Cover

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Half Title, Title Page, Copyright

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Contents

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pp. v-vi

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Preface

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pp. vii-viii

This book began as an attempt to trace the development of American environmentalism in the period after the buoyant and triumphant 1960s and 1970s, when the issues had seemed both obvious and compelling and so much was being accomplished. ...

List of Abbreviations

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pp. ix-x

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Introduction

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pp. 3-10

My home is approximately two miles from northeast Ohio’s Cuyahoga Valley National Park, one of the new national parks of the 1970s that reflected the vigor and militancy of environmentalism activism during those years. The park resulted from a decade-long campaign to preserve the picturesque valley from urban sprawl, ...

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1. An Auspicious Legacy

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pp. 11-44

The achievements of the conservation community prior to 1980 included a national park system second to none, a pioneering National Wilderness Preservation System, a variety of other protected lands, a complex body of rules governing their management, and general recognition that government was necessary to protect vulnerable plants and animals. ...

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2. Origins of Gridlock: The Reagan Years

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pp. 45-68

The golden age of political environmentalism came to an abrupt end in January 1981 with the inauguration of Ronald Reagan as Carter’s successor and the seating of twelve new Republican senators, which gave the GOP control of the Senate. In earlier years a change of administration would have had little impact and virtually no immediate effect on conservation legislation or policy. ...

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3. Upheaval: The Environmental Movement in Transition

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pp. 69-86

The dramatic changes associated with Reagan, Watt, and their acolytes marked the beginning of a new political era marked by public confrontations and high-stakes battles over the legacy of the 1960s and 1970s. The enemies of conservation were no longer intimidated. And if political gridlock was the result, ...

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4. An Intellectual Revolution

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pp. 87-126

Since the nineteenth century the most common and compelling arguments for conserving natural resources had been their unique features, aesthetic appeal, or recreational potential. Few people were so hard-hearted that they could not appreciate the beauty of the western national parks or of Acadia, Great Smoky Mountains, Isle Royale, or the new Alaska parks. ...

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5. Forests and Owls

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pp. 127-146

The new emphasis on biodiversity may have been applauded in scientific and environmental circles by the late 1980s, but it raised troubling questions and concerns in other quarters. The federal and state agencies devoted to natural resource management typically reacted with curiosity, skepticism, and a wariness of fundamental changes. ...

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6. Conservation on Trial: The Clinton Years

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pp. 147-178

By 1993, the major elements of a new, more rigorous approach to natural resource conservation were in place. As the biologist Edward Gumbine noted, environmentalists were beginning to see “ecosystems instead of endangered species and biodiversity instead of parks and forests.”1 In the scientific world the intellectual revolution of the previous decade had led to calls for “cores, ...

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7. Land Conservation circa 2000

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pp. 179-204

By the end of the century the deceptively simple formula favored by scientists for preserving biodiversity, “cores, corridors, and carnivores,” masked the formidable assignment they had proposed. Corridors, the links between core areas, designed to facilitate the movement of plants and animals, were hard to define and even harder to create. ...

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8. A Perilous Course: Twenty-First-Century Conservation

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pp. 205-244

By the first decade of the twenty-first century American conservation reflected the experiences of the previous quarter century together with a growing perception of the natural world as dangerously overcrowded, abused, and nearing catastrophic collapse. In this setting two remedial steps seemed essential. ...

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9. American Conservation: A Progress Report

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pp. 245-268

In 2011 the director of the National Park Service, Jon Jarvis, asked his advisory board’s Science Committee to reexamine the agency’s approach to resource management in light of changing conditions and new scientific perspectives. He called explicitly for updating the 1963 Leopold report. ...

Note on Sources

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pp. 269-270

Bibliography

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pp. 271-296

About the Author

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pp. 297-298

Index

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pp. 299-312