Bargaining for Eden Reading Guide

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Stephen Trimble’s Bargaining for Eden is now available in paperback. The following reading guide questions are available to facilitate the book group and classroom discussions the book is provoking:

Discussion Questions:

1. Have you seen places in your own community change drastically, as open spaces fill in? Were you part of the decision-making process that led to the change?

2. A fundamental chasm of values lies at the heart of Trimble’s book – land as commodity vs. land as connection. Where do you fall on the continuum between these two extremes?

3. Trimble confronts his own complicity in filling in the open spaces of
the West when he and his wife subdivide their land in southern Utah. In building his home on the mesa, was he consistent with his beliefs? Once the author builds his southern Utah retreat, is he so different from Earl Holding?

4. Given the fact that he did not interview Earl Holding, does the author have the right to give him so much weight as a character? Does he treat Earl fairly?

5. Did we violate the public trust when we, as a nation, traded public land within a national forest to Earl Holding? Were the citizens who live around Mount Ogden justified in believing that the Forest Service let them down? What does the Snowbasin story say about the effectiveness of our democracy?

6. Wherever you live, public lands belong to you. How vivid is your sense of ownership of the public lands nearest to your house?

7. Have you ever built on undeveloped land or purchased a home in a rural landscape? Is it possible to develop the land without harming it?

8. Land trusts have become the most powerful force for preserving private lands. Is there an active land trust in your community? What lands have they preserved? Have you visited any of these local conservation lands?

9. At the end of the book, how did you feel about the future of conserving our open space in America?

More information on Stephen Trimble is available in this downloadable pdf of his extended biography, or on his website.

Order the book today on www.ucpress.edu and save 20%. Use code 09W6936 in the shopping cart at checkout.