Women and Conservation Discussion/March 1998


Query From Anya Jabour jabour@selway.umt.edu 13 Mar 1998

Dear List Members:

I have a graduate student working on the role of women in the conservation movement in the American West during the Progressive Era (approx. 1880-1920). She has been having difficulty locating sources on western women and environmentalism. She is particularly interested in any leads on women teachers integrating material on ecology and nature studies into their curriculum
(at any level). I would appreciate any suggestions.

Responses:

From Jane Simonsen jane-simonsen@uiowa.edu 13 Mar 1998

Neither of these books addresses ecological curriculum specifically, but one or both might be helpful to your student. Sandra Haarsager's _Organized Womanhood: Cultural Politics in the Pacific Northwest, 1840-1920_ deals with activities of women's clubs in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington, detailing their participation in educational and some environmental programs, including city beautification. It also has a number of mini-biographies that might prove helpful in further research.

Polly Welts Kaufman's _National Parks and the Woman's Voice_ traces women's activities as both insiders and outsiders in the National Park Service, and has a good chapter on 19th century conservation and preservation movements, including women's clubs involvement in the Hetch Hetchy campaign. She does discuss women's roles as educators, anthropologists, and naturalists.

From Marjorie Wall Bingham binha001@gold.tc.ymn.edu 16 March 1998

On women and conservation--I'm not sure how "West" you want to go, but Minnesota women had a large part in the National Forest Movement. Lydia Williams was one of the speakers at the American Forestry convention and the Woman's Clubs of Minnesota were the driving force in the creation of the
Chippewa National Forest. In Minneapolis, Eloise Butler, a former teacher developed a wild flower garden (still in existence and now named for her) for students to go to on field trips. The Minneapolis schools and the Woman's Clubs helped to develop a botany unit with various teachers involved. I can send some references if you are including Minnesota in your Progressive era "West."

From Maria Elena Raymond M_Raymond@compuserve.com 20 Mar 1998

If you only read one book make it _The Magnificent Mountain Women: Adventures in the Colorado Rockies_ by Janet Robertson (Lincoln: U of Nebraska Press, 1990). Almost without exception each of the women profiled became personally involved in environmental protection issues. Their efforts and stories are fascinating. Best wishes.