Adam M. Sowards is an award-winning environmental historian, writer, and professor. Making America's Public Lands is his fifth book. At the heart of his work are questions about nature and democracy. He has taught at the University of Idaho since 2003.
In the United States, the federal government owns more than a quarter of the nation's landscape--nearly 640 million acres; or more than a million square miles, which, if consolidated, would make it the tenth largest nation on earth. Primarily managed by four federal agencies--the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S.
Situated among the North Cascade Mountains of Washington State, in the Glacier Peak Wilderness Area, Miners Ridge contains vast quantities of copper. Kennecott Copper Corporation's plan to develop an open-pit mine there was, when announced in 1966, the first test of the mining provision of the Wilderness Act passed by Congress in 1964.