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The Battle for YellowstoneMorality and the Sacred Roots of Environmental Conflict$
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Justin Farrell

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780691164342

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691164342.001.0001

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The New (Wild) West: Social Upheaval, Moral Devaluation, and the Rise of Conflict

The New (Wild) West: Social Upheaval, Moral Devaluation, and the Rise of Conflict

Chapter:
(p.66) 2. The New (Wild) West: Social Upheaval, Moral Devaluation, and the Rise of Conflict
Source:
The Battle for Yellowstone
Author(s):

Justin Farrell

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691164342.003.0003

This chapter examines how dramatic social change in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE) after 1970 ramped up competing moral commitments. It draws on a wealth of longitudinal data about demographic, economic, and cultural rearrangement to show how the area transitioned, in striking fashion, from old west to new west. It makes two arguments: First, that this large-scale social change has important moral causes and consequences, as competing groups erect and protect new moral boundaries in the fight for nature. Second, this new social and moral arrangement fostered protracted environmental conflict. The chapter presents the cast of characters involved in GYE conflicts, and then documents the rise of conflict using a host of original time-series indicators, across a variety of institutional fields (e.g., lawsuits, voting segregation, congressional attention, scientific disputes, public responses, interest group conflict, carrying capacity conflict).

Keywords:   Yellowstone, Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, social change, moral commitment, old west, new west, environmental conflict

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