Watershed Democracy: Rural Environmentalism and the Battle Against the TVA in Western North Carolina, 1965–1972

Watershed Democracy: Rural Environmentalism and the Battle Against the TVA in Western North... Abstract Scholars have overlooked the role that rural southerners played in the 1960s environmental movement. The prevailing narratives chronicle the post-1945 activities of American white middle-class Democrats who, wanting to protect their new suburban landscapes, embraced environmentalism. Popular in the North and West, the 1960s environmental movement seemed to have bypassed the South, especially in more rural parts of the region. There, political conservatism, “the persistence of rural attitudes” (according to Samuel Hays), and slow urban growth had supposedly limited the influence of the movement. In western North Carolina, environmentalism struck a chord among men and women who organized to repeatedly oppose the Tennessee Valley Authority’s plans to build dams to control floods long after the New Deal was over. These rural residents—from farmers to birdwatchers—maintained that their livelihoods and rural communities depended on the preservation of the French Broad River and its floodplain. Nor did political and fiscal conservatives shun environmentalism. Republicans, sharing a common enemy and a genuine concern for the environment, aligned with environmentalists and helped found the Upper French Broad Defense Association. Together, green conservatives and liberals joined forces. They marshaled a local battle with little outside assistance to halt the march of high modernism in the rural Sun Belt. INTRODUCTION “We say, simply, that flood control must come to western North Carolina,” wrote Henderson County reporter John Sholer in March 1965, in “The TVA Today Offers the Only Solution.” Sholer was praising the announcement by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) that the federal agency would construct a series of dams in the Upper French Broad River basin. Local businesspeople, industrialists, politicians, and most residents had urged the TVA for decades to develop a flood control plan for western North Carolina. Embracing New Deal liberalism, they believed that federally backed multipurpose dams would not only control flooding, but also revitalize the region’s struggling economy by stimulating tourism and creating additional water storage for hydropower and navigation. These dam proponents quickly embraced the TVA’s 1965 proposed project, confident that it would, as Sholer put it, “bring relief from the recurring monster of high water.”1 But support for the TVA’s flood control plan was far from universal. Throughout western North Carolina, farmers and other rural citizens denounced the proposed dams, insisting that they threatened to destroy valuable farmland and displace families who lived along the French Broad River and its tributaries. In their eyes, the TVA had become a “heartless” and expensive government agency attempting to impose its authority over local communities. These men and women, influenced by the burgeoning environmental movement, also warned that the dams would “upset the balance of nature” in the region. “I submit to you,” Henderson County resident Reba Kilstrom lamented, “that anytime we try to change things which God has ordained, such as our rivers and streams, destroying the natural habitat of wild life, which is so necessary to our well-being, we are opening Pandora’s box and are in for serious trouble.”2 Critics like Kilstrom soon united to form the Upper French Broad Defense Association (UFBDA), a grassroots organization that would ultimately defeat the formidable TVA.3 Until recently, most scholars had overlooked the role that southern community-based groups like the UFBDA played in the 1960s environmental movement. Older narratives chronicled the activities of participants who were generally white, liberal, and affluent intellectuals and students who shaped federal policy, advanced popular ecology, and lived in the modern suburbs. No longer were these Americans satisfied with conserving natural resources and promoting wise use; they were increasingly concerned about sprawl, air quality, and water pollution.4 Popular in the North and West, the 1960s environmental movement was assumed to have bypassed the South, especially in more rural parts of the region. There, according to historian Samuel Hays, a continued dependence on agriculture, “the persistence of rural attitudes and institutions,” and slow urban growth had supposedly limited the influence of the movement.5 It was only in the 1980s that “citizen engagement in environmental issues” there began to resemble the activism “found in New England, the mid-Atlantic, and the Pacific Coast, but then only in the urban South.”6 Recent scholarship, however, has revealed that not all southerners—urban and rural alike—were indifferent to the issues that environmentalists championed during the 1960s. In fact, the legacy of a rural economy, institutions, and pursuits directly contributed to the rise of Sun Belt environmentalism. As a number of historians have uncovered, southerners engaged in campaigns to protect wildlife and unique landscapes, combat air and water pollution, and fight dams that posed a threat to their livelihoods, communities, and the environment throughout the twentieth century. In Florida, Mississippi, and Georgia, for instance, residents, hoping to “balance appropriate economic development, water quality, and environmental protection,” led grassroots opposition to several proposed federal waterway projects beginning in the 1950s.7 Environmentalism also struck a chord among western North Carolinians who joined the UFBDA and encouraged them to emphasize the negative impacts that the TVA’s flood control plan would have on the French Broad River and other natural resources. The following story about the UFBDA and its fight against the TVA not only highlights the role that southerners played in the 1960s environmental movement, but also complicates our understanding of the movement as a whole during that decade. Following the lead of historians Christopher Sellers and Robert Lifset, it showcases the growing significance of the “politics of ecology” in the environmental crusades of the 1960s. Like activists elsewhere in the nation, western North Carolina residents’ initial reliance on aesthetic and economic arguments failed to persuade government officials to support their cause. It was not until dam opponents began to frame their opposition in ecological terms that they made headway against the TVA. This shift in emphasis to ecological arguments encouraged activists to use science to quantify the damage that dams would have on the environment. Such scientific data placed anti-dam proponents in a stronger position to advance their case in the courts and in other governmental venues, all of which “favored expertise that could make definitive claims about the present and future.”8 This story also reveals how political conservatives adopted environmentalism, an ideology that would not become associated with the Left until the 1980s. As historian Adam Rome has observed, Americans’ environmental activism during the 1960s fails to fit into “neat ideological categories.” “Though some grass-roots activists were liberal Democrats or fiery young radicals,” Rome explained, “others were Republicans—and some, wary of partisanship of any kind, preferred to see the environmental cause as one that transcended politics.”9 Such was the case in western North Carolina. There, the UFBDA emerged as a grassroots coalition of unlikely environmentalists: rural farmers, housewives, and working-class laborers who championed political conservatism. These men and women frequently condemned the TVA as an undemocratic federal agency that threatened private enterprise, personal property, and states’ rights. But environmentalism also shaped dam opponents’ discourse, many of whom charged that the project would eradicate wildlife habitats, create mudflats, and destroy free-flowing streams. For them, environmental degradation was directly tied to the decline of rural America, a place that served as a refuge from the social and political turmoil of the 1960s. Sharing a common enemy and a genuine concern for the environment, green conservatives and liberals in western North Carolina ultimately joined forces to fight high modernism and a dam.10 TVA’S ARRIVAL IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA Flowing north through the counties of Transylvania, Henderson, Buncombe, and Madison, the French Broad River has served as a source of sustenance, pleasure, and spiritual power for western North Carolinians. It has also threatened to hamper the region’s economic potential. On occasion, heavy rains—where average rainfall can range from 70 to 100 inches a year—and hurricanes have turned the French Broad River “into a veritable tidal wave of death and devastation.”11 In July 1916, two tropical storms caused the river to rise from 4 to 23.1 feet in a week. The flood nearly wiped out Asheville’s river district, causing an estimated $10 million in property damage and killing five people, and it destroyed several villages situated along the tributaries of the French Broad River (figure 1).12 Figure 1. View largeDownload slide Map of French Broad River Basin, 1968. The French Broad River begins at the bottom of the map near Brevard and Hendersonville, flowing north through Asheville, and passes through Hot Springs before entering Tennessee at the top center of the map. Credit: Courtesy of the State Archives of North Carolina. Figure 1. View largeDownload slide Map of French Broad River Basin, 1968. The French Broad River begins at the bottom of the map near Brevard and Hendersonville, flowing north through Asheville, and passes through Hot Springs before entering Tennessee at the top center of the map. Credit: Courtesy of the State Archives of North Carolina. The 1916 flood galvanized many western North Carolinians to support the “dam craze” that had begun to emerge throughout the American South. By the turn of the twentieth century, a growing number of southerners had concluded that the future of the region lay in waterway manipulation. Water, they argued, was the chief energy source that farmers and industrialists alike could use to build a competitive regional economy. Hydroelectric dams could fuel the region’s burgeoning textile, tobacco, and furniture industries, and in some cases improve navigation and provide flood control. In North Carolina, Georgia, and other southern states, capitalists quickly scrambled to construct dams, eager to “harness ‘white coal’ from rivers that previously flowed unused as ‘waste to the sea.’”13 Embracing New South rhetoric, western North Carolina boosters, mostly business interests from Brevard, Hendersonville, and Asheville, also viewed waterway manipulation as the panacea to the region’s economic woes and—in the decades following the 1916 flood—repeatedly reached out to the federal government for assistance. These dam proponents eventually found an ally in President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Upon assuming office in 1933, Roosevelt launched the New Deal, a series of programs aimed at combating the Great Depression. Roosevelt, in particular, hoped to rehabilitate the economies of rural America through “land retirement, soil and forest restoration, flood control, and cheap hydropower for farms and new industries.”14 Central to accomplishing that goal was the creation of the TVA. The Roosevelt administration envisioned the TVA as a regional planning tool: big multipurpose dams would provide flood control, regulate river flows to improve navigation and generate hydroelectricity for the manufacture of fertilizer for farmers and to promote decentralized industrial development. The TVA—a high-modernist social and environmental engineering experiment—would simultaneously heal a land ravaged by poor farming practices, soil erosion, and free market forces, and lift individuals out of poverty by balancing production and consumption.15 The passage of the TVA Act in 1933 encouraged western North Carolina boosters to request that the new federal agency construct a dam on the French Broad River at Long Shoals in Buncombe County. The resulting 30,000-acre lake, they argued, would boost local tourism and usher in TVA’s many regional planning benefits. However, the high cost of the project, along with opposition from residents whose homes and farms would be under water, prevented the dam from becoming a reality.16 This setback failed to extinguish local boosters’ desire to impound the French Broad River. Following two devastating floods in August 1940, stakeholders invited the TVA to conduct a study of the entire Upper French Broad River basin. Released in 1942, the TVA report recommended the construction of a series of dams throughout the watershed. But the coming of World War II, as well as the TVA’s commitment to completing the Fontana Dam on the Little Tennessee River in the nearby North Carolina counties of Swain and Graham, again halted plans to dam the river.17 TVA did not fully commit to developing and implementing a comprehensive program to combat the region’s evolving water problems until the 1960s. At the request of the Western North Carolina Regional Planning Commission, the federal agency completed a resource and economic analysis of the French Broad River watershed in Transylvania, Henderson, Buncombe, Madison, and Haywood counties in 1964.18 The TVA report warned that the lack of economic opportunities had led to substantial outmigration, resulting in the “permanent loss of the area’s most important asset”: a proven labor supply. As such, future development depended on the implementation of a water control program that promoted industry and tourism. Regular flooding had stymied “progress” by damaging urban centers, destroying valuable farmland, and discouraging industries from moving into the region. To make matters worse in the age before the Clean Water Act of 1972, water pollution from the paper, pulp, and synthetic fiber industries located throughout the French Broad River watershed threatened to prevent local and county governments from “meeting future water demands.”19 That following year, the TVA’s Office of Tributary Area Development announced its plan to create an integrated water control system for the Upper French Broad River basin. The project—one of the thirteen proposed tributary schemes—called for the construction of fourteen impoundments (two dry dams and twelve permanent pools), 74 miles of channelization, and 1.4 miles of levee in Asheville.20 TVA officials insisted that the plan offered a wide range of benefits to the region. It would limit periodic flooding to once in five years, as compared to the previous flood rate of once or twice a year, thereby preserving valuable farmland, protecting urban centers, and encouraging the development of industries along the French Broad River.21 The creation of twelve lakes and 138 miles of shoreline further promised to boost tourism and employment.22 Six of the reservoirs would increase water supply by providing the region with water for municipal and industrial use.23 And releases of water from the reservoirs would also help assimilate wastes and other pollutants in the French Broad River and its tributaries.24 In total, the project would cost an estimated $99 million (later increased to $115 million). Dam proponents could not have been more pleased. Western North Carolina business interests, civic organizations, and journalists quickly endorsed the TVA plan, believing that it would deliver TVA’s sought after regional benefits.25 In 1965 these stakeholders created the Upper French Broad Economic Development Commission (UFBEDC) to function as a development authority liaison between the TVA and county commissioners. The UFBEDC initially had the license to formulate “economic development” projects, “assist new businesses or industries locating in the region,” and “encourage the formation of private business to carry out the task of industrial location.” By 1966 its powers expanded to include, among other things, the right to enter into contracts with federal agencies and to acquire property by condemnation or purchase. Local and state Democratic politicians further championed the TVA scheme as a panacea for the region’s economic woes. Members of North Carolina’s Democratic congressional delegation—Walter Jones, David N. Henderson, B. Everett Jordan, and Sam Ervin Jr.—believed that the TVA program was necessary due to “changing population patterns in our modern society.” As active members of the New Deal’s big dam consensus and witnesses to dramatic national droughts in the 1950s and 1960s, North Carolina’s leadership—like Democrats elsewhere in the South—anticipated explosive Sun Belt growth and expected continued federal investment in water conservation infrastructure.26 Perhaps the most fervent supporter of the TVA was Buncombe County native and Democrat Roy Taylor, a congressman representing North Carolina’s 11th District. As chairman of the House Subcommittee on Parks and Recreation, Taylor gained a national reputation as a staunch conservationist, helping to establish the Voyageurs National Park in northern Minnesota and preserve other special landscapes.27 Taylor’s unwavering belief in the economic benefits of the TVA project, however, trumped any ecological concerns that he may have had.28 With the support of Taylor and other prominent North Carolina politicians, TVA officials quickly secured $2.3 million from the US Congress to begin construction of the Mills River reservoir in Henderson County. BUDDING OPPOSITION TO THE TVA But support for the TVA proved far from universal. By 1966 a crop of critics had emerged to challenge the project. In Transylvania County, resistance to the TVA reflected a new conservative discourse that rejected the virtues of big dams and flood control. As early as 1965, Quinton Crane complained that the TVA was a taxpayer-funded boondoggle that threatened property rights and private enterprise. “This is just another power grab by the bureaucratic minds in Washington,” Crane asserted.29 This opposition to the New Deal’s big dam consensus was not confined to western North Carolina. In the American West, angry residents had already waged grassroots campaigns against the federal government’s attempts to dam the Colorado River in Echo Park, Colorado, and the Snake River in Hells Canyon, Idaho.30 Georgians had also launched organized opposition to the US Army Corps of Engineers’ plan to dam the Savannah River.31 Throughout 1966, a growing number of Transylvania County residents joined Crane in a conservative critique of the TVA. Charles Taylor, a Brevard native and Republican nominee for the state House of Representatives in 1966, challenged the TVA, insisting that impoundments would actually hamper economic growth by inundating productive farmland, destroying small communities, and reducing the local tax base. Taylor’s stance against the TVA struck a chord among voters in the predominantly Democratic 48th Legislative District, allowing him to become the first Republican elected to the General Assembly from western North Carolina since Reconstruction.32 Taylor “was the one that first talked about [the TVA’s plan],” Elmer Johnson recalled years later in explaining why many Transylvania County Democrats switched their political loyalties in 1966. “He realized that this was a bad project.”33 Voters did not elect Taylor solely due to his stance against the TVA. Their selection also reflected the growing disenchantment of many western North Carolinians with the Democratic Party as a whole. Throughout the South during the 1960s, white Democrats began to question the direction of the national party. The Kennedy and Johnson administrations’ endorsement of the civil rights movement and support for the expansion of the welfare state troubled many white southerners who had embraced New Deal liberalism. These Democrats wanted the party to reduce government spending, protect states’ rights, and restore the racial status quo.34 In western North Carolina, opposition to TVA in part represented an expression of fiscal conservatives’ disappointment with the Democratic Party, one that local Republicans, following Taylor’s lead, would soon capitalize on to gain support in the region. Opponents of the TVA also found a voice in Martha Boswell, a 67-year-old Brevard resident whose family had lived in the region for generations. Like many Transylvania County Democrats, Boswell had embraced Taylor’s campaign against the TVA in 1966. Shortly thereafter, she founded the Transylvania County Citizens and Taxpayers League (CTL), a bipartisan organization that opposed the damming of the Little River.35 Boswell was not unique. By the 1960s, women had increasingly become active volunteers in and leaders of grassroots movements aimed at protecting their communities and the environment. This activism stemmed in part due to women’s perceived status as the caretakers of domestic spaces. Pollutants such as pesticides and industrial waste posed a threat not only to nature, but also the home, playgrounds, and other environs that women were expected to protect. A growing number of women observed environmental degradation and acted.36 Many of these women, however, also had “conservative political leanings” that often encouraged them to employ antistatism ideology to defend and build support for their crusade.37 Such was the case with Boswell. As head of the CTL, Boswell quickly emerged as the mouthpiece of the anti-TVA movement, one that continued to rely on political and fiscal conservatism to defeat the federal agency’s flood control plan. Boswell viewed the TVA as a symbol of a larger problem in American society: “the growing power of federal bureaucracy.” The TVA, she claimed, was fiscally irresponsible and unresponsive to the demands of taxpaying citizens whose lands would soon be under water. As such, it posed a direct threat to private property and, perhaps more alarming, states’ rights. “We want more state control of state resources and more independent thought and leadership from our congressional delegation,” Boswell complained to Democratic congressman Walter Jones.38 Boswell further rejected the TVA’s claim that the project would stimulate economic development in the Upper French Broad River basin, pointing out that per capita income and population in nearby Swain County had plummeted since the construction of Fontana Lake in the 1940s.39 Dam proponents quickly defended the TVA project. Most local and state Democratic politicians remained steadfast in the belief that the dams were “in the public interest.” Writing to Boswell in June 1967, Roy Taylor argued that the impoundments would once and for all “put an end to the gigantic crop damage and other damage caused periodically by floods.”40 The TVA also continued to stress that the project served the “public good” by improving water supply and water quality, providing flood control, promoting tourism, and encouraging industrial development. Such benefits, TVA and other officials proclaimed, outweighed the loss of the Little River and other small communities in Transylvania County.41 Those proclamations rang hollow. Boswell and other TVA critics capitalized on conservative Democrats’ disenchantment with New Deal liberalism to build support for their cause in Transylvania County. Portraying the TVA as a “wasteful” Goliath, they appealed to local residents who, like many other white southerners, had become increasingly wary of centralized power and frustrated with the federal government’s failure to contain the burgeoning civil rights, anti–Vietnam War, and feminist movements. Coinciding with opposition to postwar liberalism, the anti-TVA campaign in part reflected (and was strengthened by) white conservatives’ fear of “big government” intruding on states’ rights, private enterprise, and property rights. But the conservative critique of the TVA failed to garner widespread support for the “dam fighters.” County commissioners; prominent Democrats like B. Everett Jordan, Sam Ervin Jr., and Roy Taylor; civic groups; and businesspeople continued to endorse the TVA project. Several events, however, would soon conspire against the TVA and those who supported it. President Richard Nixon’s election in 1968 ultimately helped bolster the anti-TVA campaign in the Upper French Broad River basin. A Republican, Nixon opposed New Deal liberalism and feared the federal government’s growth would destroy the “traditional virtues of individual enterprise and self-reliance.”42 He pledged to reduce federal spending, cut “wasteful” government agencies, and balance the national budget. This agenda appealed to the anti-TVA proponents of western North Carolina, who emphasized political and fiscal conservatism to gain the new president’s support. Writing to Nixon, dam critics portrayed the TVA project as a federal boondoggle that threatened rural America, which they argued remained the only place that had escaped the social and political turmoil of the 1960s. “Surely this community, albeit small and isolated, is a thread which adds both strength and texture to the venerable ‘patchwork quilt’ which is our nation,” one Henderson County resident explained, asking that Nixon freeze funding for the construction of the Mills River reservoir.43 Others charged that the project would punish “good citizens” who earned an honest living, paid their taxes, and remained patriotic in the face of growing opposition to the Vietnam War.44 The rise of environmentalism further strengthened dam opponents’ efforts in their fight against the TVA. Since the end of World War II, a growing number of Americans had become concerned with the quality of the environment. Led mostly by middle-class suburbanites, these men and women lamented the negative impacts that “development” had on the landscape. Air and water pollution, suburban sprawl, and the loss of animal and plant life to pesticide application, they argued, had sparked an ecological crisis that the federal government had to confront before it was too late.45 President Nixon reluctantly embraced environmentalism that by 1968 had emerged as one of the leading social movements in the United States. Consequently, Nixon expanded “the environmental management state” by endorsing the National Environmental Policy Act of 1970, creating the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and establishing additional federal regulatory policies and agencies.46 This legislation soon proved invaluable to anti-TVA proponents in the Upper French Broad River basin. The environmental movement also encouraged dam opponents, Republican and Democratic alike, to broaden their critique of the TVA beyond political and fiscal concerns. Indeed, by 1969 dam antagonists began to emphasize the negative impact that the TVA project would have on the region’s ecology. This shift in focus was in part due to the growing influence of seasonal residents and transplant retirees within the anti-TVA campaign. Following World War II, residential tourism in western North Carolina skyrocketed as nature enthusiasts increasingly established vacation homes throughout the region’s countryside.47 Mostly middle-class suburbanites, these newcomers had already embraced environmentalism and were the first to underscore the potential damage that the TVA dams would have on the ecology of the French Broad River basin. However, these outsiders were not solely responsible for the anti-TVA campaign’s endorsement of environmentalism. Like their suburban counterparts, rural western North Carolinians also had cause for alarm because the region’s rivers had increasingly become polluted following World War II. By 1955 the French Broad River basin contained “sources responsible for more than one-fourth of the total pollution of North Carolina.”48 The bulk of this pollution came from the various industrial factories that operated along the French Broad River and its tributaries, most notably the Ecusta paper mill (Brevard), the American Enka fiber plant (Asheville), and the Champion International paper mill (Canton).49 Sewage pumped into the rivers from these and other facilities plus inadequate municipal waste treatment plants further worsened the situation. As one local resident complained in the early 1950s, “The Bible says that ‘cleanliness is next to godliness’, but in parts of [the mountain region] it seems next to impossible” to find a clean mountain stream.50 By the 1960s, these rural residents had also begun to witness the environmental degradation caused by residential tourism. During that decade, second homes, most of which were situated on mountainsides and in remote areas, increased by nearly 20 percent in the region. To make space for these residences, developers had to clear the land of trees and vegetation that increased the level of erosion. This, in turn, led to an increase in flooding and mudslides and contributed to the siltation of streams, ponds, and lakes throughout the countryside. Septic tanks on second-home lots also frequently leaked—not unlike those on suburban frontiers elsewhere in the nation—causing raw sewage “to seep through the rock bed into the water table.”51 Like their suburban counterparts, rural western North Carolinians were now experiencing firsthand the negative impacts of post–World War II development on the immediate environment. These Sun Belt experiences would aid in the development of an “environmental awareness” and adoption of ecological arguments in the fight against the TVA. In Henderson County, where a TVA impoundment threatened to inundate the community of Mills River, angry residents rallied behind Jere Brittain and Alex Duris. Brittain, whose family had lived in Mills River for generations, had recently moved back to his hometown after earning a doctorate in horticulture at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and became chairman of the North and South Mills River Community Development Club, a bipartisan organization that opposed the TVA project.52 He also befriended fellow Republican Alex Duris, a Henderson County retiree who shared with Brittain an interest in environmentalism.53 Unlike previous dam critics, Brittain and Duris stressed the negative impact that the TVA project would have on the region’s ecology. Channelization, Brittain warned in 1969, would not only result in the permanent loss of agricultural lands and community life, but also “destroy wildlife habitat along more than forty miles of riverbank.”54 Brittain and Duris further disparaged the TVA’s proposal to use water from the Mills River reservoir to dilute contaminants in the French Broad River and its tributaries: “Why not require industries and municipalities to clean up effluents at the source,” Brittain asked, criticizing TVA and UFBEDC officials’ support to build lakes that would become “water closets.”55 Dam proponents begged to differ. UFBEDC chairman David Felmet of Waynesville quickly lashed out at Brittain and other critics, labeling them as Republican opportunists attempting to discredit Democrats. “These persons,” Felmet warned Democratic senator B. Everett Jordan in July 1970, “have opposed the project mainly because they wish to embarrass politically those who support [the TVA].”56 Other TVA sympathizers characterized their detractors as Luddites opposed to “progress.”57 Meanwhile, TVA officials maintained that the project continued to enjoy widespread support in the region. “Local people through their institutions such as state, county, and city governing bodies, planning commissions, and informal associations” had demanded that the TVA take action, Chairman Aubrey Wagner wrote in September 1970, arguing that the flood control plan simply reflected what most western North Carolinians wanted: economic development.58 LOCAL POLITICS HALTS TVA’S MARCH By 1970 dam opponents continued to work independently from one another in their fight against the TVA. In Henderson County, outraged citizens participated in the North and South Mills River Community Development Club, and Transylvania County residents joined the CTL to combat the TVA project. But common interests soon united these two groups. In September 1969, Alex Duris contacted Martha Boswell, asking her and other Transylvania County supporters to purchase anti-TVA bumper stickers that the North and South Mills River Community Development Club had created.59 Three months later, Jere Brittain and Boswell also began to correspond with one another regularly.60 Throughout 1970, Brittain, Boswell, and other TVA critics sponsored joint meetings and increasingly realized the need to unify under a single organization.61 That September, they created the UFBDA that quickly mobilized a grassroots anti-TVA campaign that would bring the federal agency’s high-modernist program to a heel.62 Hoping to broaden their base of support beyond western North Carolina, UFBDA members first continued to link their cause with environmentalism. The TVA project, they claimed, was one of several federal boondoggles that endangered America’s varied ecological systems. “The TVA [and] the Army of Engineer Corps . . . will win the day handily with no regard for subsequent land loss, water pollution, siltation, reservoir draw-down problems, and environmental impact in general,” UFBDA supporter Donald Remer warned while placing the anti-TVA campaign within the national environmental movement pushing back against the old big dam consensus.63 “I am convinced that TVA, the U.S. Army of Engineers, and the Soil Conservation Service will not be stopped without your [help],” UFBDA vice chairman Arthur Dehon wrote to President Nixon in 1971. “All across this country, citizens and taxpayers are struggling against these powerful bureaucratic agencies, trying to save their homes, valleys, farms, streams, and rivers from the destruction of channelization and impoundments.”64 The UFBDA’s environmental critique of the TVA quickly garnered it new and powerful allies. By 1971 the National Parks Association, Sierra Club, and Audubon Society, among other prominent and professionalized environmental organizations, had endorsed the UFBDA.65 The group’s membership also increased from a hundred in 1970 to a thousand one year later.66 Praising Martha Boswell and other dam opponents as “unlikely environmentalists” in 1971, reporter Roy Parker summed up the key to the UFBDA’s “growing success”: “Their backgrounds are varied, and even their motives may be suspect at times. But every time you poke the environmental thing, there is more solid public support than was suspected for environmental positions that are well-documented and tenaciously advanced.”67 Having gained national attention, the UFBDA then capitalized on a new piece of federal legislation that required federal public works projects to incorporate public input: the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Enacted in 1969, NEPA required planners from federal agencies like TVA to conduct environmental assessments and complete an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) prior to construction. They were to evaluate possible environmental impacts and consider the benefits of alternatives including a “no-action” alternative. More importantly, the EIS was also subject to an external review that allowed citizens to weigh in on how a potential project might adversely affect the environment.68 Dam proponents in western North Carolina could not have been more pleased. The EIS process provided them with an opportunity to use the “politics of ecology” to combat the TVA. As historians Christopher Sellers and Robert Lifset pointed out, environmentalists during the 1960s increasingly recognized the importance of ecology in convincing judges and politicians to take action. The science of ecology allowed activists to quantify and convey in a recognized language the damage that dams and other projects had on the environment. Such scientific data—more so than aesthetic and economic arguments—proved effective when presented in court and administrative hearings that “favored expertise that could make definitive claims about the present and future.” Although the “politics of ecology” made the 1960s environmental movement more reliant on scientists, lawyers, and other professionals, it also enabled grassroots organizations to harness the power of the court system in their fight against environmental damage. Advocates could now speak for local environments in qualitative and quantitative terms as experts.69 Not surprisingly, the UFBDA—like citizens in Alabama, Florida, and Georgia, who were also challenging federal water projects—quickly demanded that the TVA comply with NEPA.70 In addition, UFBDA members began to lobby the US Congress to continue withholding a $2.3 million appropriation for the TVA for the construction of the proposed Mills River reservoir in Henderson County. In 1969, Nixon, hoping to reduce the national deficit, had frozen these funds.71 By 1971, however, Roy Taylor, B. Everett Jordan, and UFBEDC executive director S. V. Griffith had begun to increase pressure on US congressmen to restore the $2.3 million.72 Alarmed, Brittain and other UFBDA supporters traveled to Washington, D.C., to testify before the House Subcommittee on Public Works Appropriations. Asking the subcommittee to withhold the funds from the TVA until it had issued an EIS, Brittain argued that the project “would cost at least $115 million, almost as much as the predicted benefits, and damage the environment and destroy historical buildings.” After deliberating, the subcommittee ruled not to release the $2.3 million. “Time is on our side now,” an elated Brittain remarked following the decision. “As long as no bulldozers show up at Mills River, we’re okay.”73 The UFBDA achieved another victory in August 1971 when the TVA reluctantly agreed to hold a public hearing at the University of North Carolina at Asheville. Since 1970 the organization had demanded such a meeting, arguing that dam supporters, most notably the UFBEDC, had refused to allow local residents to voice their opinion on the TVA project.74 This call for participatory democracy was not unique to western North Carolina. Throughout the nation during the 1960s, ordinary Americans—Republican and Democratic alike—had increasingly bemoaned the apparent lack of transparency in government and its supposed disconnect from the people. One way to solve these problems, they believed, was to further democratize the political process by “allowing citizens to more directly take part in the decisions that affected their lives.” The crusade for participatory democracy ultimately found its way into the burgeoning environmental movement, as activists also began to argue “for more access to information and public involvement in decisions affecting the environment and public health.”75 TVA officials remained unconvinced. Aubrey Wagner reiterated the federal agency’s work with “locally elected officials” to hold “many meetings which were open to the public and which covered every facet of the plan.” To justify closing out the wider public, Wagner explained to Sam Ervin Jr., “The purpose of a public hearing presumably is to give voice to those who have objections or suggestions . . . .What the public hearing does formally, TVA does informally, and we believe, much more effectively and in depth.”76 But following the passage of a state bill in 1971 that required any organization to conduct a public hearing before channelizing a river or stream in North Carolina, Wagner conceded defeat and agreed to stage an open meeting in Asheville between August 31 and September 2.77 The TVA suffered another setback in the weeks leading up to the public hearing. On June 29, it released a draft EIS that focused exclusively on the proposed Mills River dam and reservoir. The report admitted that the project would “adversely affect” 6 miles of trout waters, reduce land for “terrestrial wildlife,” and “cause temporary increases in the turbidity of the river.” However, the economic benefits of the dam and reservoir outweighed these “minor environmental losses.” “Increased population, potential recurring flood damage, undesirable plant nutrient concentrations, the need for a wider range of recreation opportunity, and the expanding water needs of the Upper French Broad area all point to the need for a water control project in the basin,” the report concluded.78 UFBDA supporters quickly chastised the EIS as “nothing more than another TVA ‘sales pitch.’” Arguing that the EIS was “arbitrary and misleading,” Brittain pointed out that TVA had repeatedly described its flood control plan as a “system” that included fourteen dams and 74 miles of “channel improvement” but only evaluated the environmental impacts of the proposed Mills River dam.79 “We would like to see an honest environmental statement from T.V.A.,” he wrote in July. “Why not their environmental report on all 14 dams they want to build?”80 Brittain and other UFBDA members determined that the TVA report failed to comply with NEPA’s requirements. “Incredibly, the TVA Statement devotes only four sentences to a section titled ‘Adverse Environmental Effects which cannot be avoided should the proposal be implemented,’” Brittain explained. “Such a token treatment of adverse effects is an affront to the public and a flagrant abuse of both the spirit and the letter of the Environmental Policy Act.”81 The TVA’s draft EIS provided dam critics with an additional weapon as they flocked to the public hearing at Asheville on August 31. An estimated 250 people—most of whom opposed the TVA project—attended the three-day event.82 In a sign of unity, UFBDA supporters arrived wearing yellow scarves with the organization’s initials embroidered on the back.83 In total, forty-five dam proponents spoke at the public hearing. Unlike their antagonists, most were wealthy farmers, industrialists, and townspeople who championed TVA as the harbinger of “progress.” Embracing the big dam consensus, they maintained that the project would fulfill its promise to stimulate economic development by providing the region with flood control, cleaner and more abundant water supplies, new recreational opportunities, and jobs.84 Nor did dam proponents believe that the TVA was a “wasteful” boondoggle. Ralph Andrews, former director of the North Carolina Recreation Commission, insisted that there existed “no agency more forward-looking, more correct in its predictions and actions, for the commonweal, than TVA.”85 Reflecting the anti-TVA campaign’s diverse base of support, dam opponents articulated a wide range of complaints against the TVA during the public hearing. Some of them espoused the new conservative discourse that rejected the virtues of big dams, reminding attendees that the TVA project would endanger property rights and increase federal authority.86 Other political conservatives feared that the TVA project threatened to destroy the last remaining refuge from an increasingly chaotic world: the rural community. For them, the anti–Vietnam War, civil rights, and other protest movements had caused the United States to lapse into moral decline. It was only in Mills River and other rural enclaves that citizens had escaped such a fate.87 In addition to the conservative discourse, dam opponents repeatedly emphasized the negative impact that the TVA’s tributary development scheme would have on the region’s environment. In fact, the ecological argument had become the dam critics’ most effective weapon against the TVA. Denouncing the federal agency’s EIS as “inadequate,” they insisted that flood control would destroy free-flowing streams, create mudflats, and eradicate wildlife habitats. Nor would the region’s ecology benefit from industrial growth. Transylvania County native Ernest Sitton bemoaned, “The industry which, according to our civic leaders, city officials, and county commissioners, we so ‘badly need,’ would only add to our air and water pollution problems. We need to learn how to solve the problems we have with industry now before we attract new ones.”88 But more was at stake than the future of the environment. Environmental degradation, Sitton and other dam antagonists proclaimed, was inextricably linked with the decline of rural community, an argument that complemented conservatives’ critique of the TVA and ensured that the anti-TVA campaign’s diverse group of supporters remained united. For TVA opponents, the hearing was a public relations coup. It allowed the UFBDA to showcase just how prevalent opposition to the TVA had become. Calling the hearing an “incredible three days,” Jere Brittain proclaimed that the tide had turned against the dam project. “I think we are possibly so strong now, we’re going to beat you,” he told John Barron, director of TVA’s Office of Tributary Area Development. Several media outlets agreed that dam opponents had “won” the hearing. As the Knoxville News-Sentinel reported, “When the word battle ended last midnight, the yellow scarves of the opposing Upper French Broad Defense Association were still on the floor and most of the proponents had gone home.”89 Confident that the hearing would validate the need for flood control, TVA officials had underestimated their adversaries’ ability to mobilize supporters and present a multifaceted anti-dam argument that resonated with political conservatives and environmentalists. News for dam supporters took an even greater turn for the worse on September 10 when North Carolina governor Robert Scott, a longtime advocate of the TVA project, deemed the federal agency’s EIS “inadequate.” Echoing the sentiments of the UFBDA, Scott declared that the statement needed to include, among other revisions, an analysis on the environmental impact of the entire proposed fourteen-dam system, not just the Mills River impoundment and reservoir.90 Nearly two months later, the EPA also criticized the TVA report, citing that it failed “to consider this particular project [the Mills River dam] in the context of the total project.”91 Governor Scott’s and the EPA’s disapproval of the TVA EIS enabled once supportive local officials to safely begin publicly questioning the project’s need. By 1972 Henderson, Buncombe, and Transylvania County commissioners had agreed that the original EIS was “inadequate” and recommended that TVA conduct a new environmental study.92 Even Democratic congressman Roy Taylor and Senator B. Everett Jordan (whose name would later be affixed to a major Corps water supply reservoir near Raleigh) had begun to take “a more flexible stance” when dealing with the UFBDA and its supporters.93 Such an about-face likely stemmed more from political expediency than a concern for the environment. Since the 1968 elections, white support for the Democratic Party had rapidly declined in North Carolina—and other parts of the South—as Republicans increasingly tapped into conservative voters’ distrust of “big government” and multiculturalism to win office.94 Continued Democratic support of the big dam consensus, Taylor and other Democrats now feared, would only further alienate whites from the party.95 Dam opponents were elated. “I think the momentum in this controversy has shifted to our side,” Brittain informed UFBDA members, recalling the recent events that had weakened public enthusiasm for the TVA project. “I believe we shall win this fight.”96 The increasingly marginalized position of dam supporters grew weaker as a result of the 1972 November elections. Coming on the heels of the public hearing and Governor Scott’s criticism of the TVA’s EIS, these elections occurred at the height of the UFBDA’s popularity. With twelve hundred members, the organization had become a political force that Republicans and Democrats could no longer ignore.97 The Democratic Party, however, had waited too long to reject New Deal liberalism and the big dam consensus, providing Republicans with an opportunity to “grab a piece of the ecology vote.”98 In Transylvania County, Republicans nominated three candidates to run for the Board of Commissioners, all of whom denounced the TVA project. Republicans also renominated Charles Taylor to serve as a state senator, and they endorsed Jesse Helms, a recent convert to the anti-dam crusade, to replace B. Everett Jordan in the US Senate. Whatever the motives, the Republican Party’s opposition to the TVA united political conservatives and environmentalists, and helped its candidates sweep the 1972 elections in western North Carolina and other parts of the state.99 The Republican landslide dashed the dreams of dam proponents. One week following the election, TVA chairman Aubrey Wagner conceded defeat. “An assessment today indicates that adequate local support and commitment no longer exists,” he wrote in explaining why the TVA canceled the project.100 Kermit Edney, a Hendersonville radio broadcaster and former chairman of the UFBEDC, expressed disbelief in the decision: “Apparently, those of us who labored in behalf of this project for almost 10 years were born 30 years too soon.”101 Dam opponents were also stunned but for a different reason. UFBDA member Elmer Johnson could not believe that victory had come so soon after the election. “We had no idea,” he remembered. “We were all set to continue our fight and have the commissioners go with us to our meeting and just keep on fighting until the surrender came.”102 CONCLUSION: ALL POLITICS IS LOCAL The modern environmental movement played a major role in shaping how western North Carolinians expressed their opposition to the TVA. After federal programs had promoted for decades water conservation projects designed to create more water supply for hydropower and navigation, or schemes like levees and stream channelization to control flooding and promote drainage, a diverse body of Americans began to think differently about water quality and rivers. In western North Carolina, the UFBDA, speakers at the August 1971 public hearing, and community leaders all articulated the value of protecting free-flowing rivers, trout streams, and floodplains from dams and other structural water supply solutions. They rejected TVA and other federal agencies’ plans to channelize rivers because of the resulting ecological damage. And finally, these rural environmentalists cut to the cause of—and the solution for—water quality problems. TVA officials and other supporters argued that more headwater dams and reservoirs would help improve water quality, insinuating that the solution to pollution downstream was dilution with more water. Opponents countered repeatedly that industrial and municipal pollution was the responsibility of—and better controlled at—the source. In other words, Sun Belt residents had learned as their counterparts did elsewhere in the United States that water supply and water quality required transparent comanagement. The fight to save the Upper French Broad River in western North Carolina also expands what constitutes an “environmentalist.” The big dam consensus ran into serious trouble in the 1960s as organized opposition to dams increased all over the nation. These fights were not limited to the more well-known cases in the American West such as Hetch Hetchy, Hells Canyon, Echo Park, or Glen Canyon.103 Opposition to major water projects—including a failed attempt to halt TVA’s Tellico Dam between 1973 and 1978—also has a long legacy in the American South.104 The Upper French Broad River valley’s rural environmental and conservative coalition provides one explanation for why some dams never got built and how the big dam era came to a halt. The coevolution of the modern environmental movement and the regulatory state is only one important part of the story. Conservative and fiscal arguments, which have been present in other water project opposition stories, were instrumental to putting the brakes on the TVA’s tributary area development scheme. At the very moment that US citizens mobilized in the tributaries to fight high modernism in a North Carolina river valley, former New Dealers and members of the big dam consensus were selling the TVA-liberal democratic model abroad as a counterpoint to the Soviet Union’s socialist model during the Cold War. Western North Carolina residents mobilized what Donald Worster has called “watershed democracy,” which at the most basic level is a process whereby residents of a river valley make decisions about how to manage the valley’s resources. In the upper reaches of the Tennessee River valley, the watershed democracy was composed of what Brian Drake might refer to as “nature’s strange bedfellows,” a coalition of political conservatives and environmental activists who defeated a TVA bureaucracy that appeared antidemocratic to white North Carolina landowners, taxpayers, farmers, professionals, retirees, and conservationists.105 The TVA’s archetypal “Democracy on the March” and high modernism hit the wall when an organized grassroots movement decided that postwar liberalism provided no benefits for their watershed. TVA’s technocrats were unable to sell the tributary and small watershed programs, or convince communities that dams and flood control systems could replace an agricultural economy with industrial and recreational development. Instead, the French Broad fight revealed a TVA crumpling under its own weight due to a legacy of human removal, the rise of the environmental state, and high-modernist hubris. By the 1970s, dams of any size and for any purpose were nearly impossible to defend from grassroots opposition or budget hawks in the age of recession and increasing cries for “small government.” As one UFBDA member explained, the TVA “is no longer an example of ‘Democracy on the March,’ as it once was labeled. In pushing to desecrate the beautiful and productive Upper French Broad, the TVA is more nearly an example of ‘oppression on the march.’”106 Bruce Stewartis an associate professor of history at Appalachian State University. He is the author ofMoonshiners and Prohibitionists: The Battle over Alcohol in Southern Appalachia (2011). Christopher Manganiellois Chattahoochee Riverkeeper’s water policy director. He is the author ofSouthern Water, Southern Power: How the Politics of Cheap Energy and Water Scarcity Shaped a Region (2015) andWatering Georgia: The State of Water and Agriculture in Georgia (2017). Footnotes We would like to thank the manuscript readers of Environmental History for their valuable and perceptive suggestions in the preparation of this article. 1. Western Carolina Tribune, March 11, 1965. 2. Reba Kilstrom testimony, Box 1, Upper French Broad Defense Association, 1967–1977, D. H. Ramsey Library, Special Collections, University of North Carolina at Asheville, Asheville, NC (hereafter, UFBDA Collection). 3. For previous histories of the UFBDA, see Martha Boswell, Grassroots Along the Upper French Broad: The Valley People Versus the Tennessee Valley Authority, 1961–1972 (Privately published, 1975); James Brittain, Gun Fights, Dam Sites, and Water Rights: Essays on the History of Henderson County, North Carolina, and Vicinity (Columbus: Living Archives, 2001); and Savannah Murray, “‘United We Stand, Divided We May Be Dammed’: Grassroots Environmentalism and the TVA in Western North Carolina,” Journal of East Tennessee History 87 (2015): 47–63. 4. See Samuel Hays and Barbara Hays, Beauty, Health, and Permanence: Environmental Politics in the United States, 1955–1985 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1987); Hal Rothman, The Greening of a Nation? Environmentalism in the United States Since 1945 (Fort Worth: Harcourt Brace, 1998); Samuel Hays, A History of Environmental Politics Since 1945 (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2000), 185–88; Adam Rome, The Bulldozer in the Countryside: Suburban Sprawl and the Rise of American Environmentalism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001); Christopher Sellers, Crabgrass Crucible: Suburban Mature and the Rise of Environmentalism in Twentieth-Century America (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2012); and Adam Rome, The Genius of Earth Day: How a 1970 Teach-In Unexpectedly Made the First Green Generation (New York: Hill & Wang, 2014). 5. Hays and Hays, Beauty, Health, and Permanence, 43 (quotation). 6. Christopher Manganiello, Southern Water, Southern Power: How the Politics of Cheap Water and Water Scarcity Shaped a Region (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2015), 143–44 (quotation); and Hays, A History of Environmental Politics Since 1945, 185–88. 7. Manganiello, Southern Water, Southern Power, 144 (quotation). For more on environmentalism in the twentieth-century South, see Jeffrey Stine, Mixing the Waters: Environment, Politics, and the Building of the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway (Akron: University of Akron Press, 1993); Robert Bullard, Dumping in Dixie: Race, Class, and Environmental Quality (Boulder: Westview Press, 1994); Craig Colten, “Contesting Pollution in Dixie: The Case of Corney Creek,” Journal of Southern History 72 (August 2006): 605–34; Jack Davis, An Everglades Providence: Marjory Stoneman Douglas and the American Environmental Century (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2009); Steven Noll and David Tegeder, Ditch of Dreams: The Cross Florida Barge Canal and the Struggle for Florida’s Future (Gainesville: University of Florida Press, 2009); Albert Way, Conserving Longleaf: Herbert Stoddard and the Rise of Ecological Land Management (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2011); William Bryan, “Poverty, Industry, and Environmental Quality: Weighing Paths to Economic Development at the Dawn of the Environmental Era,” Environmental History 16 (July 2011): 492–522; Kathryn Newfont, Blue Ridge Commons: Environmental Activism and Forest History in Western North Carolina (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2012); Cody Ferguson, This is Our Land: Grassroots Environmentalism in the Late Twentieth Century (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2015); and Christopher Manganiello, “The Gold Standard: Sunbelt Environmentalism and Coastal Protection,” in Coastal Nature, Coastal Culture: Environmental Histories of the Georgia Coast, ed. Paul Sutter and Paul Pressly (University of Georgia Press, forthcoming in 2018). 8. Robert Lifset, Power on the Hudson: Storm King Mountain and the Emergence of Modern American Environmentalism (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2014), 6 (quotations); and Sellers, Crabgrass Crucible. 9. Adam Rome, “‘Give Earth a Chance’: The Environmental Movement and the Sixties,” Journal of American History 90 (September 2003): 525–54; see 553. 10. For scholarship on political conservatism and environmentalism in the 1960s, see Brian Drake, Loving Nature, Fearing the State: Environmentalism and Antigovernment Politics before Reagan (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2013); Brooks Flippen, Conservative Conservationist: Russell E. Train and the Emergence of American Environmentalism (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2006); and James Turner, “‘The Specter of Environmentalism’: Wilderness, Environmental Politics, and the Evolution of the New Right,” Journal of American History 96 (June 2009): 123–48. 11. Wilma Dykeman, The French Broad (New York: Rinehart & Company, 1955), 23. 12. Asheville Citizen, July 17, 1916. 13. For a discussion on the “dam craze” in the New South, see Manganiello, Southern Water, Southern Power, 45–68 (quotation on 47). 14. For more on New Deal conservation programs, see Sarah Phillips, This Land, This Nation: Conservation, Rural America, and the New Deal (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007), 2 (quotation). 15. The TVA scholarship is extensive, and recommended sources include Preston Hubbard, Origins of the TVA: The Muscle Shoals Controversy, 1920–1932 (Nashville: Vanderbilt University Press, 1961); Thomas McCraw, TVA and the Power Fight, 1933–1939 (Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1971); Erwin Hargrove and Paul Conkin, eds., TVA: Fifty Years of Grass-Roots Bureaucracy (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1983); and Phillips, This Land, This Nation. 16. In 1930 the US Army Corps of Engineers had developed plans to construct a dam at Long Shoals. Brittain, Gun Fights, 135–56. 17. Ibid., 156–64. 18. Boswell, Grassroots, 2. 19. Economic Development of the Upper French Broad Areas, Vol. 1 (May 1964): 18, 57. 20. Asheville Citizen, June 11, 1964. 21. Charles Taylor speech, February 2, 1967, Box 3, UFBDA Collection. 22. Wendell Cannon, “A Reevaluation of the Recreation Benefits”; and Barry Pierce, “Development of the Water Resources,” both in Box 3, UFBDA Collection. 23. Bill Jones, “Municipal and Industrial Water Supply,” Box 3, UFBDA Collection. 24. Mark Ayers, “Evaluation of the TVA’s Proposal for Water Quality Control,” Box 3, UFBDA Collection. 25. Boswell, Grassroots, 6. 26. Henderson to Boswell, December 5, 1967, Box 2, Upper French Broad Defense Association Records, 1914, 1965–74, North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh, NC (hereafter, NCSA). 27. Asheville Citizen, October 14, 1970. 28. Taylor to Boswell, June 1, 1967, Box 1, NCSA. 29. Crane to Transylvania Times, February 25, 1965, Box 1, UFBDA Collection. 30. Mark Harvey, A Symbol of Wilderness: Echo Park and the American Conservation Movement (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1994); and Karl Brooks, Public Power, Private Dams: The Hells Canyon High Dam Controversy (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2006). 31. Manganiello, Southern Water, Southern Power. 32. Boswell, Grassroots, 10–12; and Brittain, Gun Fights, 168–69. 33. Elmer Johnson interview, December 7, 1983, Box 3, NCSA. 34. For more on the rise of modern conservatism during the 1960s, see Michelle Nickerson and Darren Dochuk, eds., Sunbelt Rising: The Politics of Space, Place, and Region (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011); Matthew Lassiter, The Silent Majority: Suburban Politics in the Sunbelt South (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2006); and Lisa McGirr, Suburban Warriors: The Origins of the New American Right (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2001). 35. Martha Boswell interview, Box 2, NCSA. 36. For scholarship on women and postwar environmentalism, see Rome, The Genius of Earth Day; Glenda Riley, Women and Nature: Save the “Wild” West (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2008); Elizabeth Blum, Love Canal Revisited: Race, Class, and Gender in Environmental Activism (Lawrence: University of Kansas Press, 2008); and Andrew Hurley, Environmental Inequalities: Class, Race, and Industrial Pollution in Gary, Indiana, 1945–1980 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1995). 37. Drake, Loving Nature, Fearing the State, 59 (quotation). For scholarship on women and the conservative movement following World War II, see Michelle Nickerson, The Mothers of Conservatism: Women and the Postwar Right (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2012); and McGirr, Suburban Warriors. 38. Boswell to Jones, December 6, 1967, Box 2, NCSA. 39. Boswell to Schultze, December 7, 1967; Boswell to Jordan, December 7, 1967; Boswell to Hayden, December 7, 1967; and Boswell to Mills, December 11, 1967, all in Box 2, NCSA. 40. Taylor to Boswell, June 1, 1967, Box 1, NCSA. 41. Wagner to Jordan, December 1, 1967, Box 1, NCSA. 42. Robert Mason, Richard Nixon and the Quest for a New Majority (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2004), 5. 43. Brittain to Nixon, January 28, 1969, Box 7, UFBDA Collection. 44. For an example, see Moore to Nixon, February 19, 1969, Box 5, UFBDA Collection. 45. Sellers, Crabgrass Crucible. 46. Brooks Flippen, Nixon and the Environment (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2012). 47. For more on residential tourism in western North Carolina, see C. Brenden Martin, Tourism in the Mountain South: A Double-Edged Sword (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 2007); and Richard Starnes, Creating the Land of the Sky: Tourism and Society in Western North Carolina (Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2005). 48. Dykeman, The French Broad, 284 (quotation). 49. Ina Woester Van Noppen and John Van Noppen, Western North Carolina Since the Civil War (Boone: Appalachian Consortium Press, 1973), 346–70. 50. Dykeman, The French Broad, 280–93 (quotation on 291); and Richard Bartlett, Troubled Waters: Champion International and the Pigeon River Controversy (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1995). 51. Martin, Tourism in the Mountain South, 186–88 (quotation on 187); and William Cary, Molly Johnson, Meredith Golden, and Trip Van Noppen, The Impact of Recreational Development: A Study of Land Ownership, Recreational Development, and Local Land Use Planning in the North Carolina Mountain Region (Durham: North Carolina Public Interest Research Group, 1975). 52. Brittain, Gun Fights, 172–73. 53. Ibid., 178. 54. Brittain speech to the CCNC, December 7, 1969, Box 5, UFBDA Collection. 55. Ibid. 56. Felmet to Jordan, July 8, 1970, Box 5, UFBDA Collection. 57. Transylvania Times, December 10, 1970. 58. Wagner to Jordan, September 10, 1970, Box 2, NCSA. 59. Duris to Boswell, September 2, 1969, Box 1, NCSA. 60. Boswell to Brittain, January 27, 1970, Box 5, UFBDA Collection; and Brittain to Boswell, January 30, 1970, and Boswell to Brittain, January 26, June 23, 1970, both in Box 1, NCSA. 61. Boswell to Brittain, January 26, June 23, 1970, Brittain to Boswell, January 30, 1970, and Duris to Boswell, May 31, June 23, 1970, all in Box 1, NCSA; Boswell to Brittain, January 27, 1970, Box 5, UFBDA Collection; and Dehon to Boswell, February 18, 1970, Box 7, UFBDA Collection. 62. Hendersonville Times-News, September 9, 1970. 63. Asheville Citizen, June 7, 1971. 64. Ibid., July 17, 1971. 65. See Brittain to Russell, October 30, 1970, and Puleston to Brittain, December 15, 1971, both in Box 5, UFBDA Collection; Johnson to Smith, October 26, 1970, Johnson to Tupling, October 26, 1970, Sierra Club resolution, October 31, 1970, Dehon to Brittain, November 6, 1970, Eisel to Brittain, December 30, 1971, and UFBDA Newsletters Nos. 1 and 3, 1970, all in Box 7, UFBDA Collection; Brittain to UFBDA, October 23, 1971, Box 8, UFBDA Collection; and Asheville Citizen, December 7, 1970, September 4, September 7, 1971. 66. UFBDA Newsletter No. 9, November 26, 1971, Box 7, UFBDA Collection. 67. Raleigh News and Observer, May 16, 1971. 68. See Hays, A History of Environmental Politics Since 1945, 126; and Robert Gottlieb, Forcing the Spring: The Transformation of the American Environmental Movement (Washington, DC: Island Press, 2005), 175–77, 180–81. 69. Sellers, Crabgrass Crucible, 265–79 (265, first and third quotations); and Lifset, Power on the Hudson, 6 (second quotation). 70. See Gustin to Nixon, February 4, 1971, and Johnson to Johnson, May 8, 1971, both in Box 7, UFBDA Collection; Russell to Brittain, November 11, 1970, and Brittain to Asheville Times, July 9, 1971, both in Box 8, UFBDA Collection; Asheville Citizen, December 7, 1970; Transylvania Times, December 14, 1970; and Hendersonville Times-News, May 20, 1971. 71. Hendersonville Times-News, June 20, November 27, 1969, January 22, May 19, 1970; Asheville Citizen, October 16, December 7, 1970; and Griffith to Jordan, January 9, 1970, and Jordan to Griffith, January 15, 1970, both in Box 8, UFBDA Collection. 72. See Hendersonville Times-News, February 26, 1971; Asheville Citizen, May 20, 21, 1971. 73. Asheville Citizen, May 20, 1971. 74. See Transylvania Times, December 14, 1970; Brittain to Asheville Times, July 9, 1971, Box 8, UFBDA Collection; Dehon to Blackwell, November 17, 1970, Box 5, UFBDA Collection; and Johnson to Smith, October 26, 1970, Sierra Club resolution, October 31, 1970, and Dehon to Brittain, November 6, 1970, all in Box 7, UFBDA Collection. 75. Ferguson, This Is Our Land, 7–8 (quotations). 76. Wagner to Ervin Jr., February 1, 1971, Box 1, UFBDA Collection. 77. Martha Boswell interview, October 11, 1983, Box 3, NCSA. 78. Hendersonville Times-News, July 6, 1971. 79. Ibid., August 8, 1971; UFBDA to TVA, August 2, 1971, Box 3, UFBDA Collection; and Asheville Citizen, August 10, 1971. 80. Brittain to Asheville Times, July 1971, Box 8, UFBDA Collection. 81. Hendersonville Times-News, August 8, 1971. 82. A total of 219 people spoke at the public hearing. See Knoxville News-Sentinel, September 1, 2, 3, 1971; and Asheville Times, August 31, 1971. 83. Martha Boswell interview, October 11, 1983, Box 3, NCSA. 84. For an example, see Charles Edmondson testimony, Box 1, UFBDA Collection. For additional pro-TVA testimonies, see Boxes 1 and 7, UFBDA Collection. 85. Ralph Andrews testimony, Box 7, UFBDA Collection. 86. For an example, see J. Lehman Kapp testimony, Box 1, UFBDA Collection. 87. For an example, see Carolyn Moore testimony, Box 2, UFBDA Collection. 88. Ernest Sitton testimony, Box 1, UFBDA Collection. 89. Knoxville News-Sentinel, September 3, 1971. 90. Asheville Citizen, September 10, 1971. 91. Ibid., December 7, 1971. 92. Asheville Citizen, January 4, 5, 15, 1972; Hendersonville Times-News, October 16, 1971; Brittain to UFBDA members, October 23, 1971, Box 8, UFBDA Collection; and Boswell to Jordan, March 6, 1972, Box 2, NCSA. 93. Brittain to UFBDA members, October 23, 1971, Box 8, UFBDA Collection. 94. Tom Eamon, The Making of a Southern Democracy: North Carolina Politics from Kerr Scott to Pat McCrory (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2014); and Rob Christensen, The Paradox of Tar Heel Politics: The Personalities, Elections, and Events That Shaped Modern North Carolina (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2010). 95. Taylor to Brittain, September 15, 1972, Box 5, UFBDA Collection. 96. Brittain to UFBDA members, October 23, 1971, Box 8, UFBDA Collection. 97. Eisel to Brittain, December 30, 1971, Box 7, UFBDA Collection; Hendersonville Times-News, May 5, November 15, 1972; Raleigh News and Observer, November 16, 1972; Boswell to Jordan, March 6, 1972, and Boswell to Kohl, September 21, 1972, both in Box 2, NCSA; UFBDA to Office Holders and Candidates for Office, April 4, 1972, Box 3, UFBDA Collection; Brittain to Taylor, August 11, 1972, Box 5, UFBDA Collection; and Jere Brittain speech, October 12, 1972, Box 4, UFBDA Collection. 98. Raleigh News and Observer, September 23, 1971. 99. Hendersonville Times-News, November 8, 1972. 100. Asheville Citizen, November 15, 1972. 101. Hendersonville Times-News, November 14, 1972. 102. Elmer Johnson interview, December 7, 1983, Box 3, NCSA. 103. For examples, see Harvey, A Symbol of Wilderness; and Brooks, Public Power, Private Dams. 104. For examples, see William Wheeler and Bruce McDonald, TVA and the Tellico Dam: A Bureaucratic Crisis in Post Industrial America (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1986); Kenneth Murchison, The Snail Darter Case: TVA versus the Endangered Species Act (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas); Stine, Mixing the Waters; Noll and Tegeder, Ditch of Dreams; and Manganiello, Southern Water, Southern Power. 105. Donald Worster, “Watershed Democracy: Rediscovering the Lost Vision of John Wesley Powell,” in Water: Histories, Cultures, Ecologies, ed. Marie Leybourne and Andrea Gaynor (Crawley: University of Western Australia Press, 2006), 3–15; and Drake, Loving Nature, Fearing the State, 3–18 (quotation on 3). For an excellent discussion of New Deal and TVA influence on international development, see David Ekbladh, The Great American Mission: Modernization and the Construction of An American World Order (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2010). 106. James Lewis testimony, Box 1, UFBDA Collection. © The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the American Society for Environmental History and the Forest History Society. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com This article is published and distributed under the terms of the Oxford University Press, Standard Journals Publication Model (https://academic.oup.com/journals/pages/about_us/legal/notices) http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Environmental History Oxford University Press

Watershed Democracy: Rural Environmentalism and the Battle Against the TVA in Western North Carolina, 1965–1972

Loading next page...
 
/lp/ou_press/watershed-democracy-rural-environmentalism-and-the-battle-against-the-dgaxXazoSQ
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Copyright
© The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the American Society for Environmental History and the Forest History Society. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com
ISSN
1084-5453
eISSN
1930-8892
D.O.I.
10.1093/envhis/emy004
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Abstract Scholars have overlooked the role that rural southerners played in the 1960s environmental movement. The prevailing narratives chronicle the post-1945 activities of American white middle-class Democrats who, wanting to protect their new suburban landscapes, embraced environmentalism. Popular in the North and West, the 1960s environmental movement seemed to have bypassed the South, especially in more rural parts of the region. There, political conservatism, “the persistence of rural attitudes” (according to Samuel Hays), and slow urban growth had supposedly limited the influence of the movement. In western North Carolina, environmentalism struck a chord among men and women who organized to repeatedly oppose the Tennessee Valley Authority’s plans to build dams to control floods long after the New Deal was over. These rural residents—from farmers to birdwatchers—maintained that their livelihoods and rural communities depended on the preservation of the French Broad River and its floodplain. Nor did political and fiscal conservatives shun environmentalism. Republicans, sharing a common enemy and a genuine concern for the environment, aligned with environmentalists and helped found the Upper French Broad Defense Association. Together, green conservatives and liberals joined forces. They marshaled a local battle with little outside assistance to halt the march of high modernism in the rural Sun Belt. INTRODUCTION “We say, simply, that flood control must come to western North Carolina,” wrote Henderson County reporter John Sholer in March 1965, in “The TVA Today Offers the Only Solution.” Sholer was praising the announcement by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) that the federal agency would construct a series of dams in the Upper French Broad River basin. Local businesspeople, industrialists, politicians, and most residents had urged the TVA for decades to develop a flood control plan for western North Carolina. Embracing New Deal liberalism, they believed that federally backed multipurpose dams would not only control flooding, but also revitalize the region’s struggling economy by stimulating tourism and creating additional water storage for hydropower and navigation. These dam proponents quickly embraced the TVA’s 1965 proposed project, confident that it would, as Sholer put it, “bring relief from the recurring monster of high water.”1 But support for the TVA’s flood control plan was far from universal. Throughout western North Carolina, farmers and other rural citizens denounced the proposed dams, insisting that they threatened to destroy valuable farmland and displace families who lived along the French Broad River and its tributaries. In their eyes, the TVA had become a “heartless” and expensive government agency attempting to impose its authority over local communities. These men and women, influenced by the burgeoning environmental movement, also warned that the dams would “upset the balance of nature” in the region. “I submit to you,” Henderson County resident Reba Kilstrom lamented, “that anytime we try to change things which God has ordained, such as our rivers and streams, destroying the natural habitat of wild life, which is so necessary to our well-being, we are opening Pandora’s box and are in for serious trouble.”2 Critics like Kilstrom soon united to form the Upper French Broad Defense Association (UFBDA), a grassroots organization that would ultimately defeat the formidable TVA.3 Until recently, most scholars had overlooked the role that southern community-based groups like the UFBDA played in the 1960s environmental movement. Older narratives chronicled the activities of participants who were generally white, liberal, and affluent intellectuals and students who shaped federal policy, advanced popular ecology, and lived in the modern suburbs. No longer were these Americans satisfied with conserving natural resources and promoting wise use; they were increasingly concerned about sprawl, air quality, and water pollution.4 Popular in the North and West, the 1960s environmental movement was assumed to have bypassed the South, especially in more rural parts of the region. There, according to historian Samuel Hays, a continued dependence on agriculture, “the persistence of rural attitudes and institutions,” and slow urban growth had supposedly limited the influence of the movement.5 It was only in the 1980s that “citizen engagement in environmental issues” there began to resemble the activism “found in New England, the mid-Atlantic, and the Pacific Coast, but then only in the urban South.”6 Recent scholarship, however, has revealed that not all southerners—urban and rural alike—were indifferent to the issues that environmentalists championed during the 1960s. In fact, the legacy of a rural economy, institutions, and pursuits directly contributed to the rise of Sun Belt environmentalism. As a number of historians have uncovered, southerners engaged in campaigns to protect wildlife and unique landscapes, combat air and water pollution, and fight dams that posed a threat to their livelihoods, communities, and the environment throughout the twentieth century. In Florida, Mississippi, and Georgia, for instance, residents, hoping to “balance appropriate economic development, water quality, and environmental protection,” led grassroots opposition to several proposed federal waterway projects beginning in the 1950s.7 Environmentalism also struck a chord among western North Carolinians who joined the UFBDA and encouraged them to emphasize the negative impacts that the TVA’s flood control plan would have on the French Broad River and other natural resources. The following story about the UFBDA and its fight against the TVA not only highlights the role that southerners played in the 1960s environmental movement, but also complicates our understanding of the movement as a whole during that decade. Following the lead of historians Christopher Sellers and Robert Lifset, it showcases the growing significance of the “politics of ecology” in the environmental crusades of the 1960s. Like activists elsewhere in the nation, western North Carolina residents’ initial reliance on aesthetic and economic arguments failed to persuade government officials to support their cause. It was not until dam opponents began to frame their opposition in ecological terms that they made headway against the TVA. This shift in emphasis to ecological arguments encouraged activists to use science to quantify the damage that dams would have on the environment. Such scientific data placed anti-dam proponents in a stronger position to advance their case in the courts and in other governmental venues, all of which “favored expertise that could make definitive claims about the present and future.”8 This story also reveals how political conservatives adopted environmentalism, an ideology that would not become associated with the Left until the 1980s. As historian Adam Rome has observed, Americans’ environmental activism during the 1960s fails to fit into “neat ideological categories.” “Though some grass-roots activists were liberal Democrats or fiery young radicals,” Rome explained, “others were Republicans—and some, wary of partisanship of any kind, preferred to see the environmental cause as one that transcended politics.”9 Such was the case in western North Carolina. There, the UFBDA emerged as a grassroots coalition of unlikely environmentalists: rural farmers, housewives, and working-class laborers who championed political conservatism. These men and women frequently condemned the TVA as an undemocratic federal agency that threatened private enterprise, personal property, and states’ rights. But environmentalism also shaped dam opponents’ discourse, many of whom charged that the project would eradicate wildlife habitats, create mudflats, and destroy free-flowing streams. For them, environmental degradation was directly tied to the decline of rural America, a place that served as a refuge from the social and political turmoil of the 1960s. Sharing a common enemy and a genuine concern for the environment, green conservatives and liberals in western North Carolina ultimately joined forces to fight high modernism and a dam.10 TVA’S ARRIVAL IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA Flowing north through the counties of Transylvania, Henderson, Buncombe, and Madison, the French Broad River has served as a source of sustenance, pleasure, and spiritual power for western North Carolinians. It has also threatened to hamper the region’s economic potential. On occasion, heavy rains—where average rainfall can range from 70 to 100 inches a year—and hurricanes have turned the French Broad River “into a veritable tidal wave of death and devastation.”11 In July 1916, two tropical storms caused the river to rise from 4 to 23.1 feet in a week. The flood nearly wiped out Asheville’s river district, causing an estimated $10 million in property damage and killing five people, and it destroyed several villages situated along the tributaries of the French Broad River (figure 1).12 Figure 1. View largeDownload slide Map of French Broad River Basin, 1968. The French Broad River begins at the bottom of the map near Brevard and Hendersonville, flowing north through Asheville, and passes through Hot Springs before entering Tennessee at the top center of the map. Credit: Courtesy of the State Archives of North Carolina. Figure 1. View largeDownload slide Map of French Broad River Basin, 1968. The French Broad River begins at the bottom of the map near Brevard and Hendersonville, flowing north through Asheville, and passes through Hot Springs before entering Tennessee at the top center of the map. Credit: Courtesy of the State Archives of North Carolina. The 1916 flood galvanized many western North Carolinians to support the “dam craze” that had begun to emerge throughout the American South. By the turn of the twentieth century, a growing number of southerners had concluded that the future of the region lay in waterway manipulation. Water, they argued, was the chief energy source that farmers and industrialists alike could use to build a competitive regional economy. Hydroelectric dams could fuel the region’s burgeoning textile, tobacco, and furniture industries, and in some cases improve navigation and provide flood control. In North Carolina, Georgia, and other southern states, capitalists quickly scrambled to construct dams, eager to “harness ‘white coal’ from rivers that previously flowed unused as ‘waste to the sea.’”13 Embracing New South rhetoric, western North Carolina boosters, mostly business interests from Brevard, Hendersonville, and Asheville, also viewed waterway manipulation as the panacea to the region’s economic woes and—in the decades following the 1916 flood—repeatedly reached out to the federal government for assistance. These dam proponents eventually found an ally in President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Upon assuming office in 1933, Roosevelt launched the New Deal, a series of programs aimed at combating the Great Depression. Roosevelt, in particular, hoped to rehabilitate the economies of rural America through “land retirement, soil and forest restoration, flood control, and cheap hydropower for farms and new industries.”14 Central to accomplishing that goal was the creation of the TVA. The Roosevelt administration envisioned the TVA as a regional planning tool: big multipurpose dams would provide flood control, regulate river flows to improve navigation and generate hydroelectricity for the manufacture of fertilizer for farmers and to promote decentralized industrial development. The TVA—a high-modernist social and environmental engineering experiment—would simultaneously heal a land ravaged by poor farming practices, soil erosion, and free market forces, and lift individuals out of poverty by balancing production and consumption.15 The passage of the TVA Act in 1933 encouraged western North Carolina boosters to request that the new federal agency construct a dam on the French Broad River at Long Shoals in Buncombe County. The resulting 30,000-acre lake, they argued, would boost local tourism and usher in TVA’s many regional planning benefits. However, the high cost of the project, along with opposition from residents whose homes and farms would be under water, prevented the dam from becoming a reality.16 This setback failed to extinguish local boosters’ desire to impound the French Broad River. Following two devastating floods in August 1940, stakeholders invited the TVA to conduct a study of the entire Upper French Broad River basin. Released in 1942, the TVA report recommended the construction of a series of dams throughout the watershed. But the coming of World War II, as well as the TVA’s commitment to completing the Fontana Dam on the Little Tennessee River in the nearby North Carolina counties of Swain and Graham, again halted plans to dam the river.17 TVA did not fully commit to developing and implementing a comprehensive program to combat the region’s evolving water problems until the 1960s. At the request of the Western North Carolina Regional Planning Commission, the federal agency completed a resource and economic analysis of the French Broad River watershed in Transylvania, Henderson, Buncombe, Madison, and Haywood counties in 1964.18 The TVA report warned that the lack of economic opportunities had led to substantial outmigration, resulting in the “permanent loss of the area’s most important asset”: a proven labor supply. As such, future development depended on the implementation of a water control program that promoted industry and tourism. Regular flooding had stymied “progress” by damaging urban centers, destroying valuable farmland, and discouraging industries from moving into the region. To make matters worse in the age before the Clean Water Act of 1972, water pollution from the paper, pulp, and synthetic fiber industries located throughout the French Broad River watershed threatened to prevent local and county governments from “meeting future water demands.”19 That following year, the TVA’s Office of Tributary Area Development announced its plan to create an integrated water control system for the Upper French Broad River basin. The project—one of the thirteen proposed tributary schemes—called for the construction of fourteen impoundments (two dry dams and twelve permanent pools), 74 miles of channelization, and 1.4 miles of levee in Asheville.20 TVA officials insisted that the plan offered a wide range of benefits to the region. It would limit periodic flooding to once in five years, as compared to the previous flood rate of once or twice a year, thereby preserving valuable farmland, protecting urban centers, and encouraging the development of industries along the French Broad River.21 The creation of twelve lakes and 138 miles of shoreline further promised to boost tourism and employment.22 Six of the reservoirs would increase water supply by providing the region with water for municipal and industrial use.23 And releases of water from the reservoirs would also help assimilate wastes and other pollutants in the French Broad River and its tributaries.24 In total, the project would cost an estimated $99 million (later increased to $115 million). Dam proponents could not have been more pleased. Western North Carolina business interests, civic organizations, and journalists quickly endorsed the TVA plan, believing that it would deliver TVA’s sought after regional benefits.25 In 1965 these stakeholders created the Upper French Broad Economic Development Commission (UFBEDC) to function as a development authority liaison between the TVA and county commissioners. The UFBEDC initially had the license to formulate “economic development” projects, “assist new businesses or industries locating in the region,” and “encourage the formation of private business to carry out the task of industrial location.” By 1966 its powers expanded to include, among other things, the right to enter into contracts with federal agencies and to acquire property by condemnation or purchase. Local and state Democratic politicians further championed the TVA scheme as a panacea for the region’s economic woes. Members of North Carolina’s Democratic congressional delegation—Walter Jones, David N. Henderson, B. Everett Jordan, and Sam Ervin Jr.—believed that the TVA program was necessary due to “changing population patterns in our modern society.” As active members of the New Deal’s big dam consensus and witnesses to dramatic national droughts in the 1950s and 1960s, North Carolina’s leadership—like Democrats elsewhere in the South—anticipated explosive Sun Belt growth and expected continued federal investment in water conservation infrastructure.26 Perhaps the most fervent supporter of the TVA was Buncombe County native and Democrat Roy Taylor, a congressman representing North Carolina’s 11th District. As chairman of the House Subcommittee on Parks and Recreation, Taylor gained a national reputation as a staunch conservationist, helping to establish the Voyageurs National Park in northern Minnesota and preserve other special landscapes.27 Taylor’s unwavering belief in the economic benefits of the TVA project, however, trumped any ecological concerns that he may have had.28 With the support of Taylor and other prominent North Carolina politicians, TVA officials quickly secured $2.3 million from the US Congress to begin construction of the Mills River reservoir in Henderson County. BUDDING OPPOSITION TO THE TVA But support for the TVA proved far from universal. By 1966 a crop of critics had emerged to challenge the project. In Transylvania County, resistance to the TVA reflected a new conservative discourse that rejected the virtues of big dams and flood control. As early as 1965, Quinton Crane complained that the TVA was a taxpayer-funded boondoggle that threatened property rights and private enterprise. “This is just another power grab by the bureaucratic minds in Washington,” Crane asserted.29 This opposition to the New Deal’s big dam consensus was not confined to western North Carolina. In the American West, angry residents had already waged grassroots campaigns against the federal government’s attempts to dam the Colorado River in Echo Park, Colorado, and the Snake River in Hells Canyon, Idaho.30 Georgians had also launched organized opposition to the US Army Corps of Engineers’ plan to dam the Savannah River.31 Throughout 1966, a growing number of Transylvania County residents joined Crane in a conservative critique of the TVA. Charles Taylor, a Brevard native and Republican nominee for the state House of Representatives in 1966, challenged the TVA, insisting that impoundments would actually hamper economic growth by inundating productive farmland, destroying small communities, and reducing the local tax base. Taylor’s stance against the TVA struck a chord among voters in the predominantly Democratic 48th Legislative District, allowing him to become the first Republican elected to the General Assembly from western North Carolina since Reconstruction.32 Taylor “was the one that first talked about [the TVA’s plan],” Elmer Johnson recalled years later in explaining why many Transylvania County Democrats switched their political loyalties in 1966. “He realized that this was a bad project.”33 Voters did not elect Taylor solely due to his stance against the TVA. Their selection also reflected the growing disenchantment of many western North Carolinians with the Democratic Party as a whole. Throughout the South during the 1960s, white Democrats began to question the direction of the national party. The Kennedy and Johnson administrations’ endorsement of the civil rights movement and support for the expansion of the welfare state troubled many white southerners who had embraced New Deal liberalism. These Democrats wanted the party to reduce government spending, protect states’ rights, and restore the racial status quo.34 In western North Carolina, opposition to TVA in part represented an expression of fiscal conservatives’ disappointment with the Democratic Party, one that local Republicans, following Taylor’s lead, would soon capitalize on to gain support in the region. Opponents of the TVA also found a voice in Martha Boswell, a 67-year-old Brevard resident whose family had lived in the region for generations. Like many Transylvania County Democrats, Boswell had embraced Taylor’s campaign against the TVA in 1966. Shortly thereafter, she founded the Transylvania County Citizens and Taxpayers League (CTL), a bipartisan organization that opposed the damming of the Little River.35 Boswell was not unique. By the 1960s, women had increasingly become active volunteers in and leaders of grassroots movements aimed at protecting their communities and the environment. This activism stemmed in part due to women’s perceived status as the caretakers of domestic spaces. Pollutants such as pesticides and industrial waste posed a threat not only to nature, but also the home, playgrounds, and other environs that women were expected to protect. A growing number of women observed environmental degradation and acted.36 Many of these women, however, also had “conservative political leanings” that often encouraged them to employ antistatism ideology to defend and build support for their crusade.37 Such was the case with Boswell. As head of the CTL, Boswell quickly emerged as the mouthpiece of the anti-TVA movement, one that continued to rely on political and fiscal conservatism to defeat the federal agency’s flood control plan. Boswell viewed the TVA as a symbol of a larger problem in American society: “the growing power of federal bureaucracy.” The TVA, she claimed, was fiscally irresponsible and unresponsive to the demands of taxpaying citizens whose lands would soon be under water. As such, it posed a direct threat to private property and, perhaps more alarming, states’ rights. “We want more state control of state resources and more independent thought and leadership from our congressional delegation,” Boswell complained to Democratic congressman Walter Jones.38 Boswell further rejected the TVA’s claim that the project would stimulate economic development in the Upper French Broad River basin, pointing out that per capita income and population in nearby Swain County had plummeted since the construction of Fontana Lake in the 1940s.39 Dam proponents quickly defended the TVA project. Most local and state Democratic politicians remained steadfast in the belief that the dams were “in the public interest.” Writing to Boswell in June 1967, Roy Taylor argued that the impoundments would once and for all “put an end to the gigantic crop damage and other damage caused periodically by floods.”40 The TVA also continued to stress that the project served the “public good” by improving water supply and water quality, providing flood control, promoting tourism, and encouraging industrial development. Such benefits, TVA and other officials proclaimed, outweighed the loss of the Little River and other small communities in Transylvania County.41 Those proclamations rang hollow. Boswell and other TVA critics capitalized on conservative Democrats’ disenchantment with New Deal liberalism to build support for their cause in Transylvania County. Portraying the TVA as a “wasteful” Goliath, they appealed to local residents who, like many other white southerners, had become increasingly wary of centralized power and frustrated with the federal government’s failure to contain the burgeoning civil rights, anti–Vietnam War, and feminist movements. Coinciding with opposition to postwar liberalism, the anti-TVA campaign in part reflected (and was strengthened by) white conservatives’ fear of “big government” intruding on states’ rights, private enterprise, and property rights. But the conservative critique of the TVA failed to garner widespread support for the “dam fighters.” County commissioners; prominent Democrats like B. Everett Jordan, Sam Ervin Jr., and Roy Taylor; civic groups; and businesspeople continued to endorse the TVA project. Several events, however, would soon conspire against the TVA and those who supported it. President Richard Nixon’s election in 1968 ultimately helped bolster the anti-TVA campaign in the Upper French Broad River basin. A Republican, Nixon opposed New Deal liberalism and feared the federal government’s growth would destroy the “traditional virtues of individual enterprise and self-reliance.”42 He pledged to reduce federal spending, cut “wasteful” government agencies, and balance the national budget. This agenda appealed to the anti-TVA proponents of western North Carolina, who emphasized political and fiscal conservatism to gain the new president’s support. Writing to Nixon, dam critics portrayed the TVA project as a federal boondoggle that threatened rural America, which they argued remained the only place that had escaped the social and political turmoil of the 1960s. “Surely this community, albeit small and isolated, is a thread which adds both strength and texture to the venerable ‘patchwork quilt’ which is our nation,” one Henderson County resident explained, asking that Nixon freeze funding for the construction of the Mills River reservoir.43 Others charged that the project would punish “good citizens” who earned an honest living, paid their taxes, and remained patriotic in the face of growing opposition to the Vietnam War.44 The rise of environmentalism further strengthened dam opponents’ efforts in their fight against the TVA. Since the end of World War II, a growing number of Americans had become concerned with the quality of the environment. Led mostly by middle-class suburbanites, these men and women lamented the negative impacts that “development” had on the landscape. Air and water pollution, suburban sprawl, and the loss of animal and plant life to pesticide application, they argued, had sparked an ecological crisis that the federal government had to confront before it was too late.45 President Nixon reluctantly embraced environmentalism that by 1968 had emerged as one of the leading social movements in the United States. Consequently, Nixon expanded “the environmental management state” by endorsing the National Environmental Policy Act of 1970, creating the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and establishing additional federal regulatory policies and agencies.46 This legislation soon proved invaluable to anti-TVA proponents in the Upper French Broad River basin. The environmental movement also encouraged dam opponents, Republican and Democratic alike, to broaden their critique of the TVA beyond political and fiscal concerns. Indeed, by 1969 dam antagonists began to emphasize the negative impact that the TVA project would have on the region’s ecology. This shift in focus was in part due to the growing influence of seasonal residents and transplant retirees within the anti-TVA campaign. Following World War II, residential tourism in western North Carolina skyrocketed as nature enthusiasts increasingly established vacation homes throughout the region’s countryside.47 Mostly middle-class suburbanites, these newcomers had already embraced environmentalism and were the first to underscore the potential damage that the TVA dams would have on the ecology of the French Broad River basin. However, these outsiders were not solely responsible for the anti-TVA campaign’s endorsement of environmentalism. Like their suburban counterparts, rural western North Carolinians also had cause for alarm because the region’s rivers had increasingly become polluted following World War II. By 1955 the French Broad River basin contained “sources responsible for more than one-fourth of the total pollution of North Carolina.”48 The bulk of this pollution came from the various industrial factories that operated along the French Broad River and its tributaries, most notably the Ecusta paper mill (Brevard), the American Enka fiber plant (Asheville), and the Champion International paper mill (Canton).49 Sewage pumped into the rivers from these and other facilities plus inadequate municipal waste treatment plants further worsened the situation. As one local resident complained in the early 1950s, “The Bible says that ‘cleanliness is next to godliness’, but in parts of [the mountain region] it seems next to impossible” to find a clean mountain stream.50 By the 1960s, these rural residents had also begun to witness the environmental degradation caused by residential tourism. During that decade, second homes, most of which were situated on mountainsides and in remote areas, increased by nearly 20 percent in the region. To make space for these residences, developers had to clear the land of trees and vegetation that increased the level of erosion. This, in turn, led to an increase in flooding and mudslides and contributed to the siltation of streams, ponds, and lakes throughout the countryside. Septic tanks on second-home lots also frequently leaked—not unlike those on suburban frontiers elsewhere in the nation—causing raw sewage “to seep through the rock bed into the water table.”51 Like their suburban counterparts, rural western North Carolinians were now experiencing firsthand the negative impacts of post–World War II development on the immediate environment. These Sun Belt experiences would aid in the development of an “environmental awareness” and adoption of ecological arguments in the fight against the TVA. In Henderson County, where a TVA impoundment threatened to inundate the community of Mills River, angry residents rallied behind Jere Brittain and Alex Duris. Brittain, whose family had lived in Mills River for generations, had recently moved back to his hometown after earning a doctorate in horticulture at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and became chairman of the North and South Mills River Community Development Club, a bipartisan organization that opposed the TVA project.52 He also befriended fellow Republican Alex Duris, a Henderson County retiree who shared with Brittain an interest in environmentalism.53 Unlike previous dam critics, Brittain and Duris stressed the negative impact that the TVA project would have on the region’s ecology. Channelization, Brittain warned in 1969, would not only result in the permanent loss of agricultural lands and community life, but also “destroy wildlife habitat along more than forty miles of riverbank.”54 Brittain and Duris further disparaged the TVA’s proposal to use water from the Mills River reservoir to dilute contaminants in the French Broad River and its tributaries: “Why not require industries and municipalities to clean up effluents at the source,” Brittain asked, criticizing TVA and UFBEDC officials’ support to build lakes that would become “water closets.”55 Dam proponents begged to differ. UFBEDC chairman David Felmet of Waynesville quickly lashed out at Brittain and other critics, labeling them as Republican opportunists attempting to discredit Democrats. “These persons,” Felmet warned Democratic senator B. Everett Jordan in July 1970, “have opposed the project mainly because they wish to embarrass politically those who support [the TVA].”56 Other TVA sympathizers characterized their detractors as Luddites opposed to “progress.”57 Meanwhile, TVA officials maintained that the project continued to enjoy widespread support in the region. “Local people through their institutions such as state, county, and city governing bodies, planning commissions, and informal associations” had demanded that the TVA take action, Chairman Aubrey Wagner wrote in September 1970, arguing that the flood control plan simply reflected what most western North Carolinians wanted: economic development.58 LOCAL POLITICS HALTS TVA’S MARCH By 1970 dam opponents continued to work independently from one another in their fight against the TVA. In Henderson County, outraged citizens participated in the North and South Mills River Community Development Club, and Transylvania County residents joined the CTL to combat the TVA project. But common interests soon united these two groups. In September 1969, Alex Duris contacted Martha Boswell, asking her and other Transylvania County supporters to purchase anti-TVA bumper stickers that the North and South Mills River Community Development Club had created.59 Three months later, Jere Brittain and Boswell also began to correspond with one another regularly.60 Throughout 1970, Brittain, Boswell, and other TVA critics sponsored joint meetings and increasingly realized the need to unify under a single organization.61 That September, they created the UFBDA that quickly mobilized a grassroots anti-TVA campaign that would bring the federal agency’s high-modernist program to a heel.62 Hoping to broaden their base of support beyond western North Carolina, UFBDA members first continued to link their cause with environmentalism. The TVA project, they claimed, was one of several federal boondoggles that endangered America’s varied ecological systems. “The TVA [and] the Army of Engineer Corps . . . will win the day handily with no regard for subsequent land loss, water pollution, siltation, reservoir draw-down problems, and environmental impact in general,” UFBDA supporter Donald Remer warned while placing the anti-TVA campaign within the national environmental movement pushing back against the old big dam consensus.63 “I am convinced that TVA, the U.S. Army of Engineers, and the Soil Conservation Service will not be stopped without your [help],” UFBDA vice chairman Arthur Dehon wrote to President Nixon in 1971. “All across this country, citizens and taxpayers are struggling against these powerful bureaucratic agencies, trying to save their homes, valleys, farms, streams, and rivers from the destruction of channelization and impoundments.”64 The UFBDA’s environmental critique of the TVA quickly garnered it new and powerful allies. By 1971 the National Parks Association, Sierra Club, and Audubon Society, among other prominent and professionalized environmental organizations, had endorsed the UFBDA.65 The group’s membership also increased from a hundred in 1970 to a thousand one year later.66 Praising Martha Boswell and other dam opponents as “unlikely environmentalists” in 1971, reporter Roy Parker summed up the key to the UFBDA’s “growing success”: “Their backgrounds are varied, and even their motives may be suspect at times. But every time you poke the environmental thing, there is more solid public support than was suspected for environmental positions that are well-documented and tenaciously advanced.”67 Having gained national attention, the UFBDA then capitalized on a new piece of federal legislation that required federal public works projects to incorporate public input: the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Enacted in 1969, NEPA required planners from federal agencies like TVA to conduct environmental assessments and complete an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) prior to construction. They were to evaluate possible environmental impacts and consider the benefits of alternatives including a “no-action” alternative. More importantly, the EIS was also subject to an external review that allowed citizens to weigh in on how a potential project might adversely affect the environment.68 Dam proponents in western North Carolina could not have been more pleased. The EIS process provided them with an opportunity to use the “politics of ecology” to combat the TVA. As historians Christopher Sellers and Robert Lifset pointed out, environmentalists during the 1960s increasingly recognized the importance of ecology in convincing judges and politicians to take action. The science of ecology allowed activists to quantify and convey in a recognized language the damage that dams and other projects had on the environment. Such scientific data—more so than aesthetic and economic arguments—proved effective when presented in court and administrative hearings that “favored expertise that could make definitive claims about the present and future.” Although the “politics of ecology” made the 1960s environmental movement more reliant on scientists, lawyers, and other professionals, it also enabled grassroots organizations to harness the power of the court system in their fight against environmental damage. Advocates could now speak for local environments in qualitative and quantitative terms as experts.69 Not surprisingly, the UFBDA—like citizens in Alabama, Florida, and Georgia, who were also challenging federal water projects—quickly demanded that the TVA comply with NEPA.70 In addition, UFBDA members began to lobby the US Congress to continue withholding a $2.3 million appropriation for the TVA for the construction of the proposed Mills River reservoir in Henderson County. In 1969, Nixon, hoping to reduce the national deficit, had frozen these funds.71 By 1971, however, Roy Taylor, B. Everett Jordan, and UFBEDC executive director S. V. Griffith had begun to increase pressure on US congressmen to restore the $2.3 million.72 Alarmed, Brittain and other UFBDA supporters traveled to Washington, D.C., to testify before the House Subcommittee on Public Works Appropriations. Asking the subcommittee to withhold the funds from the TVA until it had issued an EIS, Brittain argued that the project “would cost at least $115 million, almost as much as the predicted benefits, and damage the environment and destroy historical buildings.” After deliberating, the subcommittee ruled not to release the $2.3 million. “Time is on our side now,” an elated Brittain remarked following the decision. “As long as no bulldozers show up at Mills River, we’re okay.”73 The UFBDA achieved another victory in August 1971 when the TVA reluctantly agreed to hold a public hearing at the University of North Carolina at Asheville. Since 1970 the organization had demanded such a meeting, arguing that dam supporters, most notably the UFBEDC, had refused to allow local residents to voice their opinion on the TVA project.74 This call for participatory democracy was not unique to western North Carolina. Throughout the nation during the 1960s, ordinary Americans—Republican and Democratic alike—had increasingly bemoaned the apparent lack of transparency in government and its supposed disconnect from the people. One way to solve these problems, they believed, was to further democratize the political process by “allowing citizens to more directly take part in the decisions that affected their lives.” The crusade for participatory democracy ultimately found its way into the burgeoning environmental movement, as activists also began to argue “for more access to information and public involvement in decisions affecting the environment and public health.”75 TVA officials remained unconvinced. Aubrey Wagner reiterated the federal agency’s work with “locally elected officials” to hold “many meetings which were open to the public and which covered every facet of the plan.” To justify closing out the wider public, Wagner explained to Sam Ervin Jr., “The purpose of a public hearing presumably is to give voice to those who have objections or suggestions . . . .What the public hearing does formally, TVA does informally, and we believe, much more effectively and in depth.”76 But following the passage of a state bill in 1971 that required any organization to conduct a public hearing before channelizing a river or stream in North Carolina, Wagner conceded defeat and agreed to stage an open meeting in Asheville between August 31 and September 2.77 The TVA suffered another setback in the weeks leading up to the public hearing. On June 29, it released a draft EIS that focused exclusively on the proposed Mills River dam and reservoir. The report admitted that the project would “adversely affect” 6 miles of trout waters, reduce land for “terrestrial wildlife,” and “cause temporary increases in the turbidity of the river.” However, the economic benefits of the dam and reservoir outweighed these “minor environmental losses.” “Increased population, potential recurring flood damage, undesirable plant nutrient concentrations, the need for a wider range of recreation opportunity, and the expanding water needs of the Upper French Broad area all point to the need for a water control project in the basin,” the report concluded.78 UFBDA supporters quickly chastised the EIS as “nothing more than another TVA ‘sales pitch.’” Arguing that the EIS was “arbitrary and misleading,” Brittain pointed out that TVA had repeatedly described its flood control plan as a “system” that included fourteen dams and 74 miles of “channel improvement” but only evaluated the environmental impacts of the proposed Mills River dam.79 “We would like to see an honest environmental statement from T.V.A.,” he wrote in July. “Why not their environmental report on all 14 dams they want to build?”80 Brittain and other UFBDA members determined that the TVA report failed to comply with NEPA’s requirements. “Incredibly, the TVA Statement devotes only four sentences to a section titled ‘Adverse Environmental Effects which cannot be avoided should the proposal be implemented,’” Brittain explained. “Such a token treatment of adverse effects is an affront to the public and a flagrant abuse of both the spirit and the letter of the Environmental Policy Act.”81 The TVA’s draft EIS provided dam critics with an additional weapon as they flocked to the public hearing at Asheville on August 31. An estimated 250 people—most of whom opposed the TVA project—attended the three-day event.82 In a sign of unity, UFBDA supporters arrived wearing yellow scarves with the organization’s initials embroidered on the back.83 In total, forty-five dam proponents spoke at the public hearing. Unlike their antagonists, most were wealthy farmers, industrialists, and townspeople who championed TVA as the harbinger of “progress.” Embracing the big dam consensus, they maintained that the project would fulfill its promise to stimulate economic development by providing the region with flood control, cleaner and more abundant water supplies, new recreational opportunities, and jobs.84 Nor did dam proponents believe that the TVA was a “wasteful” boondoggle. Ralph Andrews, former director of the North Carolina Recreation Commission, insisted that there existed “no agency more forward-looking, more correct in its predictions and actions, for the commonweal, than TVA.”85 Reflecting the anti-TVA campaign’s diverse base of support, dam opponents articulated a wide range of complaints against the TVA during the public hearing. Some of them espoused the new conservative discourse that rejected the virtues of big dams, reminding attendees that the TVA project would endanger property rights and increase federal authority.86 Other political conservatives feared that the TVA project threatened to destroy the last remaining refuge from an increasingly chaotic world: the rural community. For them, the anti–Vietnam War, civil rights, and other protest movements had caused the United States to lapse into moral decline. It was only in Mills River and other rural enclaves that citizens had escaped such a fate.87 In addition to the conservative discourse, dam opponents repeatedly emphasized the negative impact that the TVA’s tributary development scheme would have on the region’s environment. In fact, the ecological argument had become the dam critics’ most effective weapon against the TVA. Denouncing the federal agency’s EIS as “inadequate,” they insisted that flood control would destroy free-flowing streams, create mudflats, and eradicate wildlife habitats. Nor would the region’s ecology benefit from industrial growth. Transylvania County native Ernest Sitton bemoaned, “The industry which, according to our civic leaders, city officials, and county commissioners, we so ‘badly need,’ would only add to our air and water pollution problems. We need to learn how to solve the problems we have with industry now before we attract new ones.”88 But more was at stake than the future of the environment. Environmental degradation, Sitton and other dam antagonists proclaimed, was inextricably linked with the decline of rural community, an argument that complemented conservatives’ critique of the TVA and ensured that the anti-TVA campaign’s diverse group of supporters remained united. For TVA opponents, the hearing was a public relations coup. It allowed the UFBDA to showcase just how prevalent opposition to the TVA had become. Calling the hearing an “incredible three days,” Jere Brittain proclaimed that the tide had turned against the dam project. “I think we are possibly so strong now, we’re going to beat you,” he told John Barron, director of TVA’s Office of Tributary Area Development. Several media outlets agreed that dam opponents had “won” the hearing. As the Knoxville News-Sentinel reported, “When the word battle ended last midnight, the yellow scarves of the opposing Upper French Broad Defense Association were still on the floor and most of the proponents had gone home.”89 Confident that the hearing would validate the need for flood control, TVA officials had underestimated their adversaries’ ability to mobilize supporters and present a multifaceted anti-dam argument that resonated with political conservatives and environmentalists. News for dam supporters took an even greater turn for the worse on September 10 when North Carolina governor Robert Scott, a longtime advocate of the TVA project, deemed the federal agency’s EIS “inadequate.” Echoing the sentiments of the UFBDA, Scott declared that the statement needed to include, among other revisions, an analysis on the environmental impact of the entire proposed fourteen-dam system, not just the Mills River impoundment and reservoir.90 Nearly two months later, the EPA also criticized the TVA report, citing that it failed “to consider this particular project [the Mills River dam] in the context of the total project.”91 Governor Scott’s and the EPA’s disapproval of the TVA EIS enabled once supportive local officials to safely begin publicly questioning the project’s need. By 1972 Henderson, Buncombe, and Transylvania County commissioners had agreed that the original EIS was “inadequate” and recommended that TVA conduct a new environmental study.92 Even Democratic congressman Roy Taylor and Senator B. Everett Jordan (whose name would later be affixed to a major Corps water supply reservoir near Raleigh) had begun to take “a more flexible stance” when dealing with the UFBDA and its supporters.93 Such an about-face likely stemmed more from political expediency than a concern for the environment. Since the 1968 elections, white support for the Democratic Party had rapidly declined in North Carolina—and other parts of the South—as Republicans increasingly tapped into conservative voters’ distrust of “big government” and multiculturalism to win office.94 Continued Democratic support of the big dam consensus, Taylor and other Democrats now feared, would only further alienate whites from the party.95 Dam opponents were elated. “I think the momentum in this controversy has shifted to our side,” Brittain informed UFBDA members, recalling the recent events that had weakened public enthusiasm for the TVA project. “I believe we shall win this fight.”96 The increasingly marginalized position of dam supporters grew weaker as a result of the 1972 November elections. Coming on the heels of the public hearing and Governor Scott’s criticism of the TVA’s EIS, these elections occurred at the height of the UFBDA’s popularity. With twelve hundred members, the organization had become a political force that Republicans and Democrats could no longer ignore.97 The Democratic Party, however, had waited too long to reject New Deal liberalism and the big dam consensus, providing Republicans with an opportunity to “grab a piece of the ecology vote.”98 In Transylvania County, Republicans nominated three candidates to run for the Board of Commissioners, all of whom denounced the TVA project. Republicans also renominated Charles Taylor to serve as a state senator, and they endorsed Jesse Helms, a recent convert to the anti-dam crusade, to replace B. Everett Jordan in the US Senate. Whatever the motives, the Republican Party’s opposition to the TVA united political conservatives and environmentalists, and helped its candidates sweep the 1972 elections in western North Carolina and other parts of the state.99 The Republican landslide dashed the dreams of dam proponents. One week following the election, TVA chairman Aubrey Wagner conceded defeat. “An assessment today indicates that adequate local support and commitment no longer exists,” he wrote in explaining why the TVA canceled the project.100 Kermit Edney, a Hendersonville radio broadcaster and former chairman of the UFBEDC, expressed disbelief in the decision: “Apparently, those of us who labored in behalf of this project for almost 10 years were born 30 years too soon.”101 Dam opponents were also stunned but for a different reason. UFBDA member Elmer Johnson could not believe that victory had come so soon after the election. “We had no idea,” he remembered. “We were all set to continue our fight and have the commissioners go with us to our meeting and just keep on fighting until the surrender came.”102 CONCLUSION: ALL POLITICS IS LOCAL The modern environmental movement played a major role in shaping how western North Carolinians expressed their opposition to the TVA. After federal programs had promoted for decades water conservation projects designed to create more water supply for hydropower and navigation, or schemes like levees and stream channelization to control flooding and promote drainage, a diverse body of Americans began to think differently about water quality and rivers. In western North Carolina, the UFBDA, speakers at the August 1971 public hearing, and community leaders all articulated the value of protecting free-flowing rivers, trout streams, and floodplains from dams and other structural water supply solutions. They rejected TVA and other federal agencies’ plans to channelize rivers because of the resulting ecological damage. And finally, these rural environmentalists cut to the cause of—and the solution for—water quality problems. TVA officials and other supporters argued that more headwater dams and reservoirs would help improve water quality, insinuating that the solution to pollution downstream was dilution with more water. Opponents countered repeatedly that industrial and municipal pollution was the responsibility of—and better controlled at—the source. In other words, Sun Belt residents had learned as their counterparts did elsewhere in the United States that water supply and water quality required transparent comanagement. The fight to save the Upper French Broad River in western North Carolina also expands what constitutes an “environmentalist.” The big dam consensus ran into serious trouble in the 1960s as organized opposition to dams increased all over the nation. These fights were not limited to the more well-known cases in the American West such as Hetch Hetchy, Hells Canyon, Echo Park, or Glen Canyon.103 Opposition to major water projects—including a failed attempt to halt TVA’s Tellico Dam between 1973 and 1978—also has a long legacy in the American South.104 The Upper French Broad River valley’s rural environmental and conservative coalition provides one explanation for why some dams never got built and how the big dam era came to a halt. The coevolution of the modern environmental movement and the regulatory state is only one important part of the story. Conservative and fiscal arguments, which have been present in other water project opposition stories, were instrumental to putting the brakes on the TVA’s tributary area development scheme. At the very moment that US citizens mobilized in the tributaries to fight high modernism in a North Carolina river valley, former New Dealers and members of the big dam consensus were selling the TVA-liberal democratic model abroad as a counterpoint to the Soviet Union’s socialist model during the Cold War. Western North Carolina residents mobilized what Donald Worster has called “watershed democracy,” which at the most basic level is a process whereby residents of a river valley make decisions about how to manage the valley’s resources. In the upper reaches of the Tennessee River valley, the watershed democracy was composed of what Brian Drake might refer to as “nature’s strange bedfellows,” a coalition of political conservatives and environmental activists who defeated a TVA bureaucracy that appeared antidemocratic to white North Carolina landowners, taxpayers, farmers, professionals, retirees, and conservationists.105 The TVA’s archetypal “Democracy on the March” and high modernism hit the wall when an organized grassroots movement decided that postwar liberalism provided no benefits for their watershed. TVA’s technocrats were unable to sell the tributary and small watershed programs, or convince communities that dams and flood control systems could replace an agricultural economy with industrial and recreational development. Instead, the French Broad fight revealed a TVA crumpling under its own weight due to a legacy of human removal, the rise of the environmental state, and high-modernist hubris. By the 1970s, dams of any size and for any purpose were nearly impossible to defend from grassroots opposition or budget hawks in the age of recession and increasing cries for “small government.” As one UFBDA member explained, the TVA “is no longer an example of ‘Democracy on the March,’ as it once was labeled. In pushing to desecrate the beautiful and productive Upper French Broad, the TVA is more nearly an example of ‘oppression on the march.’”106 Bruce Stewartis an associate professor of history at Appalachian State University. He is the author ofMoonshiners and Prohibitionists: The Battle over Alcohol in Southern Appalachia (2011). Christopher Manganiellois Chattahoochee Riverkeeper’s water policy director. He is the author ofSouthern Water, Southern Power: How the Politics of Cheap Energy and Water Scarcity Shaped a Region (2015) andWatering Georgia: The State of Water and Agriculture in Georgia (2017). Footnotes We would like to thank the manuscript readers of Environmental History for their valuable and perceptive suggestions in the preparation of this article. 1. Western Carolina Tribune, March 11, 1965. 2. Reba Kilstrom testimony, Box 1, Upper French Broad Defense Association, 1967–1977, D. H. Ramsey Library, Special Collections, University of North Carolina at Asheville, Asheville, NC (hereafter, UFBDA Collection). 3. For previous histories of the UFBDA, see Martha Boswell, Grassroots Along the Upper French Broad: The Valley People Versus the Tennessee Valley Authority, 1961–1972 (Privately published, 1975); James Brittain, Gun Fights, Dam Sites, and Water Rights: Essays on the History of Henderson County, North Carolina, and Vicinity (Columbus: Living Archives, 2001); and Savannah Murray, “‘United We Stand, Divided We May Be Dammed’: Grassroots Environmentalism and the TVA in Western North Carolina,” Journal of East Tennessee History 87 (2015): 47–63. 4. See Samuel Hays and Barbara Hays, Beauty, Health, and Permanence: Environmental Politics in the United States, 1955–1985 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1987); Hal Rothman, The Greening of a Nation? Environmentalism in the United States Since 1945 (Fort Worth: Harcourt Brace, 1998); Samuel Hays, A History of Environmental Politics Since 1945 (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2000), 185–88; Adam Rome, The Bulldozer in the Countryside: Suburban Sprawl and the Rise of American Environmentalism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001); Christopher Sellers, Crabgrass Crucible: Suburban Mature and the Rise of Environmentalism in Twentieth-Century America (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2012); and Adam Rome, The Genius of Earth Day: How a 1970 Teach-In Unexpectedly Made the First Green Generation (New York: Hill & Wang, 2014). 5. Hays and Hays, Beauty, Health, and Permanence, 43 (quotation). 6. Christopher Manganiello, Southern Water, Southern Power: How the Politics of Cheap Water and Water Scarcity Shaped a Region (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2015), 143–44 (quotation); and Hays, A History of Environmental Politics Since 1945, 185–88. 7. Manganiello, Southern Water, Southern Power, 144 (quotation). For more on environmentalism in the twentieth-century South, see Jeffrey Stine, Mixing the Waters: Environment, Politics, and the Building of the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway (Akron: University of Akron Press, 1993); Robert Bullard, Dumping in Dixie: Race, Class, and Environmental Quality (Boulder: Westview Press, 1994); Craig Colten, “Contesting Pollution in Dixie: The Case of Corney Creek,” Journal of Southern History 72 (August 2006): 605–34; Jack Davis, An Everglades Providence: Marjory Stoneman Douglas and the American Environmental Century (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2009); Steven Noll and David Tegeder, Ditch of Dreams: The Cross Florida Barge Canal and the Struggle for Florida’s Future (Gainesville: University of Florida Press, 2009); Albert Way, Conserving Longleaf: Herbert Stoddard and the Rise of Ecological Land Management (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2011); William Bryan, “Poverty, Industry, and Environmental Quality: Weighing Paths to Economic Development at the Dawn of the Environmental Era,” Environmental History 16 (July 2011): 492–522; Kathryn Newfont, Blue Ridge Commons: Environmental Activism and Forest History in Western North Carolina (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2012); Cody Ferguson, This is Our Land: Grassroots Environmentalism in the Late Twentieth Century (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2015); and Christopher Manganiello, “The Gold Standard: Sunbelt Environmentalism and Coastal Protection,” in Coastal Nature, Coastal Culture: Environmental Histories of the Georgia Coast, ed. Paul Sutter and Paul Pressly (University of Georgia Press, forthcoming in 2018). 8. Robert Lifset, Power on the Hudson: Storm King Mountain and the Emergence of Modern American Environmentalism (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2014), 6 (quotations); and Sellers, Crabgrass Crucible. 9. Adam Rome, “‘Give Earth a Chance’: The Environmental Movement and the Sixties,” Journal of American History 90 (September 2003): 525–54; see 553. 10. For scholarship on political conservatism and environmentalism in the 1960s, see Brian Drake, Loving Nature, Fearing the State: Environmentalism and Antigovernment Politics before Reagan (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2013); Brooks Flippen, Conservative Conservationist: Russell E. Train and the Emergence of American Environmentalism (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2006); and James Turner, “‘The Specter of Environmentalism’: Wilderness, Environmental Politics, and the Evolution of the New Right,” Journal of American History 96 (June 2009): 123–48. 11. Wilma Dykeman, The French Broad (New York: Rinehart & Company, 1955), 23. 12. Asheville Citizen, July 17, 1916. 13. For a discussion on the “dam craze” in the New South, see Manganiello, Southern Water, Southern Power, 45–68 (quotation on 47). 14. For more on New Deal conservation programs, see Sarah Phillips, This Land, This Nation: Conservation, Rural America, and the New Deal (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007), 2 (quotation). 15. The TVA scholarship is extensive, and recommended sources include Preston Hubbard, Origins of the TVA: The Muscle Shoals Controversy, 1920–1932 (Nashville: Vanderbilt University Press, 1961); Thomas McCraw, TVA and the Power Fight, 1933–1939 (Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1971); Erwin Hargrove and Paul Conkin, eds., TVA: Fifty Years of Grass-Roots Bureaucracy (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1983); and Phillips, This Land, This Nation. 16. In 1930 the US Army Corps of Engineers had developed plans to construct a dam at Long Shoals. Brittain, Gun Fights, 135–56. 17. Ibid., 156–64. 18. Boswell, Grassroots, 2. 19. Economic Development of the Upper French Broad Areas, Vol. 1 (May 1964): 18, 57. 20. Asheville Citizen, June 11, 1964. 21. Charles Taylor speech, February 2, 1967, Box 3, UFBDA Collection. 22. Wendell Cannon, “A Reevaluation of the Recreation Benefits”; and Barry Pierce, “Development of the Water Resources,” both in Box 3, UFBDA Collection. 23. Bill Jones, “Municipal and Industrial Water Supply,” Box 3, UFBDA Collection. 24. Mark Ayers, “Evaluation of the TVA’s Proposal for Water Quality Control,” Box 3, UFBDA Collection. 25. Boswell, Grassroots, 6. 26. Henderson to Boswell, December 5, 1967, Box 2, Upper French Broad Defense Association Records, 1914, 1965–74, North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh, NC (hereafter, NCSA). 27. Asheville Citizen, October 14, 1970. 28. Taylor to Boswell, June 1, 1967, Box 1, NCSA. 29. Crane to Transylvania Times, February 25, 1965, Box 1, UFBDA Collection. 30. Mark Harvey, A Symbol of Wilderness: Echo Park and the American Conservation Movement (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1994); and Karl Brooks, Public Power, Private Dams: The Hells Canyon High Dam Controversy (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2006). 31. Manganiello, Southern Water, Southern Power. 32. Boswell, Grassroots, 10–12; and Brittain, Gun Fights, 168–69. 33. Elmer Johnson interview, December 7, 1983, Box 3, NCSA. 34. For more on the rise of modern conservatism during the 1960s, see Michelle Nickerson and Darren Dochuk, eds., Sunbelt Rising: The Politics of Space, Place, and Region (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011); Matthew Lassiter, The Silent Majority: Suburban Politics in the Sunbelt South (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2006); and Lisa McGirr, Suburban Warriors: The Origins of the New American Right (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2001). 35. Martha Boswell interview, Box 2, NCSA. 36. For scholarship on women and postwar environmentalism, see Rome, The Genius of Earth Day; Glenda Riley, Women and Nature: Save the “Wild” West (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2008); Elizabeth Blum, Love Canal Revisited: Race, Class, and Gender in Environmental Activism (Lawrence: University of Kansas Press, 2008); and Andrew Hurley, Environmental Inequalities: Class, Race, and Industrial Pollution in Gary, Indiana, 1945–1980 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1995). 37. Drake, Loving Nature, Fearing the State, 59 (quotation). For scholarship on women and the conservative movement following World War II, see Michelle Nickerson, The Mothers of Conservatism: Women and the Postwar Right (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2012); and McGirr, Suburban Warriors. 38. Boswell to Jones, December 6, 1967, Box 2, NCSA. 39. Boswell to Schultze, December 7, 1967; Boswell to Jordan, December 7, 1967; Boswell to Hayden, December 7, 1967; and Boswell to Mills, December 11, 1967, all in Box 2, NCSA. 40. Taylor to Boswell, June 1, 1967, Box 1, NCSA. 41. Wagner to Jordan, December 1, 1967, Box 1, NCSA. 42. Robert Mason, Richard Nixon and the Quest for a New Majority (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2004), 5. 43. Brittain to Nixon, January 28, 1969, Box 7, UFBDA Collection. 44. For an example, see Moore to Nixon, February 19, 1969, Box 5, UFBDA Collection. 45. Sellers, Crabgrass Crucible. 46. Brooks Flippen, Nixon and the Environment (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2012). 47. For more on residential tourism in western North Carolina, see C. Brenden Martin, Tourism in the Mountain South: A Double-Edged Sword (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 2007); and Richard Starnes, Creating the Land of the Sky: Tourism and Society in Western North Carolina (Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2005). 48. Dykeman, The French Broad, 284 (quotation). 49. Ina Woester Van Noppen and John Van Noppen, Western North Carolina Since the Civil War (Boone: Appalachian Consortium Press, 1973), 346–70. 50. Dykeman, The French Broad, 280–93 (quotation on 291); and Richard Bartlett, Troubled Waters: Champion International and the Pigeon River Controversy (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1995). 51. Martin, Tourism in the Mountain South, 186–88 (quotation on 187); and William Cary, Molly Johnson, Meredith Golden, and Trip Van Noppen, The Impact of Recreational Development: A Study of Land Ownership, Recreational Development, and Local Land Use Planning in the North Carolina Mountain Region (Durham: North Carolina Public Interest Research Group, 1975). 52. Brittain, Gun Fights, 172–73. 53. Ibid., 178. 54. Brittain speech to the CCNC, December 7, 1969, Box 5, UFBDA Collection. 55. Ibid. 56. Felmet to Jordan, July 8, 1970, Box 5, UFBDA Collection. 57. Transylvania Times, December 10, 1970. 58. Wagner to Jordan, September 10, 1970, Box 2, NCSA. 59. Duris to Boswell, September 2, 1969, Box 1, NCSA. 60. Boswell to Brittain, January 27, 1970, Box 5, UFBDA Collection; and Brittain to Boswell, January 30, 1970, and Boswell to Brittain, January 26, June 23, 1970, both in Box 1, NCSA. 61. Boswell to Brittain, January 26, June 23, 1970, Brittain to Boswell, January 30, 1970, and Duris to Boswell, May 31, June 23, 1970, all in Box 1, NCSA; Boswell to Brittain, January 27, 1970, Box 5, UFBDA Collection; and Dehon to Boswell, February 18, 1970, Box 7, UFBDA Collection. 62. Hendersonville Times-News, September 9, 1970. 63. Asheville Citizen, June 7, 1971. 64. Ibid., July 17, 1971. 65. See Brittain to Russell, October 30, 1970, and Puleston to Brittain, December 15, 1971, both in Box 5, UFBDA Collection; Johnson to Smith, October 26, 1970, Johnson to Tupling, October 26, 1970, Sierra Club resolution, October 31, 1970, Dehon to Brittain, November 6, 1970, Eisel to Brittain, December 30, 1971, and UFBDA Newsletters Nos. 1 and 3, 1970, all in Box 7, UFBDA Collection; Brittain to UFBDA, October 23, 1971, Box 8, UFBDA Collection; and Asheville Citizen, December 7, 1970, September 4, September 7, 1971. 66. UFBDA Newsletter No. 9, November 26, 1971, Box 7, UFBDA Collection. 67. Raleigh News and Observer, May 16, 1971. 68. See Hays, A History of Environmental Politics Since 1945, 126; and Robert Gottlieb, Forcing the Spring: The Transformation of the American Environmental Movement (Washington, DC: Island Press, 2005), 175–77, 180–81. 69. Sellers, Crabgrass Crucible, 265–79 (265, first and third quotations); and Lifset, Power on the Hudson, 6 (second quotation). 70. See Gustin to Nixon, February 4, 1971, and Johnson to Johnson, May 8, 1971, both in Box 7, UFBDA Collection; Russell to Brittain, November 11, 1970, and Brittain to Asheville Times, July 9, 1971, both in Box 8, UFBDA Collection; Asheville Citizen, December 7, 1970; Transylvania Times, December 14, 1970; and Hendersonville Times-News, May 20, 1971. 71. Hendersonville Times-News, June 20, November 27, 1969, January 22, May 19, 1970; Asheville Citizen, October 16, December 7, 1970; and Griffith to Jordan, January 9, 1970, and Jordan to Griffith, January 15, 1970, both in Box 8, UFBDA Collection. 72. See Hendersonville Times-News, February 26, 1971; Asheville Citizen, May 20, 21, 1971. 73. Asheville Citizen, May 20, 1971. 74. See Transylvania Times, December 14, 1970; Brittain to Asheville Times, July 9, 1971, Box 8, UFBDA Collection; Dehon to Blackwell, November 17, 1970, Box 5, UFBDA Collection; and Johnson to Smith, October 26, 1970, Sierra Club resolution, October 31, 1970, and Dehon to Brittain, November 6, 1970, all in Box 7, UFBDA Collection. 75. Ferguson, This Is Our Land, 7–8 (quotations). 76. Wagner to Ervin Jr., February 1, 1971, Box 1, UFBDA Collection. 77. Martha Boswell interview, October 11, 1983, Box 3, NCSA. 78. Hendersonville Times-News, July 6, 1971. 79. Ibid., August 8, 1971; UFBDA to TVA, August 2, 1971, Box 3, UFBDA Collection; and Asheville Citizen, August 10, 1971. 80. Brittain to Asheville Times, July 1971, Box 8, UFBDA Collection. 81. Hendersonville Times-News, August 8, 1971. 82. A total of 219 people spoke at the public hearing. See Knoxville News-Sentinel, September 1, 2, 3, 1971; and Asheville Times, August 31, 1971. 83. Martha Boswell interview, October 11, 1983, Box 3, NCSA. 84. For an example, see Charles Edmondson testimony, Box 1, UFBDA Collection. For additional pro-TVA testimonies, see Boxes 1 and 7, UFBDA Collection. 85. Ralph Andrews testimony, Box 7, UFBDA Collection. 86. For an example, see J. Lehman Kapp testimony, Box 1, UFBDA Collection. 87. For an example, see Carolyn Moore testimony, Box 2, UFBDA Collection. 88. Ernest Sitton testimony, Box 1, UFBDA Collection. 89. Knoxville News-Sentinel, September 3, 1971. 90. Asheville Citizen, September 10, 1971. 91. Ibid., December 7, 1971. 92. Asheville Citizen, January 4, 5, 15, 1972; Hendersonville Times-News, October 16, 1971; Brittain to UFBDA members, October 23, 1971, Box 8, UFBDA Collection; and Boswell to Jordan, March 6, 1972, Box 2, NCSA. 93. Brittain to UFBDA members, October 23, 1971, Box 8, UFBDA Collection. 94. Tom Eamon, The Making of a Southern Democracy: North Carolina Politics from Kerr Scott to Pat McCrory (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2014); and Rob Christensen, The Paradox of Tar Heel Politics: The Personalities, Elections, and Events That Shaped Modern North Carolina (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2010). 95. Taylor to Brittain, September 15, 1972, Box 5, UFBDA Collection. 96. Brittain to UFBDA members, October 23, 1971, Box 8, UFBDA Collection. 97. Eisel to Brittain, December 30, 1971, Box 7, UFBDA Collection; Hendersonville Times-News, May 5, November 15, 1972; Raleigh News and Observer, November 16, 1972; Boswell to Jordan, March 6, 1972, and Boswell to Kohl, September 21, 1972, both in Box 2, NCSA; UFBDA to Office Holders and Candidates for Office, April 4, 1972, Box 3, UFBDA Collection; Brittain to Taylor, August 11, 1972, Box 5, UFBDA Collection; and Jere Brittain speech, October 12, 1972, Box 4, UFBDA Collection. 98. Raleigh News and Observer, September 23, 1971. 99. Hendersonville Times-News, November 8, 1972. 100. Asheville Citizen, November 15, 1972. 101. Hendersonville Times-News, November 14, 1972. 102. Elmer Johnson interview, December 7, 1983, Box 3, NCSA. 103. For examples, see Harvey, A Symbol of Wilderness; and Brooks, Public Power, Private Dams. 104. For examples, see William Wheeler and Bruce McDonald, TVA and the Tellico Dam: A Bureaucratic Crisis in Post Industrial America (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1986); Kenneth Murchison, The Snail Darter Case: TVA versus the Endangered Species Act (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas); Stine, Mixing the Waters; Noll and Tegeder, Ditch of Dreams; and Manganiello, Southern Water, Southern Power. 105. Donald Worster, “Watershed Democracy: Rediscovering the Lost Vision of John Wesley Powell,” in Water: Histories, Cultures, Ecologies, ed. Marie Leybourne and Andrea Gaynor (Crawley: University of Western Australia Press, 2006), 3–15; and Drake, Loving Nature, Fearing the State, 3–18 (quotation on 3). For an excellent discussion of New Deal and TVA influence on international development, see David Ekbladh, The Great American Mission: Modernization and the Construction of An American World Order (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2010). 106. James Lewis testimony, Box 1, UFBDA Collection. © The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the American Society for Environmental History and the Forest History Society. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com This article is published and distributed under the terms of the Oxford University Press, Standard Journals Publication Model (https://academic.oup.com/journals/pages/about_us/legal/notices)

Journal

Environmental HistoryOxford University Press

Published: Oct 1, 2018

There are no references for this article.

You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.


DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Search

Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly

Organize

Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.

Access

Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

DeepDyve

Freelancer

DeepDyve

Pro

Price

FREE

$49/month
$360/year

Save searches from
Google Scholar,
PubMed

Create lists to
organize your research

Export lists, citations

Read DeepDyve articles

Abstract access only

Unlimited access to over
18 million full-text articles

Print

20 pages / month

PDF Discount

20% off