Conservation Movement, 1870–1940

The involvement of western women in all types of conservation activities is often overlooked or even ignored. Yet women in the trans-Mississippi West, including Alaska and Hawaii, began to participate in the early conservation movement shortly after the end of the Civil War in 1864. Although these women numbered in the thousands, they are largely invisible in environmental history because they were not active in the same ways as men, that is, in holding political office, voting, lobbying, and speech-making. Often excluded from the political realm, women used such socially acceptable “female” interests as writing, drawing, and joining reform organizations to put their conservation ideas into effect. Looking at women's proclivities reveals a huge number of women dedicated to some aspect of conservation.

Because middleand upper-class ...

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