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Recently, the focus of the world has been turned to an idea expressed by Senator Jackson, contained in both NEPA and the Land Use Planning Act, "sustainable development."  The phrase recognizes the interrelationship of our natural and social systems and the concept acknowledges the need to accommodate environmental protection, economic development and social equity.  Recent writings on how to achieve "sustainability" advocate a methodology similar to that expressed by Senator Jackson in the 1970s.  J. William Futrell, a well known environmentalist and author writes:

[T]he transition to a law of sustainable development will best be made by organizing the reform agenda around human activity.  We should reexamine our property rights principles, the tax code and banking institutions and conduct a sector by sector revision of the laws governing agriculture, energy, transportation, and manufacturing.  The most important step to establish sustainability ... [is] tailoring law more closely to the patterns of human behavior. ... It will make better use of the tools of environmental governance and ease the burden of command and control regulation.178

Twenty five years ago, Senator Jackson challenged the nation to move beyond "the crisis of the moment" and create sustainable patterns of development.  He proposed a tool to achieve that end, comprehensive land use planning.  Jackson  understood then what many recognize today:  environmental protection can not be achieved through a policy of "no growth," because this approach sacrifices needed economic development and social equity.  Jackson advocated, instead, an integrated decisionmaking process wherein the needs of all constituencies could be

    (J. William Futrell, Law of Sustainable Development, Environmental Forum, March/April (1994) at 16.


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