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The Environmental Justice: William O. Douglas and American Conservation

ISBN: 9780870715679 | 0870715674
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Univ of Arizona Pr
Pub. Date: 4/1/2009

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From the late 1940s to the mid-1970s, American conservation politics underwent a transformation and Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas (1898-1980) was at the heart of this shift toward modern environmentalism. The Environmental Justice explores how Douglas, inspired by his youthful experiences hiking in the Pacific Northwest, eventually used his influence to contribute to American conservation thought, politics, and law. Justice Douglas was one of the nation's most passionate conservationists. He led public protests in favor of wilderness near Washington, D.C., along Washington State's Pacific coast, and many places in between. He wrote eloquent testimonies to the value of wilderness and society's increasing need for it, both in his popular books and in his heartfelt judicial opinions celebrating nature and condemning those who would destroy it. He worked tirelessly to secure stronger legal protections for the environment, coordinating with a national network of conservationists and policymakers. As a sitting Supreme Court Justice, Douglas brought prestige to the conservation crusades of the time and the enormous symbolic power of legal authority at a time when the nation's laws did not favor environmental protection. He understood the need for national solutions that included public involvement and protections of minority interests; the issues were nationally important and the forces against preservation were strong. In myriad situations Douglas promoted democratic action for conservation, public monitoring of government and business activities, and stronger laws to ensure environmental and political integrity. His passion for the environment helped to shape the modern environmental movement. For the first time, The Environmental Justice tells this story.


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