Anti-Environmentalism and Citizen Opposition to the Ozark Man and the Biosphere Reserve

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This volume contributes to two primary contemporary scholarships – studies analyzing citizen opposition to mainstream environmental agendas, and research on the role of local communities and citizens in processes of implementing public environmental projects. It melds these interests through a study of a failed attempt by federal and state agencies to establish the Ozark Highlands Man and the Biosphere Reserve in southern Missouri and northern Arkansas.


The resource management literature is full of ‘success stories’ – but not enough failures that we can learn from. This book presents such a failure very well…. Recommended for library purchase. It is hoped that those concerned with both existing and new biosphere reserves – and other conservation initiatives – will learn from the debacle in the Ozarks, an areas with much potential where all could have gone right, but nothing did.” – Mountain Research and Development

“The authors introduce and analyze the main actors in the narrative with a high degree of professionalism, particularly focusing on perspectives grounded in environmental and rural sociology. A number of significant themes are evident in the OMAB case study: globalization, the high aims of Man and Biosphere Programs, the often 'empty' and unintelligible academic jargon used in environmental protection programs, ecology and ecosystem management, and environmental opposition on the part of local citizens and communities (despite the fact that many of them are concerned about the health of the environment and scenic beauty of the Ozark landscape)…. a vital and inspiring work that discovers the potential social capacity of challenges facing modern society. Anti-environmentalism challenges the perspective of what the authors call the ‘ecocrats’ who attempt to impose their privileged views.” – Miloslav Lapka

“It will have wide readership, or at least it should, among both State and Federal land management Agencies, and, of course, MAB people… The research demonstrates the difficulties of inter-agency or intergovernmental cooperation. Communication problems surface due to disciplinary differences and as the authors point out, different congressional mandates and funding sources. When you add State Government to the mix, cooperation on even the simplest of planning tasks or goal setting becomes difficult.” – Rabel J. Burdge

“This is a unique book focusing upon the local landscape and its people and their role in blocking a national resource planning effort. Readers, especially government planners, will learn a lot from this perspective, perhaps avoiding the pitfalls of their predecessors…. the authors provide valuable detail to a subject not well documented in the literature. A subject which will dominate the academic and landscape management scene in the first part of the 21st century…. New environmental strategies will be required to honor local tradition of place with national resource designation. This book describes what will happen if such strategies are not forthcoming.” – Donald R. Field

“… the authors deserve praise for compiling this generally well-conceived study. They are obviously familiar with the existing literature and have made an effort to position their own study within it. Furthermore, they identify an important distinction between anti-environmental sentiment and anti-ecocracy…. a thoroughly researched and well-written book. Its readers will find it well-organized and clearly presented.” – William Puck Brecher

Table of Contents

Table of contents:
Preface: What Went Wrong in Missouri, and Elsewhere (by Roger Soles, United States Man and the Biosphere Executive Director)
1. From Anti-environmentalism to Anti-Ecocracy: Reconceptualizing opposition to Environmentalism
2. MABs and the OMAB: A Background and History
3. The Nomination Process: Interest, Investment and Commitment
4. Community Role, Awareness and Involvement
5. The Opposition: Who, How and Why?
6. The OMAB Legacy
Appendix: Research Methods
References; Index

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