Cover

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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. i-vi

Contents

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pp. vii-viii

List of Illustrations

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pp. ix-xii

List of Tables

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pp. xiii-xiv

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xv-xx

One of my most vivid childhood memories of the Yellowstone area was watching one summer—with my late brother Joshua—as a resort company built a small hotel next to my grandfather’s aged cabin. My curiosity about the deeper meaning of this relatively minor construction project would stay with me for many years. As time passed, and with each summer spent in the area, it seemed that...

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Introduction: Bringing Moral Culture into the Fray

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pp. 1-33

Yellowstone holds a special place in America’s heart—a young nation’s Eden and the crown jewel of modern preservation. As the world’s first national park, it is globally recognized as the prototype of natural purity and goodness. But in recent decades, Yellowstone and its surrounding areas have become a lightningrod for environmental controversy, an area plagued by social disunity and intractable...

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1. Believing in Yellowstone: The Moralization of Nature and the Creation of America’s Eden

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pp. 34-65

As the ice on the Yellowstone Plateau began to melt from thousands of years of deep glaciation, new life emerged, and humans followed the retreating ice in search of animal and plant sustenance. Archaeologists, paleontologists, and historians trace the melting ice and the existence of human life in Yellowstone back at least 11,000 years (Cannon, 1993; Haines, 1977). Yet most popular...

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2. The New (Wild) West: Social Upheaval, Moral Devaluation, and the Rise of Conflict

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pp. 66-118

On a chilly March evening in 1997, President Clinton’s secretary of agriculture, the governor of Montana, and both of Montana’s U.S. senators convened an important public hearing at a local high school, just steps from the famed Roosevelt Arch at the north entrance of Yellowstone National Park. As with most public meetings in the GYE, this night promised a rational discussion about...

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3. Buffalo Crusaders: The Sacred Struggle for America’s Last Wild and Pure Herd

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pp. 119-167

At 4:45 a.m. I quietly rolled out of my sleeping bag for another morning of buffalo reconnaissance, stepping gently along the cold dusty cabin floor, careful not to wake the other activists. I quickly gathered my patrol gear—headlamp, maps, snow boots, binoculars, bear spray, and countless layers of wool. Rubbing my sleepy eyes, I made my way out of the cabin toward the beat-up Subaru station...

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4. Between Good and Evil: The Science, Culture, and Polarization of Wolf Conflict

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pp. 168-216

On January 12, 1995, at the iconic northern entrance of Yellowstone Park, President Clinton’s secretary of the interior, Bruce Babbitt, proclaimed a triumph of modern conservation biology to hundreds of fervent spectators and national news media: “This is a day of redemption and a day of hope. . . we’re showing our children that restoration is possible, that we can restore a community to its...

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5. Drilling Our Soul: Moral Boundary Work in an Unlikely Old-West Fight against Fracking

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pp. 217-257

Why are some parts of nature treated as more special than others? Why do we draw strong moral boundaries around areas that supposedly deserve more protection, yet other areas we neglect with the ease of indifference? These questions involve (1) how, and why, we value nature, and (2) the social and political conditions under which collective action about these values actually...

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Conclusion

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pp. 258-262

Popular and scholarly attention to environmental problems has increased dramatically in recent decades, with more and more technical resources devoted to understanding the ecological, economic, legal, and political aspects of humanity’s relationship with the natural environment. Indeed, this flurry of biological research, economic valuation, policy programming, legal scrutiny, attitudinal...

Appendix: Methodological Notes

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pp. 263-270

Bibliography

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pp. 271-282

Index

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pp. 283-292

Series List

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pp. 293-294