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Land Use

Using Smart Growth to Achieve Sustainable Land Use Policies

Any analysis of U.S. progress toward meeting the goals of Agenda 21 must include a hard look at the political will and actions toward reforming our system of land use controls. Land development policies and decisions are inextricably...

The Potential Role of Local Governments in Watershed Management

Protecting healthy watersheds and restoring degraded ones is one of this country's major unmet environmental challenges. Because watersheds do not respect political boundaries, effective watershed conservation will require cooperation...

The Tragedy of Fragmentation

Among certain academic circles, it has become common to assert that owners of private land take care of what they own. One encounters the claim most often in discussions about land-related environmental problems. Unowned lands,...

Earning Deference: Reflections on the Merger of Environmental and Land Use Law

The bedrock notion that courts should, in the overwhelming majority of cases, defer to lawmakers is currently under attack in the nation's courts, commentary, and classrooms. Leading the way are several U.S. Supreme Court Justices who,...

The Roads More Traveled: Sustainable Transportation in America—Or Not?

There can be no sustainable development without sustainable transportation. It is an essential component not only because transportation is a prerequisite to development in general but also because transportation, especially our use of...

Local Sustainability Efforts in the United States: The Progress Since Rio

If we want to think about changes in local sustainability over the last 10 years, perhaps the best place to start is with Al Gore. In 1992, just before the Rio Earth Summit and before he was to be tapped as a vice presidential candidate...

The Riches of the Desert: Can the Bureau of Land Management Reject a Mining Operation Based on Historic and Cultural Concerns?

At first glance, the California Desert Conservation Area (CDCA) is a 25-million-acre expanse of sand dunes, brush lands, rock formations, and loneliness and desolation. However, a cursory look at the landscape belies the desert's...

Historic Preservation Law in the United States

Over the past 50 years, all 50 States and over 500 municipalities have enacted laws to encourage or require the preservation of buildings and areas with historic or aesthetic importance. These nationwide legislative efforts have been...

Property Rights, the Market, and Environmental Change in 20th-Century America

The economic success of the United States over the past century has prompted observers around the world to look to it for lessons on stimulating growth. Compared with many countries, the United States is plainly doing something right in...

Development Moratoria, First English Principles, and Regulatory Takings

Is an intentional temporary deprivation of the use of land not a "temporary taking"? This proposition was asserted by a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Tahoe-Sierra Preservation Council, Inc. v. Tahoe...