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Saving Point Reyes

How An Epic Conservation Victory Became a Tipping Point for Environmental Policy Action
Gerald Warburg
Wed November 8th 2023, 4:00 - 5:00pm
Event Sponsor
The Bill Lane Center for the American West
The Department of Political Science
Yang & Akiko Yamazaki Environment & Energy Building
Room 299

Join us for this engaging discussion which will offer participants specific advocacy lessons learned from a newly released study of “the Golden Era” of environmental policymaking 1962-1975, lessons from California battles won in Congress that are directly applicable to the challenges of the 21stcentury. The environmental policy challenges ahead—from the climate crisis to public lands policies—must overcome widespread fears of government dysfunction. Warburg’s new book Saving Point Reyes: How An Epic Conservation Victory Became a Tipping Point for Environmental Policy Action* presents a hopeful story, based on deep archival research and oral histories, synthesized by a veteran congressional aide and Washington lobbyist. The success of grassroots activists in reversing the filling of San Francisco Bay and protecting both Point Reyes and the Golden Gate headlands from massive subdivisions already under construction helped make the San Francisco Bay Area one of the most desired places to live. These triumphs also fueled the rise of many of the leading national environmental NGOs. Warburg details the clever tactics, novel strategies—and repeated good luck—that drove these wins. His rich narrative also celebrates the often-overlooked role of Bay Area women as grassroots leaders and explores the lead role played by Republican lawmakers in an era when environmental protection enjoyed bipartisan support.

*“One of the finest books ever written about a treasured national park”- Historian Douglas Brinkley, Rice University

*“Makes a major contribution to the history of both California and national environmental policymaking and offers important insights into how to better protect our natural environment.” -Professor David VogelHaas School of Business, UC Berkeley

About the Author

Photo: Dan Addison/UVa Communications













Gerald Warburg has served as Professor of Public Policy and Assistant Dean at the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville where he teaches seminars in the Master of Public Policy program on legislative strategy and best practices for NGO leaders. A faculty affiliate of Batten’s Center for Effective Lawmaking, he previously served as a legislative assistant to Jonathan Bingham of New York and Alan Cranston of California, members of the U.S. House and Senate leadership. He has taught courses at the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School of Communications, Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service, and for his alma maters of Hampshire College and Stanford University. He is the author of numerous works about public policymaking, including Conflict and Consensus: The Struggle Between Congress and the President Over Foreign Policymaking and Dispatches From the Eastern Front: A Political Education from the Nixon Years to the Age of Obama. He was born just north of San Francisco at Marin General Hospital in Greenbrae, graduated from Redwood High School in Larkspur, and lived in several Marin County towns near Point Reyes National Seashore in California.