Force of Nature: George Fell, Founder of the Natural Areas Movement

Force of Nature: George Fell, Founder of the Natural Areas Movement


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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780299312305
Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press
Publication date: 04/18/2017
Pages: 216
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Arthur Melville Pearson is the director of the Chicago Program at the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, which helps protect and restore natural lands in the Chicago region and the Lowcountry of South Carolina. His writing has appeared frequently in the magazines Chicago Wilderness and Outdoor Illinois and in the blogs A Midewin Almanac and City Creatures.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations                   Foreword                                 Peter R. Crane Acknowledgments                   Chronology                    Prologue                      1 From the Bend of a Beautiful River to the Alcatraz of Conscientious Objector Camps                    2 Threatened Lands, Living Museums             3 The Nature Conservancy: Setting Up the Necessary Structure Ourselves                  4 The Illinois Nature Preserves Act: If at First You Don't Succeed . . .                        5 The Illinois Nature Preserves Commission: Where Once We Were Opportunists                  6 Sowing More Acorns, Fighting More Battles             Epilogue                        Notes               Index

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