Environmental protest - its causes and consequences - and the challenges of organizing to confront government and big business are the focus of this book, which brings to life the grassroots activism of southern Appalachia's rural citizens in the face of environmental threats to their communities. One of the first books to examine environmental activism case studies in the South, this insider's view is both academically rigorous and highly personal - its scholar-activist author is a member of Friends of Terrapin Creek, one of the groups featured in the book. Drawing upon qualitative data from oral histories and the papers of grassroots organizations, Suzanne Marshall gives voice to ordinary southerners who created activist networks in rural Georgia, North Carolina, and Alabama - a region of southern Appalachia often ignored by scholars. These tales of rural empowerment offer a unique blend of ethnographic narrative and environmental policy history that never loses sight of the real people at the center of contested natural environments in the Appalachian South, an area that historically has suppressed organized environmental activism despite a host of ecological problems. Marshall provides insight into the links between national policy and regional political economy and their implications for local communities; she shows how, periodically, obstacles have been overcome. She illustrates how coalitions formed and examines the variety of political tactics and strategies used by local activists in their struggles against bureaucracy and private industry.