Staking Out the Terrain

Power and Performance Among Natural Resource Agencies, Second Edition

By Jeanne Nienaber Clarke & Daniel McCool

Subjects: Political Science, Public Administration, Environmental Studies
Paperback : 9780791429464, 279 pages, July 1996
Hardcover : 9780791429457, 279 pages, July 1996

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Table of contents

List of Illustrations
List of Tables

1. Differentials in Agency Power

2. Bureaucratic Superstars: The Army Corps of Engineers and The U. S. Forest Service

3. Agencies that Muddle Through: The National Park Service, the Natural Resources and Conservation Service, and the Fish and Wildlife Service

4. Organizational Shooting Stars: The Bureau of Reclamation and the Bureau of Land Management

5. A Cross-Validation of Agency Power: Budget, Personnel, and Status Rankings

6. From Staking Out the Terrain to Searching for Common Ground


An original approach to the study of bureaucratic behavior that formulates a model of agency power supported by analysis of seven federal natural resource agencies.


This new edition provides a current and comprehensive analysis of some key federal agencies that manage natural resources: the Army Corps of Engineers, the U. S. Forest Service, the National Park Service, the Natural Resources Conservation Service (formerly the Soil Conservation Service), the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Reclamation, and the Bureau of Land Management. Although the book's framework remains unchanged, the chapters have been revised and updated with over 50 percent new material, and more emphasis has been placed on the centrality of the budget process for policymaking.

Staking Out the Terrain offers a wealth of historical detail as well as an analysis of current policy conflicts over natural resource management. In addition to examining current trends in water and land management, Clarke and McCool put forward an innovative proposal to reshape federal natural resource administration for the twenty-first century.

Jeanne Nienaber Clarke is Associate Professor of Political Science and Adjunct Associate Professor of Renewable Natural Resources at the University of Arizona and the author of several books, including Roosevelt's Warrior: Harold L. Ickes and the New Deal. Daniel C. McCool is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Utah. His most recent book is Public Policy Theory, Concepts, and Models: An Anthology.


"Staking Out the Terrain is a provocative and thoughtful work. …It is, in fact, of potential value to anyone interested in public policy or organizational behavior. " — Journal of Policy Analysis and Management

"Using the methodologies of policy analysis, historical development, the case study, and budgetary analysis, the authors provide an insightful analysis of bureaucratic behavior that helps explain why the fragmented approach to environmental policy has persisted so long. Clarke and McCool analyze seven federal natural resource agencies to formulate a model of agency power that focuses on the ability of agencies to expand resources and jurisdiction for environmental control. Their conclusions challenge the views of those who decry the growth and fragmentation of the federal environmental bureaucracy as irrational. " — Policy Studies Journal