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Wilderness in National Parks: Playground or Preserve
     

Wilderness in National Parks: Playground or Preserve

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by John C. Miles
 

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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

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

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780295988740
Publisher:
University of Washington Press
Publication date:
07/20/2009
Pages:
344
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.94(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are Saying About This

The Western History Quarterly
Prior histories of wilderness policy have focused primarily on the National Forest Service, and this discussion of the NPS is needed.

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

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

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.

International Journal of Wilderness
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.

Choice Choice
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.

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.

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

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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Wilderness in National Parks: Playground or Preserve 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
MartyWA More than 1 year ago
Overall, a good book worth reading. I personally found John Miles to be too wordy for my taste. He repeats himself frquently throughout the book and could have probably shaved off one hundred pages. My other compliant is that he completely left out the influence of the railroads on the development of the first western National Parks. Perhaps this was on purpose however, I don't see how his discussion of the issue over access for the public versus preservation could be thorough without including the development pressure from the railroads. Beyond that, I learned much from the book and gained a better understanding of National Park management and the impact of politics on their efforts.