January 2, 2008

Book Review - New Geographies of the American West

New Geographies of the American West: Land Use and the Changing Patterns of Place
William R. Travis
HT 384 .U52 W48 2007

In this book, Travis posits that the western part of the United States is at a developmental turning point. Originally pursued as a frontier for American expansion and as a source of natural resources, the western United States is now experiencing urban sprawl and post-industrial development that is unrelated to its resources and landscapes. In some parts of the west, environmental resources have been preserved as public lands or national parks. As human habitats become increasingly dense, however, these preserved landscapes are of interest to developers, perhaps with little regard to biological diversity or ecological health. Travis argues that the development of the American west is still small compared with that in other regions of the country, providing an opportunity for future development to be guided in ways . This book follows Travis's own thoughts, guiding the reader through the past, present, and possible future of the development of the American west.