Allies of the Earth: Railroads and the Soul of Preservation

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Truman State University Press, 2006 - History - 195 pages
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Although few Americans use passenger trains today, we still love railroads. We say we want to preserve our national parks, countryside, and urban landscapes, yet we keep tearing into the best of them every day. Once abandoning railroads would have been unthinkable, but we have forgotten the importance of trains for our earth and for ourselves. Alfred Runte challenges our notion that adding highways and airports will help us reach our destinations more quickly, or meet our transportation and environmental goals. He dares us to care about what we see as we travel and to believe railroads hold a key to preserving our national landscapes. As a true visionary with a deep respect for the land and its people, Runte gives us hope that by restoring our trains, we can save our nation's imperiled natural beauty.

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About the author (2006)

Now an independent scholar and consultant, Runte travels widely on behalf of railroads and the environment, most recently to Brazil, where he gave the keynote address at the Fourth Brazilian Congress on Parks and Protected Areas in October 2004. He is also on the editorial board of Natureza & Conservação, the environmental journal of Brazil’s Fundação O Boticário de Proteção à Natureza. He remains a board member of the Center for the Study of the Environment in Santa Barbara, California, and has served on the boards of the National Parks Conservation Association, National Association of Railroad Passengers, University of Alaska Press, and Susquehanna Conservation Council.

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