The Receding Years
Having waged many battles on behalf of California’s coast and survived firing attempts, Douglas finally faced a foe that could not be outfought: terminal throat and lung cancer. Impending death edged him toward retirement and launched Douglas into his deepest metaphysical musings and on road trips to visit again the people and places that had meant the most to him. He reflected on the Earth, the cosmos, and nature; citizen activism to save the coast; property rights versus community rights; purposeful living and public service; and death. He confronted his last months with the same fearlessness that had characterized nearly his entire Coastal Commission career. For some time before his 2012 death the warrior-administrator had evolved into the coastal sage.
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