This introductory chapter talks about a more comprehensive and balanced portrayal of conservation, exploring how it maintained race and class hierarchies, and how the movement laid the basis for real and lasting environmental improvements. Several spectators realized that conservation had a lot to do with Progressivism, as environmental measures were among the most important legacies of the Progressive era. The chapter thus introduces three goals for conducting this research. First, it aims to offer a more expansive synthesis of conservationist thinking and doing, one that stresses the movement's complexity, heterogeneity, ambition, and breadth. Second, it means to show how deeply tied this movement was to the larger course of Progressivism. And finally, it argues for the relevance of conservation for contemporary environmental reform.
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