In this sweeping social history Dorceta E. Taylor examines the emergence and rise of the multifaceted U.S. conservation movement from the mid-nineteenth to the early twentieth century. She shows how race, class, and gender influenced every aspect of the movement, including the establishment of parks; campaigns to protect wild game, birds, and fish; forest conservation; outdoor recreation; and the movement's links to nineteenth-century ideologies. Initially led by white urban elites – whose early efforts discriminated against the lower class and were often tied up with slavery and the appropriation of Native lands – the movement benefited from contributions to policy making, knowledge about the environment, and activism by the poor and working class, people of colour, women, and Native Americans. Far-ranging and nuanced, The Rise of the American Conservation Movement comprehensively documents the movement's competing motivations, conflicts, problematic practices, and achievements in new ways.
"The Rise of the American Conservation Movement is a daunting, ambitious, and comprehensive presentation and analysis of U.S. environmental history like none other. Dorceta E. Taylor amasses a wealth of data, including rich and moving biographies of people across the racial, class, and gender spectrum who played critical roles in shaping environmental thought and action in this country. This book will inspire you to reconsider nearly everything you think you know about environmental history."
– David Naguib Pellow, Dehlsen Professor of Environmental Studies, UC Santa Barbara
"Pulling together a quarter-century of groundbreaking work, Dorceta E. Taylor unearths, documents, and examines the disproportionate price that low-income communities and people of color pay for our environmental ills. She lays bare the failings of our government and the environmental community to adequately address the inequities at the heart of widespread environmental injustice. And she shows how we can confront those shortcomings, strengthen the environmental safety net, and improve the quality of our democracy by making this movement look, think, and sound more like the nation it serves."
– Rhea Suh, president, the Natural Resources Defense Council
Part I. The Impetus for Change
1. Key Concepts Informing Early Conservation Thought 9
2. Wealthy People and the City: An Ambivalent Relationship 32
Part II. Manliness, Womanhood, Wealth, and Sport
3. Wealth, Manliness, and Exploring the Outdoors: Racial and Gender Dynamics 51
4. Wealth, Women, and Outdoor Pursuits 83
5. People of Color: Access to and Control of Resources 109
Part III. Wildlife Protection
6. Sport Hunting, Scarcity, and Wildlife Protection 161
7. Blaming Women, Immigrants, and Minorities for Bird Destruction 189
8. Challenging Wildlife Regulations and Understanding the Business-Conservation Connections 224
Part IV. Gender, Wealth, and Forest Conservation
9. Rural Beautification and Forest Conservation: Gender, Class, and Corporate Dynamics 257
10. Preservation, Conservation, and Business Interests Collide 290
11. National Park Preservation, Racism, and Business Relations 328
12. Nation Building, Racial Exclusion, and the Social Construction of Wildlands 350
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Dorceta E. Taylor is James E. Crowfoot Collegiate Professor of Environmental Justice at the University of Michigan. She is the author of The Environment and the People in American Cities, 1600s-1900s: Disorder, Inequality, and Social Change, also published by Duke University Press, and Toxic Communities: Environmental Racism, Industrial Pollution, and Residential Mobility, and the editor of Environment and Social Justice: An International Perspective.