According to Dave Mance III, the editor of the magazine Northern Woodlands, published in Corinth Vermont, the opposite of an environmentalist is not a fur trapper (the Sierra Club seems to think it is though).
Instead, Mance asserts the opposite of an environmentalist is “someone who is so tuned out from the natural world that they fail to notice the roadkill on the road to the mall.”
Before 1970, sportsmen and environmental advocacy groups were united to solve environmental problems. Mance suggests that the rift between the two groups began when environmental advocacy groups shifted to solving problems in the courtroom, rather then the town hall, and when green groups partnered with “aggressive groups” such as PETA.
Mance notes that it is hard to “argue that sustainably harvested fur from the woods is less environmentally sound than plastic fur produced in a coal-fired factory.”
Mance suggests that sportsmen and greens want the same thing: “a simple, low-impact life on a healthy planet” and that the two groups can work together, around common goals such as “fighting the spread of invasive plants in wetlands” or “advocate[ing] together for open space and working farms.”
Whether you agree with Mance, and especially if you do not, I suggest spending some time with the Northern Woodlands magazine, found in the environmental collection. This fall issue has some fascinating articles including, “Where’s the Peak? How Weather and Climate Affected Last Fall’s Foliage” and “On the Lookout: A History of Fire Towers in the Northeast.” One can also find poetry in the magazine, the price of wood at the mill, and a calendar of the season’s “main events.”
The Northern Woodlands magazine is a program of the Center for Northern Woodlands Education whose mission is to “advance a culture of forest stewardship in the Northeast and to increase understanding of and appreciation for the natural wonders, economic productive and ecological integrity of the region’s forests.”
If you are interested in exploring further the history of the environmental movement, check the following books:
The Environmental Debate: a Documentary History, with Timeline, Glossary, and Appendices
Environmentalism since 1945: a Brief History with Documents
American Sportsmen and the Origins of Conservation
The Animal Rights Crusade : the Growth of a Moral Protest