REBELS WITH A CAUSE tells the David and Goliath story of how one of America's most visited, and arguably its most beautiful, urban national parks--San Francisco's Point Reyes National Seashore and Golden Gate National Recreation Area--almost didn't exist. In the 1950's, California became the fastest growing state in the nation, booming with a banal development grind to accommodate more people. Marin County, north of San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge, felt this momentum and made ready for the influx, planning tract homes and beach-front resorts to pave over the wilderness and coastline in its western lands. In the face of this, a handful of local politically savvy advocates start planting the seeds of conservation. They awakened their community to the threats of urban sprawl and the potential loss of magnificent open space. But awareness is just the beginning. The activists must overcome the seemingly omnipotent opponents of their day in industry and government. Through high-stakes face-offs with Big Oil and federal commissions, collaboration with the US Army, and innovative partnerships with private ranchers, each step towards progress sets new precedents for the National Park Service, shaping the environmental movement as we know it today.