Thoroughly researched and finely crafted, After the Grizzly traces the history of endangered species and habitat in California, from the time of the Gold Rush to the present. Peter S. Alagona shows how scientists and conservationists came to view the fates of endangered species as inextricable from ecological conditions and human activities in the places where those species lived.
Focusing on the stories of four high-profile endangered species – the California condor, desert tortoise, Delta smelt, and San Joaquin kit fox – Alagona offers an absorbing account of how Americans developed a political system capable of producing and sustaining debates in which imperiled species serve as proxies for broader conflicts about the politics of place. The challenge for conservationists in the twenty-first century, After the Grizzly claims, will be to redefine habitat conservation beyond protected wildlands to build more diverse and sustainable landscapes.
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Peter S. Alagona is Assistant Professor of History and Environmental Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He was Visiting Assistant Professor at Stanford and Beagle Environmental Fellow at Harvard and previously worked as a national park ranger and as a consulting ecologist. Since 2009, he has been an Associate Editor for the MIT Press series Histories for a Sustainable Future.