February 7, 2023

DAN DAGGET, BLOGGER

Gardeners of Eden, Rediscovering Our Importance to Nature by Dan Dagget

Gardeners of Eden, Rediscovering Our Importance to Nature
by Dan Dagget

Beyond the Rangeland Conflict, Toward a West That Works by Dan Dagget

Beyond the Rangeland Conflict, Toward a West That Works by Dan Dagget

I’m a writer, speaker, and consultant. I have written two books—Gardeners of Eden, Rediscovering Our Importance to Nature and Beyond the Rangeland Conflict, Toward a West That Works. I have contributed articles and editorials to a variety of magazines and newspapers, and given hundreds of presentations across the U. S. from Maine to California.

My first book, Beyond the Rangeland Conflict, was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. Gardeners of Eden, was described as ”the most important environmental manifesto since Aldo Leopold’s Land Ethic.”

I’m an unlikely candidate to be the originator of a conservative environmentalism. Unlikely because I’ve been a fairly radical (liberal) environmental activist since the early 1970s. I started out fighting coal surface mines in southeastern Ohio. Then I moved to Arizona where I worked to designate wilderness, fought to increase protection for mountain lions and black bears, and helped initiate a campaign to ban uranium mining in the vicinity of the Grand Canyon. 

In the 1970s, I helped form an environmental group in Ohio (Save Our Rural Environment – SORE) that succeeded in halting strip mining for coal in the county where the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) was founded.

Upon moving to Arizona in 1980, I served as co-coordinator for northern Arizona of the Sierra Club’s “Adopt a Wilderness” program that helped get the Arizona Wilderness Act of 1984 passed by Congress. As a result, extensive areas around my Arizona hometowns, Flagstaff and Sedona, have been designated as wilderness.

My first effort as a writer dealt with the threat posed by uranium mining in the vicinity of Grand Canyon National Park and described efforts to limit tourist overflights of the Park. That article was published in the national Sierra Club Magazine. 

As part of my involvement in that issue I was involved in the formation of Earth First!, one of the most radical environmental groups, and had a number of articles published in its newsletter.

 In 1992, I received an “Environmental Hero” award as one of the top 100 grass roots environmental activists in America by the Sierra Club for its John Muir Centennial celebration. That award was based on my work to limit the open-ended character of predator control programs directed at mountain lions and black bears by Arizona ranchers.

My point of view began to broaden during conflict resolution meetings between ranchers and environmentalists regarding predator issues. At those meetings our two groups discovered that we actually did have common interests regarding the health of the land and its ecosystems, Based on the collaborative successes created by the group we formed as a result of that discovery (6 – 6, for 6 of “us” and 6 of “them”), I wrote two books intended to inspire still greater collaboration between ranchers and environmentalists. The first, Beyond the Rangeland Conflict, Toward a West That Works (1996) was nominated for a Pulitzeer prize. The second Gardeners of Eden, Rediscovering Our Importance To Nature (2006) was termed “the most important environmental manifesto since Aldo Leopold’s Land Ethic.”

After giving the keynote address at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nevada, I was enlisted to make powerpoint presentations illustrating the successes achieved by ranchers and environmentalists working together for universities and citizens groups from California to Montana to Texas to Maine. Recently, I received an award by the Nevada Press Association for “Best Investigative Story — Magazines, 2019,” for an article in Range Magazine on ranchers and environmentalists working together to prevent wildfire. Working to expand this collaboration among ranchers and the environmentally concerned among us, I have published on my blogsite, www.rightwaytobegreen.com: “Ranching — Vegan Style, You Don’t Have To Eat Your Cow Boys and Girls,” “Fighting Wildfire With a Really Green, Really New, Really Real Deal” and “In Honor Of One Of Nature’s Most Effective Restorers” (Rancher Terry Wheeler) plus others.