The Cost of Federalism: Ecology, Community, and the Pragmatism of Land Use

The Law and Policy of Environmental Federalism: A Comparative Analysis, Kalyani Robbins & Erin Ryan, eds. (Edward Elgar, 2015)

Albany Law School Research Paper No. 4 for 2016-2017

26 Pages Posted: 16 Aug 2016 Last revised: 27 Oct 2016

Date Written: November 24, 2014

Abstract

If there is a victim of federalism, it is undoubtedly the community. Localities, in contrast to the federal government, have a very real stake in the quality of ecosystem functionality, because localities rely on ecosystem services as the beneficiaries of those services. When local governments regulate land uses to prevent degradation of important local ecosystems, they regulate from a purposes that non-local governments simply do not have. This book chapter examines the exercise of federal control over environmental issues and its potential assault on the merits of community. The chapter explores whether imposed homogeneity or sameness at the federal level defeats the benefits of self-identifying communities through land use controls and, if so, whether that is a trade-off we are willing to accept. Our objective is to help clarify the impact of federal regulation on local land use control and to more completely articulate how federal regulation detaches a community from its local ecosystem.

Keywords: ecosystems, ecosystem services, local government, land use, communities, federalism, environment, natural resources, decentralization

JEL Classification: K32, Q57, R52

Suggested Citation

Hirokawa, Keith H. and Rosenbloom, Jonathan D., The Cost of Federalism: Ecology, Community, and the Pragmatism of Land Use (November 24, 2014). The Law and Policy of Environmental Federalism: A Comparative Analysis, Kalyani Robbins & Erin Ryan, eds. (Edward Elgar, 2015) ; Albany Law School Research Paper No. 4 for 2016-2017. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2820740

Keith H. Hirokawa

Albany Law School ( email )

80 New Scotland Avenue
Albany, NY 12208
United States

Jonathan D. Rosenbloom (Contact Author)

Drake University Law School ( email )

27th & Carpenter Sts.
Des Moines, IA 50311
United States

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