The signs of economic change loom large in the mountain West as shuttered mines and lumber mills are overshadowed by luxurious homes sprouting on valley bottoms and ridge lines. This perceptive book explains these changes, assesses their effects on the natural environment, and gauges the reactions of local communities. Drawing on concepts from economics, environmental ethics, and conservation biology, Booth suggests that the ultimate solution lies in re-directing population growth away from rural areas to reinvigorated and environmentally attractive 'ecological cities' and to increase the density of development within rural areas themselves. Policymakers, activists, and local citizens concerned with rural sprawl will find this book an invaluable resource.
Douglas E. Booth is retired associate professor of economics at Marquette University and a founding board member of the Driftless Area Land Conservancy.
Chapter 1 The "Suburbanization" of the Mountain West Chapter 2 Economic Trends in the Mountain Counties: Rural-Urban Convergence Chapter 3 Population Spreading in the Mountain West: Mobility and Footloose Income Chapter 4 The Cumulative Ecological Consequences of Mountain West Economic Development Chapter 5 Rural Sprawl and Rare and Threatened Species in the Mountain West Chapter 6 Local Growth and Support for Preserving the Natural Landscape in the Sierra Nevada Mountains Chapter 7 Saving the Landscape: Environmental Change and the Land Trust Movement in the Mountain West Chapter 8 The Environmental Ethics of Rural Sprawl: Ecological Cities and Biodiversity Chapter 9 Strategies for Limiting Rural Sprawl