Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

The Kankakee Wetlands: A Case Study in Ethics and Public Policy

  • Sarah E. Roberts (a1)

Abstract

In 1996, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service made a proposal to restore and preserve 30,000 acres of wetlands in Indiana's Kankakee River basin. Local farmers opposed this, expressing concerns about how a wildlife refuge would affect farming communities along the Kankakee River. Undergirding what seems to be a simple conflict between incompatible environmental and economic interests is a more fundamental conflict between competing ethical frameworks for evaluating public policy. One helpful approach is to examine the normative issues in the Kankakee dispute in terms of the contrast between consequentialist and non-consequentialist ethical frameworks. This article attempts to establish that a failure to recognize alternatives to the consequentialist framework has resulted in a failure of opposing parties to recognize and address each other's ethical concerns. An analysis of the Kankakee wetlands dispute will reveal why it is important for environmentalists to be cognizant of alternatives to consequentialist ethical frameworks.

Copyright

References

Hide All
Ax, B. (1997). Guest Editorial. The Starke County Leader, July 16.
Ax, B. (1998). Speech at the Kankakee River Watershed Workshop, Hoosier Environmental Council, Hebron, Indiana, February 24.
Clark, F. et al. (1998). “Proposed Grand Kankakee Marsh National Wildlife Refuge: Draft Environmental Assessment.U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. March.
Epstein, R.A. (1985). Takings: Private Property and the Power of Eminent Domain. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Epstein, R.A. (1994). “n the Optimal Mix of Private and Common Property.” Social Philosophy and Policy 11 (2).
Habermas, J. (1990). “Moral Consciousness and Communicative Action.” In Benhabib, S. and Dallmayr, F. (eds.), The Communicative Ethics Controversy. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Hospers, J. (1971). “The Right to Property.” Libertarianism. Los Angeles: Nash Publishing.
House Bill to Slow Grand Kankakee Marsh Project” (1997). The Starke County Leader, July 23.
Mill, J.S. ([1861]1974). Utilitarianism. Indianapolis, IN: Hackett.
Rawls, J. (1971). A Theory of Justice. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press.
Thompson, P.B. (1997). “Value Frames and Natural Resource Management.Presented at the Society for Range Management conference. February 9, Rapid City, South Dakota.
Thompson, P.B., Matthews, R.J., and Van Ravensway, E.O. (1994). Ethics, Public Policy, and Agriculture. New York: Macmillan.
Turner, T (1997). “pposition Rises on Wildlife Refuge.” South Bend Tribune, August 26.
Varner, G. (1994). “Environmental Law and the Eclipse of Land as Private Property.” In Ferre, F. and Hartel, P. (eds.), Ethics and Environmental Policy: Theory Meets Practice. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press.

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed