Land Management Policies and Habitat

As we read in Chapter 8 of Environmental Policies, the United States government is the largest landowner in our nation. We, the people, control the future of over 35% of the swamps, forests, prairies, beaches, mountains and other natural habitat across the U.S. How we choose to manage this precious expanse of natural environment and how we decide to preserve and conserve these valuable ecosystems is paramount to sustaining the ecological health of our nation. However, the demands and pressures on these natural environments grows every day and we must guide and oversee the efforts of the federal agencies responsible for conserving and preserving this natural heritage. The more we understand about these agencies and the policies they are responsible for implementing, monitoring, and enforcing the better stewards we will be of this irreplaceable environmental legacy.Consider the major federal land management agencies, and their associated statutes and policies in the U.S. First, compare and contrast the missions of the National Park Service, the U.S. Forest Service, and the Bureau of Land Management. Next, how does each federal land management agency use their associated statutes and policies to conserve and/or preserve critical habitat? Finally, how has the National Environmental Policy Act, the Wilderness Act, and the Endangered Species Act helped or hurt these agencies in their efforts to protect critical habitat?

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