Ken Ross presents a detailed yet readable account of the salient environmental controversies of Alaska's statehood period. As 'the last frontier', Alaska lured unusually fervent devotees of the exploitation ethic who sought to make quick profits or recreate the pioneer experience in a land of minimal regulations. The state also attracted passionate environmentalists -- enthralled by natural beauty -- who found increasing support from a public anxious about pollution and resource depletion. Ross maintains that over the years, the conflicts strengthened principles of government and corporate accountability, public participation in management decision, and sustainable use of natural resources. At the millennium, this leaves Alaska a chance to retain much of the pristine quality regarded by so many as its primary value. Sure to be the standard account for years to come, this book documents one state's fateful trials surrounding its own irreplaceable portion of our a nation's great natural heritage.
Ken Ross is professor emeritus of political science at Adrian College.