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Full-Text Articles in Law

Wilderness Imperatives And Untrammeled Nature, Sandra Zellmer Jan 2014

Wilderness Imperatives And Untrammeled Nature, Sandra Zellmer

College of Law, Faculty Publications

Wilderness is often considered the epitome of naturalness – what nature ought to be. Indeed, in many ways, society, through its environmental laws, has prioritized the protection of wilderness over other areas of nature and other aspects of naturalness. We give our wilderness areas iconic names, like Delirium, Desolation, Devil’s Backbone, River of No Return, and Superstition, and we idealize themand treat them as something utterly unique and apart from our technology-ridden daily lives.

The nation’s preeminent wilderness statute, the Wilderness Act of 1964, is credited with significant preservation achievements. Over the years, the Act has remained remarkably robust ...


Wilderness Preserves: Still Relevant And Resilient After All These Years, Sandra Zellmer, John M. Anderies Jan 2014

Wilderness Preserves: Still Relevant And Resilient After All These Years, Sandra Zellmer, John M. Anderies

College of Law, Faculty Publications

This chapter explores the continuing relevance of preserving wilderness by preventing active human intervention. It concludes that the symbolic and ecological benefits of wilderness are as significant today as they were fifty years ago. Indeed, the importance of preserving wilderness areas will only increase as the climate changes. Land managers face complex challenges, however, when they are managing wilderness resources that are already degraded due to climate change or other human impacts and that may require intervention to prevent further degradation. Deciding whether and how to intervene with active management tools while maintaining the overarching “wild” values of wilderness is ...


Using The Public Natural Resource Management Laws To Improve Water Pollution Anti-Degradation Policies, Sandra Zellmer, Robert Glicksman Jan 2012

Using The Public Natural Resource Management Laws To Improve Water Pollution Anti-Degradation Policies, Sandra Zellmer, Robert Glicksman

College of Law, Faculty Publications

The Clean Water Act’s principal goal is to “restore and maintain” the integrity of the nation's surface water bodies. The Act’s adoption was spurred largely by the perception that unchecked pollution had caused the degradation of those waters, making them unsuitable for uses such as fishing and swimming. At the time Congress passed the statute, however, some lakes, rivers, and streams had water quality that was better than what was needed to support these uses. An important question was whether the statute would limit discharges with the potential to impair these high quality waters. EPA’s anti-degradation ...


Mississippi River Stories: Lessons From A Century Of Unnatural Disasters, Sandi Zellmer, Christine Klein Jan 2007

Mississippi River Stories: Lessons From A Century Of Unnatural Disasters, Sandi Zellmer, Christine Klein

College of Law, Faculty Publications

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the nation pondered how a relatively weak Category 3 storm could have destroyed an entire region. Few appreciated the extent to which a flawed federal water development policy transformed this apparently natural disaster into a “man-made” disaster; fewer still appreciated how the disaster was the predictable, and indeed predicted, sequel to almost a century of similar disasters. This article focuses upon three such stories: the Great Flood of 1927, the Midwest Flood of 1993, and Hurricanes Katrina and Rita of 2005. Taken together, the stories reveal important lessons, including the inadequacy of engineered flood ...


A Tale Of Two Imperiled Rivers: Reflections From A Post-Katrina World, Sandra Zellmer Jan 2007

A Tale Of Two Imperiled Rivers: Reflections From A Post-Katrina World, Sandra Zellmer

College of Law, Faculty Publications

Hurricanes are a natural, predictable phenomenon, yet the Gulf Coast communities were devastated by the hurricanes of 2005. One year after Hurricane Katrina struck, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers responded to a congressional request for an accounting by admitting culpability for the destruction of New Orleans. Its structural defenses failed not because Congress had authorized only moderate Category 3 protection, which in turn let floodwaters overtop the city's levees, but because levees and floodwalls simply collapsed. The so-called network of federal and local structures was a haphazard system in name only, where floodwalls and levees of varying ...


The Protection Of Cultural Resources On Public Lands: Federal Statutes And Regulations, Sandra Zellmer Jun 2001

The Protection Of Cultural Resources On Public Lands: Federal Statutes And Regulations, Sandra Zellmer

College of Law, Faculty Publications

The federal public lands—national forests, parks, and rangelands—are widely known for their vast natural resources: timber; range; minerals; watersheds; wildlife; and sweeping vistas of incredible beauty and diversity. No less notable are the cultural resources found on the public lands. Some of the earliest withdrawals of public lands from homesteading or other disposition occurred because of their cultural and historic importance.1 Preserving and allowing access to resources with cultural significance are critical to sustaining diverse, viable communities as well as our national, collective heritage. For American Indian people in particular, certain places, physical features, and objects on ...