than with those that suggest replacing them with private enterprise, state agencies, or endowment boards. Lowry concludes that preserving nature should be the primary, explicit goal of the park services, and he calls for a stronger commitment to that goal in the United States.

Hawk Flying
This book examines national parks in the United States and Canada, two neighboring countries with extensive park systems. Clearly each of these countries can learn from the other's experience, and Lowry's book is an excellent introduction to the similarities and differences in the two park systems. He also provides extensive discussion of a sampling of parks in each country, some well-known and others not well-known at all.

Lowry's central theoretical framework examines political support for the parks and the degree of consensus on the goals for parks. He treats these as if they were exogenous, independent variables. However, clearly the political economy of each country affects these goals. A pro-development agency such as the Army Corps of Engineers enjoys political consensus because it operates in a pro-development political system. It's hard to know how you could change the Corps (or many other agencies) without changing the political system as a whole.

The research and most of his writing reflects the Reagan and G. H. W. Bush administrations, which were hostile to the environment. Thus, his book casts US politics as generally "bad," while Canadian policies are generally "good." However - - as he realizes - - the history of the two park systems is very different, and for most of the twentieth century he would have classified Parks Canada as having worse policy than the US National Park Service.

To better understand the two countries, Lowry should distinguish more clearly between the legislative and executive factors affecting the parks. As Lowry acknowledges, Clinton's Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt had very different priorities than the Reagan and Bush administrations, yet the system of congressional pork remained unchanged. Understanding park policy means separating out changes in executives from continuities in the legislature. Moving outside his framework of consensus and support to consider executive-legislative relations would be helpful.

Looking more closely at executive-legislative relations would also enrich his comparison of the US and Canada. Obviously, Canada's parliamentary system works very differently than the presidential system in the United States. Ironically, Lowry does discuss the differences in federalism in the two countries, though in a global perspective there are more similarities than differences between US and Canadian federalism.

Those objections aside, this is a notable book. The literature on national parks is dominated by historians, and it is welcome to have a different discipline's perspectives on the issues.
Gela
I've lived in, worked for, and studied the U.S. National Park Service (NPS) and I can confirm that Lowry has done his homework well. This book is more than just a voice crying in wilderness. Lowry not only exposes the problems, he offers very viable solutions that merely need the political support of the common man to be implimented. Unfortunately, since this book's publication things have gotten worse, especially in Canada. One of my biggest frustrations has always been that the American public doesn't know the extent to which self-serving congressional interests are ruining our national treasures by preventing the NPS from doing its congressionally mandated mission of historic and natural preservation. It's not just budget cuts folks! As Lowry explains, its mega-cooperation owned concessions exploiting visitors at the expense of the very ecological health of parks in the name of "visitor services." It's scientific research intentionally poorly funded and results ignored, or worse yet, severely censored before they are allowed to be released to the general public. And it's all here, well documented in "The Capacity for Wonder" including scores of interviews with rangers from all over the continent who haven't given up... yet. This book is for all of us rangers who dare not speak because we have to feed our families, and for all you voters and tax payers who do "GIVE A DAMN!" but until now, just don't quite have enough accurate information to act.