ELI Primary Menu

Skip to main content

Losing Ground: A Nation on Edge

Losing Ground: A Nation on Edge


John R. Nolon and Daniel B. Rodriguez
Price: $69.95

Release Date: 

June 2007






America builds on the edge of disaster prone areas—on seashores and rivers, next to highly flammable forests, and in valuable wetlands. The property rights and the investment-backed expectations of land owners stand as key hurdles to the use of government regulation to mitigate disasters. While the integration of the natural and built environments is the leitmotif of modern planning philosophy, this causes tremendous tension when trying to reduce the economic, social, and human toll of natural disasters. The challenge of public policy is not to decry these cultural and political realities, but to draw upon them – and also to challenge them – in the service of sensible environmental regulation.

Losing Ground: A Nation on Edge calls attention to the emerging issues involved in building on the edge of vulnerable places, explores why we do this, and proposes ways to mitigate its impact. This volume contains creative thinking and informative analysis about new approaches to ecosystem management and environmental regulation that localities and states can implement to protect the environment, society, and property rights. This book proudly joins ELI’s Ground Suite—the original critically acclaimed suite of books on land use and environmental law by Professor John Nolon.

About the Author

John R. Nolon is a Professor of Law at Pace University School of Law, counsel to the school’s Land Use Law Center, and a Visiting Professor at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. He has served as a consultant to President Jimmy Carter’s Council on Development Choice for the 1980s and on President William J. Clinton’s Council on Sustainable Development.

This book is part of a series that includes three other books on land use and conservation practices published by the Environmental Law Institute. The three other books are: Open Ground: Effective Local Strategies for Protecting Natural Resources (2003); New Ground: The Advent of Local Environmental Law (2003); and Well Grounded: Using Local Land Use Authority to Achieve Smart Growth (2001). Professor Nolon is the author and/or co-author of numerous books on land use law, including one of the nation’s oldest casebooks, Land Use: Cases and Materials (6th ed. 2003) (with Morton Gitelman, Patricia E. Salkin, and Robert R.Wright). Professor Nolon received his B.A. from the University of Nebraska and his J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School. He can be reached by e-mail at jnolon@law.pace.edu.

Daniel B. Rodriguez is a Professor of Law at University of San Diego (USD) School of Law and served as its dean until July 2005. Before teaching at USD, Professor Rodriguez was a Professor of Law at the Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California at Berkeley. In addition, he has been a Visiting Professor at the University of Southern California, University of Texas at Austin, University of Illinois, and the McGeorge School of Law. He has been a Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University and the John M. Olin Fellow in Law and Economics at the University of Virginia. Professor Rodriguez is also an adjunct professor at the University of California’s San Diego School of International Relations and Pacific Studies.

Professor Rodriguez teaches and writes in numerous areas of law, including: administrative law; local government law; federal and state constitutional law; property; and the political economy of regulation and government. He received his B.A. from California State University at Long Beach and his J.D. from Harvard University. He can be reached by e-mail at danr@sandiego.edu.