The Land System of the United States: An Introduction to the
History and Practice of Land Use and Land Tenure
By Marion Clawson
2001/08 - Beard Books
1587980975 - Paperback - Reprint - 155 pp.
A practical and basic overview of the history of land use and ownership in the United States.
This compact and interesting book is a redraft of another work by the author,
Man and Land in the United States, and is designed to serve as an introduction
to the United States land system for foreigners. However, the straight-forward
approach and gamut of topics makes an excellent overview for all students of
history of land use and ownership. It covers the colonial period, origins of the
public domain, Federal land disposal, farm land, forest land, and urban land.
This volume is a redraft of another work by the author and is designed to serve as an introduction to the United States land system for foreign readers. However, it well serves as a basic overview for students and others interested in the history of land use and ownership. It covers the colonial period, origins of the public domain, Federal land disposal, farm land, forest land, and urban land.
Robert Marion Clawson (known as Marion Clawson throughout his life) was born in Elko, Nevada, to William Ennes and Agnes Clawson, on August 10, 1905. Marionís father was a miner and rancher, and during Clawsonís childhood, the family of four (Marionís younger brother, William, was born in 1907) lived in various towns in northern Nevada. He attended high school in Elko, and graduated in 1922 as valedictorian of his class. Clawson received both a B.S. in Agriculture in 1926, and a M.S. in Agricultural Economics in 1929, from the University of Nevada at Reno. He later earned a Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard University in 1943.
After graduating from college, Clawson worked for the University of Nevadaís Agricultural Experiment Station in Reno, where he studied the economics of Nevada farm operation. While pursuing this job, Clawson also took classes, wrote his thesis, and earned his Masterís in Agricultural Economics. From 1929-1946, Clawson worked for the United States Department of Agriculture in the Bureau of Agricultural Economics, Division of Farm Management and Costs. During this period, Clawson became a recognized figure in agricultural economics through his positions as research coordinator of the USDA and the Bureau of Reclamation (Department of the Interior)ís studies of the Columbia Basin Joint Investigations (Spokane, Washington) in 1940, and of the Central Valley Project Studies (Berkeley, California) in 1942.
In 1947, Clawson was appointed as the Regional Administrator for California and Nevada of the Department of the Interiorís Bureau of Land Management. The next year, Clawson became the Bureauís second director, and he served in this position until 1953. His tenure brought reorganization and strength of purpose to the fledgling Bureau.
From 1953 to 1955, the American firm of Gass-Bell and Associates employed Clawson as an economic advisor in Israel to advise on land, water, agriculture, and colonization. Clawson continued to consult and attend conferences overseas after 1955, travelling to Venezeula (1959), Chile (1960), and India (1961). (Also to Pakistan, in 1950, for the United Nations). In 1955, Clawson joined Resources for the Future, Inc., a nonprofit research organization in Washington, D.C., specifically concerned with studying environmental and natural resource issues. While at RFF, he served in several capacities, including Director of Land Use and Management Studies, Director of Land and Water Studies, Vice President, Acting President, and Consultant. A prolific writer, Clawson multiplied his publications of articles and books while at RFF, exploring such topics as public lands, land use, and outdoor recreation. He retired in 1976, but continued at RFF as a consultant and Senior Fellow Emeritus (appointed in 1981). Additionally, Clawson served as a consultant to the Rockefeller and Ford Foundations, as well as the United Nations.
In the 1970s, Clawson was honored as guest lecturer at the University of California Berkeley (Regentís Professor, 1976 winter term), the University of Washington in Seattle (the Walker-Ames Distinguished Professor) and as Visiting Professor at Duke University in Durham, NC (1977-1981).
Marion Clawson died on April 12, 1998, in Washington, D.C., and was survived by his wife, children, and grandchildren.