TIM McKAY has watched the ebb and flow of the environmental movement since 1975 from the Northcoast Environmental Center in Arcata, Calif., a place he refers to as ``behind the redwood curtain.'' ``The biggest change in the last six to eight years,'' he says, ``is the feeling that working within the system is not working.'' Mr. McKay helped push through efforts in 1978 to expand Redwood National Park. ``Out here, there is a tremendous sense that the forests are being sold to the highest bidder ... too many decisions are made in Washington, D.C.''
Lynn Ryan, a local nurse, joined the Sierra Club five years ago, and now serves as chairwoman. She leads something of a double life: working with the Sierra Club and as a member of the Earth First! group. ``In the Sierra Club we shuffle a lot of papers around. That part is important,'' she says, ``but Earth First! fulfills a desire for activism.''
Bill Devall, a professor at nearby Humbolt State College and an Earth First! Foundation board member, is involved in another movement within the environmental community. He co-wrote the book ``Deep Ecology,'' which describes a movement attempting to fuse an ecological, philosophical, and ``spiritual'' approach to environmental issues. For many, Devall's book offers a deeper foundation for what has become a largely political movement. -D.L.M.