For most of this class, we have been discussing environmental policy issues specific to the federal government. As a change of pace, for this assignment, each student will select a local government entity (i.e., a county, city, or township – you may not select a state government entity or the federal government) for purposes of completing the essay. The only restriction I will place on your selection is that I want you to select a local government that is (1) located outside of the State of Utah; and (2) is a local government in which you don’t currently reside and in which you have never resided (I’m trying to “force” you to familiarize yourself with a new jurisdictional area). I have no preference as to whether you select an urban area (such as Los Angeles County, CA, or the City of Chicago, IL) or a rural area (such as Nye County, NV, or Montpiellier, ID). Once you have made your selection, familiarize yourself with your chosen jurisdiction, its history, and its successes and challenges related to environmental policy using the jurisdiction’s official website and newspaper articles written by reporters working for news agencies assigned to cover your chosen jurisdiction. Your paper (which should be written in narrative/essay form), should address the following questions/issues:
• What are two environmental-policy-related challenges your chosen jurisdiction is currently facing (or, alternatively, has faced in the past)? Describe specifically what makes these two policy areas especially challenging for your chosen jurisdiction.
• How does the local political environment (or atmosphere) in your chosen jurisdiction affect the government officials tasked with dealing with the environmental -policy-related issues you have identified? In other words, does the local political environment (or atmosphere) complicate or simplify this issue? Why is this so?
• Describe at least two ways in which the texts for our class help you understand (or make sense of) the challenges that you identify. Your essay should contain at least two (2) citations to our texts and four (4) citations to news media articles (such as from a local newspaper or news radio station) written about your jurisdiction (Wikipedia does not count as a citable source for purposes of this assignment).
Your essay should be between 6-8 pages (double-spaced) in length and will be graded on a point scale of 0-100 and be worth 15% of your final grade.
It CAN’T be Utah or Massachusetts. Our textbooks for class are:
Walter A. Rosenbaum, Environmental Politics and Policy (10th Ed.) (2016) (ISBN# 9781604266078)
Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness (1990) (ISBN# 9780671695880)
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