Early Outreach to the Bioregional Movement

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In May 1984, David Haenke and other leading bioregionalists convened the first North American Bioregional Congress, held in southern Missouri in the Ozark foothills. Haenke invited Charlene Spretnak to give a guest plenary talk explaining Green politics and the ways in which it supports the aims of the Bioregional Movement. Right before Spretnak spoke, a Bioregional leader, Peter Berg, passionately urged the plenary audience to view the Greens unfavorably as a parasitic, competitive threat to the Bioregional movement. He was well-known to them, was largely convincing, and got roaring applause. Spretnak’s talk, however, was sufficiently successful that a small Green Politics committee was subsequently allowed to form among the working groups. The few Greens and Green Bioregionalists in that group worked for two days to compose a statement suggesting how the Bioregionalists and the Greens might move forward in a cooperative manner. In the closing session, the members of the Green Politics working group collectively held their breath as Spretnak read their proposed statement to the previously hostile Bioregional Congress. The bioregionalists approved it with enthusiastic applause! It was thus established that most bioregionalists would join, support, or peacefully coexist with the Green Politics movement in the United States as it continued to develop for the mutual benefit of both.


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