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The National Wildlife Refuges provides a comprehensive examination of the laws and policies governing management of the national wildlife refuges, offering for the first time a practical description and analysis of the management regime outlined in the 1997 National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act. The 1997 act is the first new statute governing a system of federal public lands enacted since the 1970s. The evolution of law governing the refuge system parallels broader trends in public land management and environmental protection, making the refuge system a valuable case study for those interested in environmental management, policy, and law. The book: describes the National Wildlife Refuge System and its legal history; offers a detailed breakdown of the 1997 act, including its purpose, designated uses, comprehensive planning provisions, substantive management criteria, and public participation aspects; considers individual refuges and specific issues that apply to only certain refuges; discusses oil and gas development in refuges; offers observations about how well the refuge system law resolves historic tensions and achieves modern conservation goals; A separate chapter exa