Blazing Heritage: A History of Wildland Fire in the National Parks

Overview

National parks played a unique role in the development of wildfire management on American public lands. With a different mission and powerful meaning to the public, the national parks were a psychic battleground for the contests between fire suppression and its use as a management tool. Blazing Heritage tells how the national parks shaped federal fire management.

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Blazing Heritage: A History of Wildland Fire in the National Parks

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Overview

National parks played a unique role in the development of wildfire management on American public lands. With a different mission and powerful meaning to the public, the national parks were a psychic battleground for the contests between fire suppression and its use as a management tool. Blazing Heritage tells how the national parks shaped federal fire management.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Considering the aggregate of books about fire, this volume's importance is its concentration on national park lands. A weighty addition to the shelf of environmental history books."—Library Journal
Library Journal

Rothman (history, Univ. of Las Vegas; Encyclopedia of American National Parks) offers a detailed chronicle of the changing role of fire and its management. The chronology begins in 1886, with the military arriving in Yellowstone National Park to guard the area and fight fires. Unlike the U.S. Forest Service, the National Park Service, created in 1916, never had the resources to fight wildland fires, and an uneasy contention between the two existed for decades. College-educated scientists emerged in the postwar years with ecological studies and conceived the not-so-new notion of fire as a management tool. Since fire was a natural part of the ecosystem, prescribed burning and "let burn" responses were implemented-with varying degrees of success. Rothman recounts different scenarios, including the 1988 Yellowstone fires that caused immense debate among scientists and politicians and the "Armageddon" in 2000, when a prescribed fire burned out of control near Los Alamos National Laboratory, NM. Considering the aggregate of books about fire, this volume's importance is its concentration on national park lands. A weighty addition to the shelf of environmental history books.
—Patricia Ann Owens

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195311167
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 4/12/2007
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 9.30 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

University of Nevada-Las Vegas
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Table of Contents

Introduction: The National Parks and Fire
Ch. 1. Fighting Fire on Horseback: The Military in the National Parks, 1872-1916
Ch. 2. The Development of a Fire Management Structure
Ch. 3. A Decade of Transformation: The New Deal and Fire Policy
Ch. 4. Ecology and the Limits of Suppression in the Post War Era
Ch. 5. Allowing Fire in the National Park System
Ch. 6. Managing Fire
Ch. 7. Yellowstone and the Politics of Disaster
Ch. 8. The Hazard of New Fortunes: Outlet, Cerro Grande, and the Twenty-First Century

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