The Rebirth of Environmentalism: Grassroots Activism from the Spotted Owl to the Polar Bear

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Island Press, Jun 22, 2012 - Science - 304 pages
Over the past two decades, a select group of small but highly effective grassroots organizations have achieved remarkable success in protecting endangered species and forests in the United States. The Rebirth of Environmentalism tells for the first time the story of these grassroots biodiversity groups.  Author Douglas Bevington offers engaging case studies of three of the most influential biodiversity protection campaigns—the Headwaters Forest campaign, the “zero cut” campaign on national forests, and the endangered species litigation campaign exemplified by the Center for Biological Diversity—providing the reader with an in-depth understanding of the experience of being involved in grassroots activism. Based on first-person interviews with key activists in these campaigns, the author explores the role of tactics, strategy, funding, organization, movement culture, and political conditions in shaping the influence of the groups. He also examines the challenging relationship between radicals and moderate groups within the environmental movement, and addresses how grassroots organizations were able to overcome constraints that had limited the advocacy of other environmental organizations. Filled with inspiring stories of activists, groups, and campaigns that most readers will not have encountered before, The Rebirth of Environmentalism explores how grassroots biodiversity groups have had such a big impact despite their scant resources, and presents valuable lessons that can help the environmental movement as a whole—as well as other social movements—become more effective.

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The Rise of Grassroots Biodiversity Activism and the Rebirth of Environmentalism
Origins of the Grassroots Biodiversity Groups
Never Mind the Nationals The Headwaters Forest Campaign
Transforming a National The John Muir Sierrans and the ZeroCut Campaign
Becoming a National The Center for Biological Diversity and Endangered Species Litigation
Boldness Has Genius The Lessons of Grassroots Biodiversity Activism for the Campaign Against Global Warming
Arrival of the Obama Administration
Origins of Four Biodiversity Protection Laws
Chapter Notes
Glossary of Acronyms
About the Author

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About the author (2012)

Douglas Bevington is the forest program director for Environment Now, a grantmaking foundation based in California. He received his PhD in sociology from the University of California, Santa Cruz, where he taught courses on social movement studies.

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