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The successor to OTPIC is a course called Dealing Constructively with Intractable Conflicts (DCIC). The new curriculum is built around one of our major projects, Beyond Intractability, and offers a much more extensive and informative set of learning materials than that available through OTPIC.

Conflict Research Consortium BOOK SUMMARY

The Angry West: A Vulnerable Land and Its Future


Richard D. Lamm and Michael McCarthy


The Angry West: A Vulnerable Land and Its Future, Richard D. Lamm and Michael McCarthy, (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1982), 33 pp.E

This book summary written by: T. A. O'Lonergan, Conflict Research Consortium.

The Angry West: A Vulnerable Land and Its Future is an examination of the change to the American West which has resulted from the economic imperative which has been administrated by the federal government which has, the authors assert, used the West as a colonial possession to be exploited. Richard D. Lamm, one of the authors, is a former governor of Colorado.

The Angry West: A Vulnerable Land and Its Future will be of interest to those who seek to understand the perspective of long time residents of the Western United States. After a prologue which laments the loss of the West the authors had known, the first chapter examines the roots of the anger that the Western natives experience because of the domination of the federal government in the development or preservation of its lands. It offers a brief historical perspective of the agricultural and mining development in the West in the nineteenth century. The second chapter addresses the development, in some cases later abandoned, of shale oil extraction during the 1970s. The authors assert that 90% of the nations shale oil is located in the Western states of Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, Idaho and Montana. The bulk of this percentage is located at the convergence of Wyoming, Colorado and Utah, thus most of the development centered on this region. Chapter three focuses on coal mining and the drilling of oil wells in Wyoming with special attention paid to the effects of: coal mining on the towns of Rock Springs and Gillett, and oil exploration on the towns of Lander and Casper.

Chapter four examines the effects on the Western United States of the search for energy sources, natural and synthetic. It discusses: the boom towns created and the notion that energy exploration in the West is merely a postponement of the inevitable change which must take place in energy consumption. The next chapter begins with a brief history of Santa Fe and proceeds to an exploration of the affect of outside interests on the Western states. Chapter six examines the development of the West as a result of the need for storage sites for missiles. This is followed by an examination of the importance of water to the desert which comprises the majority of Western lands. Development of the West's water resources with special focus on the Colorado River Basin is presented.

Chapter eight addresses the increasingly heated debate over the management and development of the West in the light of the high percentage of federal lands in that region. The authors examine the Federal Lands Policy and Management Act (FLPMA), the Roadless Area Review and Evaluation (RARE I & II). The center of this growing unrest, the topic of the next chapter, is in Nevada which is composed of 86% federal land. Chapter ten addresses the Sagebrush Rebellion, its origin, agenda and increasing influence. The text is followed by brief epilogue which asserts that the future of the United States lies in the character and tenacity of those who have long populated the West.

The Angry West: A Vulnerable Land and Its Future is a nicely presented examination of the issues facing the Western United States and its people. It serves as a good foundation from which to further explore the subject.

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