Join EPIC staff and board on April 28th for a membership mixer and potluck dinner with Darren Speece, author of Defending Giants. Festivities begin at 6pm, as we enjoy hors d’oeuvres and cocktails and talk about EPIC’s current projects and vision for the future. At 7pm Darren Speece will read his account of the Redwood Wars, and EPIC history. We hope to see you there!
Darren Speece Defending Giants : The Redwood Wars and the Transformation of American Environmental Politics
Darren Speece is Assistant Dean of Students and History Teacher at Sidwell Friends School. A Humboldt State University alum (1997, BS Geology), he received his PhD in history at theUniversity of Maryland (2010). After leaving Humboldt State, Darren worked for The Fund for the Public Interest, running citizen outreach campaigns for seven years on behalf of the PIRGS, Sierra Club, Human Rights Campaign, Forests Forever, Greenpeace, and more. His writing has appeared in Environmental History, Salon.com, The Chicago Tribune,and The Salt Lake Tribune. California History is publishing an article about the Redwood Wars later this spring. Defending Giants (2016) is his first book. He is currently working on an environmental history of Washington, DC as well as a history of the Maine North Woods.
“Defending Giants explores the long history of the Redwood Wars, focusing on the ways rural Americans fought for control over both North Coast society and its forests. Activists defended these trees not only because the redwood forest had dwindled in size, but also because, by the late twentieth century, the local economy was increasingly dominated by multinational corporations. The resulting conflict-the Redwood Wars-pitted workers and environmental activists against the rising tide of globalization and industrial logging in a complex war over endangered species, sustainable forestry, and, of course, the fate of the last ancient redwoods. Activists perched in trees and filed lawsuits, while the timber industry, led by Pacific Lumber, fought the lawsuits and used their power to halt reform efforts. Ultimately, the Clinton Administration sidestepped Congress and the courts to negotiate an innovative compromise. In the process, the Redwood Wars transformed American environmental politics by shifting the balance of power away from Congress and into the hands of the Executive Branch” (University of Washington Press).