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This article examines the continuities and discontinuities between the Chipko ecological movement and the recent regional movement for a separate State of Uttarakhand in the Indian Himalayas. The movement for a separate Uttarakhand State within the Indian Federation is shown to be multi-dimensional, reflecting a potentially creative mode of regional politics. However, the movement has become stereotyped as an elitist anti-reservation (positive discrimination) movement by politicians keen to reinforce social polarisation along caste lines. Despite repressive measures taken by the Uttar Pradesh State Government the regional movement has recently renewed its struggle around gender issues.