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Wilderness In National Parks

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Overview

Wilderness in National Parks casts light on the complicated relationship between the National Park Service and its policy goals of wilderness preservation and recreation. By examining the overlapping and sometimes contradictory responsibilities of the park service and the national wilderness preservation system, John C. Miles finds the National Park Service still struggling to deal with an idea that lies at the core of its mission and yet complicates that mission, nearly one ...

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Overview

Wilderness in National Parks casts light on the complicated relationship between the National Park Service and its policy goals of wilderness preservation and recreation. By examining the overlapping and sometimes contradictory responsibilities of the park service and the national wilderness preservation system, John C. Miles finds the National Park Service still struggling to deal with an idea that lies at the core of its mission and yet complicates that mission, nearly one hundred years into its existence.

The National Park Service's ambivalence about wilderness is traced from its beginning to the turn of the twenty-first century. The Service is charged with managing more wilderness acreage than any government agency in the world and, in its early years, frequently favored development over preservation. The public has perceived national parks as permanently protected wilderness resources, but in reality this public confidence rests on shaky ground.

Miles shows how changing conceptions of wilderness affected park management over the years, with a focus on the tension between the goals of providing recreational spaces for the American people and leaving lands pristine and undeveloped for future generations.

University of Washington Press

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What People Are Saying

William Dietrich

Wilderness in National Parks is timely, original, ambitious, and comprehensive. It's a big book on a big subject.

Timothy Duane

Wilderness in National Parks is an extensively researched chronological narrative of specific events driving the internal debate within the National Park Service about whether and how to treat the concept of wilderness in managing the national parks. I highly recommend the book.

From the Publisher

Wilderness in National Parks is an outstanding addition to the wilderness literature, an impeccably researched, well-argued work that provides important new perspectives on how the wilderness concept was conceived and incorporated by American national park administrators and bureaucrats in the 20th century.

University of Washington Press

This is a remarkable book that fills an important niche in the literature on US national parks and the National Park Service (NPS). Miles effectively uses primary sources to document the conflict between promotion of the national parks and the erosion of wilderness due to increasing access and use of the parks as America became an auto culture. Highly recommended.

University of Washington Press

This is a great case study for those managing or studying how to balance political and resource needs when managing public lands.

University of Washington Press

Hal Rothman

John Miles's Wilderness in National Parks is a well—conceived treatment of the complicated relationship between the National Park Service and wilderness and all of its proponents. He hits the right themes and nicely negotiates the twists and turns of policy. This is a solid addition to the bookshelf of national park histories.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780295988740
  • Publisher: University of Washington Press
  • Publication date: 7/20/2009
  • Pages: 346
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.94 (d)

Meet the Author

John C. Miles is professor of environmental studies at Western Washington University, Bellingham, Washington.

University of Washington Press

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Table of Contents

AcknowledgementsIntroduction

1. Wilderness and the Origins of National Parks2. Wilderness and the New Agency3. Wilderness Becomes an Issue for the Park Service4. Preservation of the Primeval in the Post-Mather Era5. More Ferment and Expansion6. From the War to Director Wirth7. The Drive for a Wilderness Act8. A Hesitant Start at Implementation9. Wilderness Reviews Reluctantly Completed10. Wilderness in Alaska11. A New Sort of National Park Wilderness12. Park Wilderness after the Reviews13. The Work Continues

EpilogueNotesSourcesIndex

University of Washington Press

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