Wildlife Damage Management, Internet Center for


Date of this Version



Published in Ecological and Environmental Anthropology Vol. 4, No. 1, 2008. Copyright 2008 Coughlan. Used by permission. Online at http://eea.anthro.uga.edu/index.php/eea/index


Jeffrey O. Durrant’s Struggle Over Utah’s San Rafael Swell: Wilderness, National Conservation Areas, and National Monuments presents a history of the political conflict over public lands use and management of the canyon riddled landscape of central Utah. It examines the conflict using the content of the public record: journalistic media, governmental correspondence, mission statements and public statements of the stakeholder organizations, agencies and local governments involved. Struggle is at its core a journalistic narrative that unfortunately does not live up to the standards of an academic presentation of a recurrent political ecological theme in the American West. Indeed, Durrant reviews none of the relevant academic literature other than a standard recital of iconic works which serve to color his narrative rather than illuminate the reader (e.g. Aldo Leopold, John Muir, Carl Sauer).