American Environmental History A to Z:
Agencies, Concepts, Laws, and People
Abbey, Edward (1927–89). An avid proponent of desert preservation through books and essays, Edward Abbey served as a National Park Service ranger and firefighter in the Southwest. His book Desert Solitaire (1968) opposed “industrial tourism” by automobiles and excessive development in the national parks as being both destructive to the parks and to those who visit them. The Monkey Wrench Gang (1975) and Hayduke Lives! (1990) made the case that the West was being destroyed by dams, irrigation systems, bulldozers, and logging trucks. His work inspired the movement Earth First! to advocate “monkeywrenching,” or the practice of sabotaging the machines that were destroying the land by strip-mining, clear-cutting, and damming wild rivers.
Adams, Ansel (1902–84). Ansel Adams's powerful and austere black-andwhite images inspired conservationists and the general public to set aside new natural areas, such as King's Canyon National Park, and to preserve existing ones. A careful technician, he took thousands of photographs in order to achieve the desired contrast and texture in the final prints. Recognizing the uplifting power of Adams's work, the Sierra Club made it a central feature of countless coffee-table books, calendars, and magazines.
Addams, Jane (1860–1935). Founder of Hull House, a settlement house in Chicago, Jane Addams worked to improve the lives of the urban poor by helping to upgrade their living and working environments. Over several decades, Addams and a number of other idealistic, university-educated, and