Lifelines: The Case For River Conservation

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Island Press, 1994 - Nature - 254 pages
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The health of our nation is reflected in the health of our rivers. These flowing waters - central to our past and vital to our future - sustain the biological wealth of the continent. Rivers are the lifelines, yet they are constantly under siege. In Lifelines, Tim Palmer addresses the fate of our waterways. While proposals for gigantic federal dams are no longer common, and some of the worst pollution has been brought under control, myriad other concerns have appeared - many of them more subtle and complex than the threats of the past. Palmer examines the alarming condition of rivers in today's world, reports on the success in restoring some of our most polluted streams and in stopping destructive dams, and builds the case for what must be done to avoid the collapse of riparian ecosystems and to reclaim qualities we cannot do without. He documents the need for a new level of awareness and suggests ways to avert the plunder of our remaining river legacy. Lifelines offers a fresh perspective on: the values of natural rivers; current threats to streams and possibilities for reform; the continuing challenge of hydropower development; water quality, instream flows, and riparian habitat; ecosystem management and watershed protection; the need for vision, hope and action. Throughout, the author stresses the biological importance of rivers. Caring for waterways as centerpieces of local ecosystems marks a starting point toward caring for the planet. Protecting the streams where we live answers the question: What can one person do amid an array of global problems and seemingly hopeless forces beyond our control or influence? Tim Palmer has explored and investigated waterways from Alaska to Florida. In this volume, he draws on personal experience and on hundreds of scientific and political sources to create an authoritative report on the state of the nation's rivers and what can be done to save them.

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Lifelines: The Case For River Conservation

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Intending to fill the gap between his previous books, Endangered Rivers and the Conservation Movement (LJ 2/15/87) and The Wild and Scenic Rivers of America (LJ 8/93), Palmer presents the "fundamental ... Read full review

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About the author (1994)

Tim Palmer is the author of 13 books including America By Rivers (Island Press, 1995), and Lifelines (Island Press, 1993), and was recently awarded the National Outdoor Book Award from the Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education.

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