Instead of merely opposing growth or development, environmental groups are increasingly focusing on directing that growth to places where it works or is more appropriate, according to this piece from the San Francisco Chronicle.
"A big reason for the success, I'll wager, is that the backers included the Sierra Club and Greenbelt Alliance, organizations with long track records and solid green reputations.
'The concept of environmentalism is maturing,' suggests Jeremy Madsen, Greenbelt Alliance's executive director.
The group until 1987 was known as People for Open Space; from the start, it took the position that growth should be steered toward existing cities, rather than farmland and bare hills. Only in the past decade has the alliance taken assertive steps regarding what happens inside the greenbelt."