KINDLE BOOK: Showdown At The Hearst Ranch Corral
AUTHOR: Barbara Wolcott
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About the Book:
The Battle Against Paving Paradise
The story of the Hearst Ranch Conservancy illustrates that public activism both promotes and undermines success in saving open space.
The book also presents the pointed differences among generations of the environmentally aware.
The First Wave in environmental awareness raised concerns of Thoreau, Muir, Teddy Roosevelt and others.
The Second Wave grew from the Santa Barbara oil spill and fed a mindset to punish polluters.
The Third Wave took a leap forward to find a middle path among government, business and the public to preserve and protect valuable environmental assets.
The Third Wave accomplished major deals with business and private property owners for permanent protection of natural and open space resources. Their successes had unexpected consequences when incensed Second Wavers incited a Wave War driving some to use underground tactics such as burning new construction, ramming fishing ships and tying up properties in court for decades with frivolous lawsuits.
In the rural California Central Coast Region, Second Wavers worked to undermine the proposed Hearst Ranch Conservancy. They felt Hearst was going to benefit from putting the family ranch into permanent open land and demanded that the historic property be deeded free and clear to the State.
Their questionable tactics spurred local women to work with Hearst for the permanent preservation of 83,000 acres of the Hearst Family Ranch at the gateway to Big Sur. No one expected that the deal would include a billion dollar donation of 13 miles of coastal lands to the people of the state of California.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. It is and was amazing to see what a group of women could do in the political arena. It gives one courage to know that one person can make a difference, if you are not too timid and have a good grasp of the background of an issue. I can not imagine living on the Central Coast without this open beautiful land known as Hearst property. What a great story of political intrigue. I love it that "Right" won out. I also enjoyed reading about people I know and respect.
Thank you Barbara Wolcott for a historical book about the preservation of the Central Coast.
I found this book a great read because it is an exciting, suspenseful story. It is of great interest for people like myself who live on the coast of Central California and enjoy the scenic drive through the area that was fought over in the story. It should also be of special interest and an inspiration to anyone involved in a development/conservation arguments. It shows the little guys can prevail.
First we have the big, bad landowners and their team of lawyers who want to develop the scenic coast into a high-end resort. An uprising of locals who are led by a feisty housewife-rancher, turned activist, turned local politician, defeats the developers. Then, the enlightened heir to the land takes over and both sides work to preserve the land forever. They develop a preservation agreement which uses public funds to buy the development rights while allowing 80,000 acres of property to be operated as a cattle ranch.
Instead of an Indian attack, in the story we have a new class of destructive terrorist enemy appear, the eco-jihadists. They are misguided by the eciopathic idea, their truth, that only they are entitled to decide what should be done with the land. Instead of arrows they use terrorist "IUDs" of misinformation bombs which they detonate in every public office associated with the approval of the project. They use the media to amplify the misinformation.
Through heroic efforts, the group of housewives and ranchers succeed in dowsing the fires of misinformation with facts. In the end, truth prevails, the land is preserved, and everyone celebrates. The good guys win.
I highly recommend the book.