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In Crossing the Next Meridian, Wilkinson explains to a general audience some of the core problems that face the American West, both now and in the years to come. An expert on federal public lands, Native American issues, and the West's arcane water laws, Wilkinson looks at the outmoded ideas that pervade land use and resource allocation. He argues that significant reform of Western law is needed to combat environmental decline and heal splintered communities. Interweaving legal history with examples of present-day consequences, both intended and unintended, Wilkinson traces the origins and development of Western laws and regulations. He relates stories of Westerners who face these issues on a day-to-day basis and discusses what can and should be done to bring government policies in line with the reality of twentieth-century American life. His examination seeks a middle ground between those who champion unrestricted growth and those who advocate complete preservation.