Overlooked in America: The Success and Failure of Federal Land Management

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Aperture Foundation, 1991 - Business & Economics - 96 pages
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In dramatic color photographs by renowned environmental photographer Robert Glenn Ketchum and in insightful text by Charles Callison, Overlooked in America warns of the careless devastation of America's federally-held lands.

Using the Cuyahoga Valley National Recreation Area as a metaphor for the complicated management problems surrounding federal lands, Ketchum reveals the imperiled beauty of these areas. A full one-third of all U.S. land-- including parks, beaches, forests, off-shore oil-deposits, and mountains-- is owned and managed by the federal government, whose stewardship is intended to renew and maintain this vast national treasure. Due to clashing intra-agency goals and the ever-changing policies of rotating administrations, the federal government has long been negligent in enforcing the mandate of sustainable development of these lands. Caught in the middle of a bureaucratic snarl, our national trust is at risk of substantial environmental deterioration such as overgrazing, loss of topsoil, deforestation, contamination of soil and water, and failure to restore developed areas already sacrificed for their resources.

Stunning color photographs evoke the endangered elegance of the American landscape, from views of toxic brooks weaving through a forest floor to rustic barns set in the hills Overlooked in America makes a strong case for drastic changes in federal land management before our irreplaceable legacy is lost forever. Published to coincide with a traveling exhibit of Robert Glenn Ketchum's eloquent photographs, the book includes a preface by Mr. Ketchum and an essay by Charles Callison, of the National Resources Defense Council, on the achievements and shortcomings of federal land management.

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About the author (1991)

Robert Glenn Ketchum is an artist, writer, and teacher. He has been curator of photography at the National Parks Foundation, and president and executive director of the Los Angeles Center for Creative Photographic Studies. Ketchum, whose photographs have been shown in more than 200 exhibitions worldwide, is the author of the previously published American Photographers and the National Parks, The Hudson River and the Highlands (Aperture, 1985), and The Tongass: Alaska's Vanishing Rainforest (Aperture, 1987). He received the Ansel Adams Award for Conservation Photography from the Sierra Club in 1989. He is currently artist-in-residence at Sundance.

Charles Callison founded the Public Lands Institute in 1978 and has directed its studies since then, through its merger in 1986 with the National Resources Defense Council. Prior to 1978 he was executive vice-president of the National Audubon Society and wrote on national issues for many years for Audubon magazine.

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