Protecting Nature
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Protecting Nature

Organizations and Networks in Europe and the USA

Edited by C. S.A. (Kris) van Koppen and William T. Markham

Providing a detailed description of all the major nature protection organizations and networks, including overviews of their current membership, activities, and as far as available, budgets, Protecting Nature will be of great interest to lecturers and postgraduate students in social science fields, as well as researchers in the fields of environmental policy, environmental NGOs, social movements, civil society, nature management and policy. Members of nature protection, environmental and other civil society organizations who seek a better understanding of the historical development of nature protection organizations and networks, as well as the strategies employed by those organizations, will also find much to interest them in this book.
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Chapter 4: Nature Protection in Germany: Persistence and Change in a Turbulent Century

William T. Markham


1 William T. Markham Germany is a country of celebrated beauty with an impressive array of natural landscapes, celebrated in German poetry and beloved by generations of hikers. Yet since the nineteenth century, Germany has also been a densely settled, industrial land, so it is not surprising that German nature protection organizations have a long history and strong contemporary presence. This chapter examines these organizations’ histories and presentday goals, structures and strategies in the context of the economic, cultural and political contexts that have shaped them. The narrative invites reflection on the durability of the impulse to protect nature, nature protection’s broad appeal, and the ease with which it has melded with various other ideologies and movements. It also identifies key tensions characteristic of nature protection efforts: tensions between national-level political action and practical nature protection projects conducted locally, struggles over how closely to affiliate with other social movements, and arguments over confrontational versus cooperative strategies. HISTORY OF NATURE PROTECTION IN GERMANY Among the nations covered in this volume, Germany has perhaps the most varied and dramatic history of nature protection, affected by world wars, runaway inflation and depression, National Socialism, postwar reconstruction, socialist rule in East Germany, and the confrontational social movements of the 1970s and 1980s. Nature Protection before 1933 Isolated efforts to protect scenic areas, such as the Siebengebirge, an area of scenic hills, cliffs and ruins along the Rhine, date to the mid-1800s 87 88 Protecting nature (Dominick...

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