Stegner Center Faculty Publish Books on National Parks and Water Law

Oct 16, 2013 | Stegner Center

Stegner Center Director and Professor Robert Keiter’s book To Conserve Unimpaired: The Evolution of the National Park Idea was published this year. When the national park system was first established in 1916, the goal “to conserve unimpaired” seemed straightforward. But in his book Keiter argues that parks have always served a variety of competing purposes, from wildlife protection and scientific discovery to tourism and commercial development. In this trenchant analysis, he explains how parks must be managed more effectively to meet increasing demands in the face of climate, environmental, and demographic changes. Taking a topical approach, Keiter traces the history of the national park idea from its inception to its uncertain future. Thematic chapters explore our changing conceptions of the parks as wilderness sanctuaries, playgrounds, natural laboratories, and more. He also examines key controversies that have shaped the parks and our perception of them. Ultimately, Keiter demonstrates that parks cannot be treated as special islands, but must be managed as the critical cores of larger ecosystems. Only when the National Park Service works with surrounding areas can the parks meet critical habitat, large-scale connectivity, clean air and water needs, and also provide sanctuaries where people can experience nature. Today’s mandate must remain to conserve unimpaired—but Keiter shows how the national park idea can and must go much farther.

Dean Robert Adler and Professor Robin Craig published, with Noah Hall, their new water law textbook, Modern Water Law: Private Property, Public Rights, and Environmental Protection, in June 2013. Their book provides a comprehensive text to study the range of legal issues and doctrines that affect water resources. This is a national book that uses many recent cases, bringing a fresh perspective to the field. The authors begin with private water use rights, including common law doctrines for riparian reasonable use and prior appropriation, as well as groundwater rights and the statutory schemes for administering water use rights. The book explores the range of public rights in water, including navigation, the public trust doctrine, federal reserved rights, and interstate water management. The book also introduces modern challenges and environmental protection goals, focusing on the energy-water nexus, water pollution, and endangered species conflicts. The final chapters combine these concepts in the context of complex watershed restoration challenges and water rights takings litigation.

Professor Robin Craig published Comparative Ocean Governance: Placed-Based Protections in an Era of Climate Change. This book examines the world’s attempts to improve ocean governance through place-based management – marine protected areas, ocean zoning, marine spatial planning – and evaluates this growing trend in light of the advent of climate change and its impacts on the seas. The book opens with an explanation of the economics of the oceans and their value to the global environment and the earth’s population, the long-term stressors that have impacted oceans, and the new threats to ocean sustainability that climate change poses. It then examines the international framework for ocean management and coastal nations’ increasing adoption of place-based governance regimes. The regimes intersect with climate change adaptation efforts, either accidentally or intentionally. It then offers suggestions for place-based marine management policies.

Professor Robin Craig also published the Third Edition of Environmental Law in Context in early summer 2012. Environmental Law in Context is Professor Craig’s introductory environmental law casebook, which provides an overview of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and environmental citizen suits. It also provides threads for student discussion on climate change, environmental justice, scientific uncertainty, and the economics of environmental regulation.