About Different Drummer Magazine

Each 64-page issue of Different Drummer provides an in-depth analysis of some resource agency or topic. Whether you are concerned about overgrazing on public lands, biodiversity, the Park Service, or the effect of the national debt on the environment, there is no better source of information than Different Drummer.

Following is a description of issues published to date. Excerpts from the more recent issues are on line. You can order any issue for $5.95 each, or a subscription to the next four issues for $19.95, from the Thoreau Institute. New subscribers may order three or more back issues for $1 apiece.

Past Issues

Porking out

Pork Barrel and the Environment

The problems environmentalists face with Congress today will seem trivial compared to a few years from now, when income taxes will exceed 50 percent of personal income just to keep Social Security going. Different Drummer analyzes the federal debt and shows how we can reduce it without destroying the environment. For an excellent database of historic budgetary information, see our link to on-line federal budget data.

Going shopping

Creating the Environmental Supermarket

If the federal government can't protect the environment, who can? Everyone can, this issue argues, provided we bring as many environmental resources into the market as possible. After showing how markets work--and when they don't--Different Drummer briefly presents market solutions to such problems as air pollution, congestion, water shortages, and endangered species.


Reforming the Western Range

Millions of acres of federal lands are overgrazed despite the best intentions of public land managers, ranchers, and environmentalists. The Spring, 1994, issue shows that overgrazing is a direct result of Congressional mismanagement of the public lands and suggests reforms that would lead to improvements without putting ranchers out of business.


Incentives for Protecting North American Biodiversity

Essays by eighteen Canadian, Mexican, and U.S. biologists, economists, and attorneys present a variety of ideas for preserving biodiversity.


Tarnished Jewels: The Case for Reforming the Park Service

National park ecosystems are disintegrating. Tourist infrastructure is falling apart from neglect and overuse. Yet Congress has dedicated billions of national park dollars to such things as converting a former military base into a glorified office park, restoring rust-belt factories, and building multiplex theatres. Different Drummer shows how most park problems can be solved by funding the parks exclusively out of user fees, not tax dollars. The issue also lists budgets, receipts, and visitation data for every unit of the National Park System.


Reinventing the Forest Service

President Clinton wants to reinvent the Forest Service; some members of Congress want to give the national forests to the states; the Forest Service isn't sure what it wants. Different Drummer reviews all aspects of this huge agency, from the size of its workforce, to its budget, to a forest-by-forest lising of the profits and losses from 1993 and 1994 timber programs.


States Lands and Resources

Some members of Congress want to turn federal lands over to the states. But are the states more efficient, more innovative, or in any way better land managers than federal agencies? Different Drummer reviews state park, forest, and fish and wildlife agencies to find out.


Congress and the Federal Lands

Different Drummer covers the continuing debate over transferring the federal lands over to the states with articles by a dozen leading researchers, writers, and public land users. We've posted several articles on the web that we didn't have room for in Different Drummer.

Black-footed ferret

The Endangered Endangered Species Act

One of the most controversial environmental laws ever passed is up for Congressional review, and many Republicans want to heavily amend it. Is the law working to save endangered species? Can it be made to work better without provoking all of the hostility the current law generates? Different Drummer answers these questions with articles by eleven researchers and analysts.

Portland streetcar

The Vanishing Automobile

Many cities are suffering congestion, sprawl, and other pains of rapid growth. Planners and architects who call themselves the "New Urbanists" say they can solve these problems and reduce people's dependence on cars. But Different Drummer finds that New Urbanist ideas are little more than wishful thinking: Instead of making autos vanish, their plans will make congestion far worse.

Earth First! roadshow in the early 80s

The State of the Environmental Movement

Organizations, social movements, and other institutions are best viewed as organisms responding and evolving in response to changes in their environment. The political environment of the environmental movement has changed dramatically in recent years. How are environmental groups responding to these changes? What new tactics and ideas will emerge? Can environmentalists work with conservatives? Different Drummer asked more than a dozen leading environmentalists and observers of the movement to answer these and similar questions.


An Environmental Agenda for 105th Congress

What should a Republican Congress--or any Congress in fiscally tight times--do to protect the environment? Different Drummer answers this question for a dozen different topics, ranging from Superfund to fisheries, with articles by ten different writers.

Inside the Bureau of Land Management

The BLM manages more land than any other entity in the U.S., yet few people are familiar with its overall programs. Different Drummer reviews the agency's minerals, timber, grazing, and recreation programs, and analyzes the budgets for each of the 60 BLM districts.

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Last updated 21 January 1998 by Randal O'Toole.