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October 23, 2013

Prof. Mary Wood releases ‘Nature’s Trust’ empowering citizens to protect ecological rights

Leading experts say book is 'Silent Spring' for the new millennium

Empowering citizens worldwide to protect their inalienable ecological rights. That is the goal of University of Oregon School of Law Professor Mary Wood's just-released book, "Nature's Trust: Environmental Law for a New Ecological Age." 

Wood writes that environmental law has failed us. Her work exposes the dysfunction of current environmental law and offers a transformative approach based on the public trust doctrine. The trust doctrine asserts public property rights to crucial resources. At its core, notes Wood, the doctrine compels government, as trustee, to protect natural inheritance such as air and water for all humanity.

Ultimately, Wood's book teaches the reader how a trust principle can apply from the local to global level to protect the planet, offering a new framework for environmental law.

"Nature's Trust" already has received numerous positive reviews and endorsements from some of the world's leading environmental thinkers including James Gustave Speth, author of "America the Possible: Manifesto for a New Economy" and former dean of the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.

Speth says the impact of Wood's book will be comparable to that of "Silent Spring."

"What 'Silent Spring' did for our perception of the environment, 'Nature's Trust' should do for our perception of environmental protection," he noted.

Kathleen Dean Moore, author of "Moral Ground: Ethical Action for a Planet in Peril," said, "'Nature’s Trust' is the book we have been waiting for, a new paradigm that can correct the course of history."

Wood is the Philip H. Knight Professor of Law and the faculty director of the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Program at Oregon Law. She is an award-winning teacher who has taught for more than 20 years in the areas of environmental law, property law, federal Indian law and other subjects. Wood is the co-author of two casebooks, one on natural resources law and the other on the public trust doctrine. She is a frequent speaker on climate crisis and environmental issues.

As Wood elaborates in her book, captured agencies use their discretion to allow mounting environmental losses that harm communities — precisely the damage that the statutes were designed to prevent. "I wrote this book to empower average citizens to assert their ecological rights and hold government accountable, as trustee, of our public resources," Wood explained.

For more information on "Nature's Trust," visit http://www.cambridge.org/us/knowledge/academic_discountpromotion/?site_locale=en_US&code=WOOD13

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