Cover image for American women conservationists : twelve profiles
American women conservationists : twelve profiles
Holmes, Madelyn, 1945-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Jefferson, N.C. : McFarland, [2004]

Physical Description:
202 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
Mary Austin (1868-1934) -- Florence Merriam Bailey (1863-1948) -- Rosalie Edge (1877-1962) -- Marjory Stoneman Douglas (1890-1998) -- Helen Nearing (1904-1995) -- Rachel Carson (1907-1964) -- Contemporary women conservationists : Faith McNulty, Ann Zwinger, Sue Hubbell, Anne Labastille, Mollie Beattie, and Terry Tempest Williams -- Conclusion, ideas for our time.
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QH26 .H66 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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This collection of biographies describes twelve women conservationists who helped change the ways Americans interact with the natural environment. Their writings led Americans to think differently about their land--deserts are not wastelands, swamps have value, and harmful insects don't have to be controlled chemically. These women not only wrote on behalf of conservation of the American landscape but also described strategies for living exemplary, environmentally sound lives during the past century. From a bird lover to a "back to the land" activist, these women gave early warning of the detrimental effects of neglecting conservation. The main part of this work covers six historical figures who pioneered in their thinking and writing about the environment: Mary Austin, Florence Merriam Bailey, Rosalie Edge, Marjory Stoneman Douglas, Helen Nearing, and Rachel Carson. A later chapter gives portraits of six post-World War II conservationists: Faith McNulty, Ann Zwinger, Sue Hubbell, Anne LaBastille, Mollie Beattie, and Terry Tempest Williams. The work covers a broad range of conservationist concerns, including preservation of deserts and old growth forests, wildlife protection, wetlands maintenance, self-sufficient sustainable ways of producing food, and pollution control. A conclusion examines where conservationists have picked up after Rachel Carson's Silent Spring (1962) and gives conservation ideas for our time. An appendix lists the published writings of the twelve conservationists.

Author Notes

Women's historian Madelyn Holmes has written for The Christian Science Monitor and The Geographical Magazine. She lives in Burlington, Vermont

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Booklist Review

A historian with the National Park Service, Holmes provides a concise history of environmental conservation in the U.S and the role women have played. She then presents portraits of six early-twentieth-century women, beginning with Mary Austin and ending with Rachel Carson, and thumbnail sketches of six post-World War II conservationists influencing U.S. environmental policies today, including Sue Hubbell and Terry Tempest Williams. The passions of the first six included the California desert, the establishment of Olympic National Park, wildlife sanctuaries for birds of prey, the protection of the Everglades, the back to nature movement, and Carson's explications of the mysteries of the sea and her monumental treatise on humankind's poisoning of the environment, Silent Spring. Each of the six contemporary conservationists shares an ecological interest with one of these six pioneers, working in areas as diverse as the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, Missouri's Ozarks, Vermont, and the Great Basin of Utah. All that these women have advocated, including wetlands maintenance, the preservation of forests and deserts, and pollution control, remains central to today's conservation efforts. --Deborah Donovan Copyright 2004 Booklist

Table of Contents

Prefacep. 1
Introductionp. 5
1 Mary Austin (1868-1934)p. 17
2 Florence Merriam Bailey (1863-1948)p. 38
3 Rosalie Edge (1877-1962)p. 59
4 Marjory Stoneman Douglas (1890-1998)p. 79
5 Helen Nearing (1904-1995)p. 98
6 Rachel Carson (1907-1964)p. 115
7 Contemporary Women Conservationists: Faith McNulty, Ann Zwinger, Sue Hubbell, Anne LaBastille, Mollie Beattie, and Terry Tempest Williamsp. 140
8 Conclusion: Ideas for Our Timep. 170
Appendix List of Published Writings of Twelve Women Conservationistsp. 191
Indexp. 199