Center for Progressive Reform

Protecting Public Lands and Waters

Preserving Shared Natural Resources

The nation’s public lands and waters have faced persistent challenges in recent years, as efforts to preserve and protect nature have run headlong into political pressure to defend destructive exploitation for profit.

In 2010, CPR Member Scholar Alyson Flournoy, joined by former CPR Policy Analyst Margaret Clune Giblin, and Ryan Feinberg, Heather Halter and Christina Storz, published the second of the two Next Generation Initiative documents, The Future of Environmental Protection: The Case for a National Environmental Legacy Act (1.5 meg download), offering a new and far-seeing approach to protecting the nation’s environment. 

The National Environmental Legacy Act (NELA) Flournoy and her co-authors propose would identify certain natural resources under federal ownership and control as important, and sometimes finite, environmental resources, and establish resource-specific limits on further depletion, so that future generations would be able to enjoy and use them.  So, as the authors write, "recognizing biodiversity as an environmental asset, NELA would address the problem of alarming rates of species endangerment and extinction by seeking to protect species long before they become endangered or threatened, through efforts to protect ecosystems that account for all the factors in an ecosystem that affect species population."

Learn about CPR Member Scholars’ work to protect precious natural resources from destruction and misuse:

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© Center for Progressive Reform, 2013