David R. Brower's personal web site:



We've got to do something about one of our worst addictions: the addiction to growth. All of the candidates running for office are saying, "We must have a growing economy." If they want to keep it growing the way it has been growing, we absolutely must not have a growing economy. We must have a sound economy, a sustainable economy. They haven't come up with one single notion of how to move it in that direction. What are we going to do besides grow, grow, grow? In your own body, where the wildness within you puts in a control factor, you have a thymus. Civilization needs a thymus. It needs the word for "enough." But "enough" doesn't sound strong enough - Italian has the right word: "basta." We must say basta to the kind of growth we've been practicing.

David R. Brower


from archive:


     Some Brower Day History: 

David Brower honored with day

Daily Plant Staff Reports (11-24-00)

Following is a proclamation honoring environmentalist David Brower, approved by the City Council Nov. 21:

Whereas great men are rare, and Berkeley's native son David Brower was an indisputably great man; and

Whereas David Ross Brower was born in Berkeley on July 1, 1912, and died here on November 5, 2000; and

Whereas David Brower was a visionary environmentalist who changed the world in ways that will earn the gratitude of generations to come, pressing on all of us some essential lessons that we will ignore to our peril: that the Earth is our only home, and that the very survival of life on Earth depends on our learning to cherish it and to reverse and repair the damage we have inflicted on our beautiful home just in recent decades; and

Whereas David Brower fought for the health and protection of the Earth for over half a century, serving as the first executive director of the Sierra Club for 17 years, during which time the club grew from 2,000 to over 77,000 members; and

Whereas David Brower was a pioneering outdoorsman, climber, and skier, who made some 70 first ascents of significant American mountains, and as a wilderness guide led thousands of people into ­ and out of ­ remote regions; and

Whereas David Brower had a profound impact on the protection of America's wild lands, helping to create national parks and seashores in Kings Canyon, the North Cascades, the Redwoods, the Great Basin, Alaska, Cape Cod, Fire Island, the Golden Gate, and Point Reyes; and in protecting primeval forests in the Olympic National Park, and wilderness on San Gorgonio; and

Whereas David Brower played a major role in keeping dams out of Dinosaur National Monument, the Yukon, and the Grand Canyon, in establishing the National Wilderness Preservation System and the Outdoor Recreation Resources Review Commission, and in developing plans for a National Land Service to protect and restore both public and private lands in the United States: and

Whereas David Brower was nominated three times for the Nobel Peace Prize and played an essential role in raising environmental awareness worldwide, in part through his creation of the popular genre of exhibit format photographic books on conservation themes; and

Whereas David Brower in 1969 co-founded the League of Conservation Voters and founded Friends of the Earth, an international environmental organization now operating in 68 countries, and in 1982 founded Earth Island Institute to link the causes of peace, social justice, and environmental protection, taking a leading role in opposing nuclear power, leading delegations to aid in the protection and restoration of Lake Baikal in Siberia, co-founding the Ecological Council of the Americas, and developing plans for the creation of a National Biosphere Reserve System;

Now, therefore be it resolved that the City Council of Berkeley does hereby declare that July 1, the anniversary of his birth, will hereafter be David Brower Day in Berkeley and that the City will encourage activities to honor and perpetuate David Brower's profound legacy to the Earth.


David Brower Remembered

By Judith Scherr Daily Planet Staff (12-04-00)

They wept with Katie Lee as her songs of the flowing river brought David Brower's spirit into the Berkeley Community Theater Saturday.

They laughed with Ken Brower when he described his father as a man who insisted that his children traverse icy streams on foot.

More than 1,000 of Brower's friends and admirers at the mid-afternoon memorial evoked the essence of nature and howled with musician Paul Winter until the theater walls echoed with the sounds of wild wolves.

The man known as the "archdruid," died in his Berkeley home Nov. 5. He was 88 years old.

The way to preserve the spirit of the man would be to emulate his activism, Brower's friend Huey Johnson said.

"We either solve the environmental problem, or the earth dies. David Brower's ideas, capped by his CPR ­ conservationism, preservation, restoration - is the obvious path to achieve this," Johnson said.

A tape of Brower performing a piece he had written for the piano was played and environmental activist Julia "Butterfly" Hill read a poem. U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Oakland) brought a tribute to the three-time nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize which she had placed in the Congressional Record. Claiming Brower as its own, the Berkeley City Council voted last month to set aside July 1 as an annual David Brower Day to memorialize the lifetime Berkeley resident.

Videographers encapsulated Brower's life and activism: When he was eight years old, Brower's mother lost her sight. David would lead his mother on excursions through the Berkeley hills, describing the beauty of the nature he found there. But it was Yosemite that Brower fell in love with, hiking its valleys and scaling its peaks.

Brower joined the Sierra Club when there were just 2,000 members and helped bring it to a strength of more than 70,000.

"If you have enjoyed this wild country, you have a duty to defend it for future generations," he would tell others.

In 1952, he became the club's first paid executive director and immediately went to work fighting dam construction along the Colorado River. Uncompromising, Brower fought with the Sierra Club Board of Directors over finances and its support of a nuclear power plant which Brower opposed. He resigned as executive director in 1969 - the first of what would become numerous resignations from the club - and later established Friends of the Earth and Earth Island Institute.

The organizations, he said, "(are) working to restore the environment and passing it along to the next generation."

"(Brower's) spirit lives in our guts, our hearts," Katy Lee told the rapt audience. Then she sang about the dams Brower fought to block.

"The children will grow to be Davids among us and let the river flow. You'll set it free. Listen to me. You'll set it free," she sang.


The first David Brower Day

By Daniela Mohor Daily Planet Staff (07-02-01)

More than 50 environmental organizations settled their stands on Civic Center Park on Saturday to celebrate Berkeley's first David Brower Day. The event was sponsored by the Earth Island Institute, the city of Berkeley, the Ecology Center and radio station KPFA. The five-hour event began at noon and attracted about 2,500 people.

Instituted by the City Council last November, the David Brower Day is meant to honor the late environmental activist, but it is also an opportunity for his followers to raise awareness of environmental issues.

"This is about getting young people tuned into the environment and the need to protect the environment," said John A. Knox, executive director of the Earth Island Institute.

One of the big attractions of the afternoon was the so-called Eco-Restoration Decathlon, an 11-step course from stand to stand destined to make children think about the environment in an entertaining way. After taking part in a number of activities such as making recycled paper, climbing a wall, recording a video on energy or tasting roasted corn from Chez Panisse, the children received a certificate of completion.