Redwood National Park and other Activism/Civic Involvement
One of Becking's most major contributions as an environmentalist was his involvement in the establishment and later expansion of Redwood National Park (RNP) during the 1960s and 1970s. While Becking was highly involved in the initial establishment of RNP, most of the related material from that movement was donated to the park itself. This collection focuses more on his work fighting for the expansion of the park and really shows his tireless dedication to making sure the Redwoods and the biodiversity they contained were properly preserved for future generations.
The problem that Becking and other environmentalists saw with the 1968 RNP boundary was that it only included the lower portions of several watersheds in the park, which meant that potential impacts from upstream, privately owned lands would occur. This led to the creation of the Emerald Creek Committee, a group that worked to include the entire Emerald Creek watershed in the Redwood National Park boundaries. Becking worked with the ECC and alone to bring the evidence he collected to both lawmakers and the public showing that the boundaries needed to expand in order to for the park to thrive.
Emerald Creek Committe newsletter and an article written by Becking himself discussing the importance of the Emerald Creek watershed.
Becking's 1977 public testimony for the expansion of Redwood National Park.
Becking was an enthusiastic environmentalist involved in a variety of other causes besides the fight for Redwood National Park. He kept papers from local activist groups and newspaper clippings on a large number of environmental topics for several decades, providing an interesting look at the evolution of environmentalism. Highlights include mass transit start up in Humboldt County, bike promotion on HSU campus, a master bike plan, freeway expansion opposition, zero population growth groups, revision of the California Forest Practices Act in the 1970s, and many other regional and global environmental issues.
Just one of the causes that Becking supported, ZPG, or Zero Population Growth, is an evironmental term relating to demographic balance and sustainablity of resources. Becking belonged to the Arcata chapter of the ZPG organization.
During his time as an HSU professor, Becking also served as an Arcata city council member from 1972-1973. He became the first college professor to serve as city council member and was known as an environmentally friendly candidate.