After the grizzly: endangered species and the politics of place in California.

Berkeley: University of California Press, 2013. Octavo, dustwrapper, black and white photographs, maps.

Thoroughly researched, this book traces the history of endangered species and habitat in California, from the time of the Gold Rush to the present. Peter S. Alagona shows how scientists and conservationists came to view the fates of endangered species as inextricable from ecological conditions and human activities in the places where those species lived. Focusing on the stories of four high-profile endangered species - the California condor, desert tortoise, Delta smelt, and San Joaquin kit fox - Alagona offers an absorbing account of how Americans developed a political system capable of producing and sustaining debates in which imperilled species serve as proxies for broader conflicts about the politics of place. The challenge for conservationists in the twenty-first century, this book claims, will be to redefine habitat conservation beyond protected wild lands to build more diverse and sustainable landscapes.

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