Ronald Reagan and the Public Lands: America's Conservation by C. Brant Short

By C. Brant Short

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Extra resources for Ronald Reagan and the Public Lands: America's Conservation Debate, 1979-1984 (Environmental History Series, No 10)

Sample text

Why did this phenomenon, endorsed by some of the nation's most powerful politicians and apparently popular with the general public, fade from view so quickly? Although several writers have started to dissect the movement's failure, no study has focused upon the rebellion's life-blood, its rhetoric. 1 Given the value attached to public advocacy by the rebels and their opponents in the environmental community, a rhetorical analysis seems an appropriate means of understanding the movement. Using the rhetorical and political strategies of the New Right as their model, the rebel leaders organized and presented a conservative alternative to the prevailing "ecological" view of public land management.

Dept. ,--1938- , Reagan, Ronald. Page i Ronald Reagan and the Public Lands Number 10 The Environmental History Series Martin V. Melosi, General Editor Page ii Page iii Ronald Reagan and the Public Lands America's Conservation Debate, 19791984 C. Brant Short COLLEGE STATION TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY PRESS Page iv Copyright © 1989 by C. 48-1984. Binding materials have been chosen for durability.  Brant Short. 1st ed.  cm.  10) Bibliography: p. Includes index.  of the Interior.  Title.  Series. 1´0973dc19 88-32639 CIP Page v For my wife, Dayle Page vii Contents Preface page ix 1.

Although environmentalists portrayed public land management as a national question, the political battlefield was concentrated in the western states. Hoping to create a unified front for their cause, the rebels decided to lobby each state legislature in the region for an official endorsement of the rebellion's goals. Before analyzing rebel rhetoric, we should consider the particular worldview of the contemporary westerner. Several characteristics make the western audience ideal for an antigovernment crusade such as the Sagebrush Rebellion.

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