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Our Unprotected Heritage
Whitewashing the Destruction of Our Cultural and Natural Environment
Thomas F. King
200 pp. / 6.00 x 9.00 / Feb, 2009
Paperback (978-1-59874-381-4)
Hardback (978-1-59874-380-7)
eBook (978-1-61132-574-4)
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Related Interest
  - Archaeology
  - Environmental Studies
  - Heritage Management and Heritage Studies

Most Americans agree that our heritage—both natural and cultural—should be protected. Then why does development proceed unabated, aided—rather than limited—by government actions? Tom King has
"Thomas P. King sets out to explain the problems inherent in the current system of American “heritage laws,” most notably the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) and National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA). This book is not intended to contribute new insights to the field of cultural resource management and environment protection. Rather, King envisions it as more of an educational tool to identify the flaws of the federal government’s existing process and offer suggestions for how to improve the entire system. King’s dedication to environmental, historic, and cultural preservation is earnest and sincere. "

- Erica Morin, H-Net Reviews

"In this compelling book, Tom King examines the state of cultural and natural preservation in the United States and finds it sorely lacking....Our Unprotected Heritage is a must read for all those concerned with preservation of our national cultural and national resources."

- Mark Michel, American Archaeology

"Our Unprotected Heritage provides a candid ‘insider’ look at CRM and broader environmental management practice -- such expressions rarely reach publication. It offers thought-provoking and comprehensively approached criticism. Professional CRM/EIA practitioners will not agree with all of its criticisms and interpretations, but this book challenges us to reflect upon the importance of our individual and group roles in this thing we call Cultural Resources Management."

- Erwin Roemer, Department of Defense Legacy Resource Management Program Cultural Resources UPDATE

"…this book begins by exploring the myth that the US government has laws that protect our natural places. I know firsthand about this assumption recalling when my parents first visited me in the west. Like many Americans, my parents assumed that US National Forests were protected land. They were shocked to see the destructive clearcuts that were taking place in the early 90s. King offers solutions to fix the system, namely strengthening NEPA by keeping it politically and publicly prominent, so that we can truly move towards effective environmental policy. We must revise NEPA and "amend the US Constitution to give environmental protection the status of fundamental law." See the complete review online at: http://www.reallynatural.com/archives/environment/book_review_our_unprotected_he.php"

- Jennifer Lance, Really Natural

"Tom King's latest and greatest work, Our Unprotected Heritage, is now available. Having read a pre-publication copy, I strongly recommend that you obtain the book (and read it, too!). Be the first on your block to savor Tom's message to President Obama, and to peek into what may be the future of CRM."

- Michael J. Moratto, Applied EarthWorks, Inc.

"The book was a joy to read: It's provocative yet reasonable with a copious dash of delightfully dry humor. It also goes directly to the heart of some of the biggest problems with environmental protection and historic preservation. I would make this book required reading for any course on the National Environmental Policy Act or the National Historic Preservation Act. Undergraduates and graduate students preparing for environmental careers need to know about both acts, and they need to know how in practice our country goes about implementing them. Your book lays it out clearly with both a practical and theoretical understanding....I don't think I have ever read something on these two acts that I would call a 'page-turner,' but this book is exactly that. I kept wanting to read more!"

- John H. Perkins, The Evergreen State College

"Our Unprotected Heritage-Whitewashing Destruction of our Cultural and Natural Environment is a necessary and must read for anyone who has tried to penetrate the system! Whether you are an individual citizen, a tribal government, a concerned political representative, who has ever wondered why such projects catapult to existence and fruition. This book unveils the deep and cracked truth of these well-intended laws whose meaning and protections of the concerned are redirected within the process to the core of an already predetermined path. I am encouraged by the suggested adjustments to the existing laws; it is a beginning that holds great hope for a discouraged and frustrated person who for 25 years has attempted to work within the confines of a stay in the box system. Kudos to Tom for going out on the limb of a great tree of many colors for true democracy, of the people, by the people, FOR THE PEOPLE!"

- Nora McDowell, Former Chair, Fort Mojave Indian Tribe

been a participant in and observer of this system for decades, as a government worker, heritage consultant, and advocate for local communities. In this hard-hitting critique of the heritage-industrial complex, King points the finger at watchdogs who serve as advocates for development, unintelligible (often contradictory) regulations, uninvolved government officials, and power-seeking agencies, who together keep our heritage unprotected. His solution to this crisis will be uncomfortable to many in power, but may help save more of our cultural and natural resources.

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