Force of Nature

Force of Nature

George Fell, Founder of the Natural Areas Movement

Book - 2017
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Spurred by the accelerating destruction of remnant natural lands, one man had the vision and tenacity to transform a loose band of ecologists into The Nature Conservancy and launch the entire natural areas movement.

Efforts to preserve wild places in the United States began with the allure of scenic grandeur: Yosemite, Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon. But what about the many significant natural sites too small or fragile to qualify as state or federal parks? George Fell was determined to save these places, too—prairie remnants, upland forests, sedge meadows and fens, ocean beaches, desert canyons, mountain creeks, bogs, caves and gorges, and the full spectrum of other habitats essential to biological diversity.

Force of Nature reveals how a failed civil servant, with few assets apart from his tenacity and vision, initiated the natural areas movement. In the boom years following World War II, as undeveloped lands were being mined, drained, or bulldozed, Fell transformed a loose band of ecologists into The Nature Conservancy, drove the passage of the influential Illinois Nature Preserves Act, and helped spark allied local and national conservation organizations in the United States and beyond.


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Pearson recounts the life and work of Fell (1916-94), who sought to preserve natural areas too small to become national parks or wilderness areas by founding such organizations as The Nature Conservancy, the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission, and the Natural Land Institute. He covers from the bend of a beautiful river to the Alcatraz of conscientious objector camps; threatened lands, living museums; the Nature Conservancy: setting up the necessary structure ourselves; the Illinois Natural Areas Preservation Act; the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission; and sowing more acorns and fighting more battles. Annotation ©2017 Ringgold, Inc., Portland, OR (protoview.com)

Publisher: Madison, Wisconsin : The University of Wisconsin Press, [2017]
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9780299312305
0299312305
Branch Call Number: 333.72097 P3171f 2017
Characteristics: xx, 194 pages : illustrations, map ; 24 cm
Additional Contributors: Crane, Peter R

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