Mark W. T. Harvey's A Symbol of Wilderness: Echo Park and the American PDF

By Mark W. T. Harvey

ISBN-10: 0826315429

ISBN-13: 9780826315427

Dinosaur nationwide Monument straddles the Utah-Colorado border close to Wyoming. It attracted little cognizance and few viewers until eventually plans to block the golf green River and flood picturesque Echo Park Valley sparked public competition within the early Nineteen Fifties. Echo Park Dam may have threatened a part of this nationwide monument, a prospect that alarmed the nationwide Park carrier. In July 1950 the author Bernard DeVoto released his essay,"Shall We allow them to break Our nationwide Parks?" within the "Saturday night put up" and spurred national competition. quickly the Sierra membership, the desolate tract Society, and different businesses embraced preservind Echo Park. by way of the spring of 1956 the coalition of barren region fans and conservation businesses had confronted down the dam's proponents and strength Congress to cancel its building. As Professor Harvey makes transparent, the conflict to save lots of Echo Park marked the 1st significant conflict among preservationists and builders after global battle II, a clash that replays itself within the West with higher depth each one decade.

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Would the dam flood the dinosaur quarry? Would the reservoir cover up age-old skeletons that modern science required for study? If not, then what was the whole fight about? What would be flooded anyway, and why was this important? Why should Americans care about it? 4 For five and a half years, members of the Wilderness Society, the Sierra Club, the National Parks Association, the Izaak Walton League, and dozens of other organizations struggled to make clear the answer to these questions. They contended that safeguarding the monument from the dam was necessary in order to reaffirm the principles on which the national park system had been founded, as well as to foster protection of a broad range of wilderness lands in the United States.

More to the point, the Echo Park controversy came along a decade before the Wilderness Act, and nearly two decades before the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act and the National Environmental Policy Act. Page 5 As a result, opponents of the dam did not have the legal means at their disposal to delay or to block its approval. No environmental-impact statement could be requested from the Bureau of Reclamation, no lawsuit could be brought. The controversyit should be made clear at the outsetplayed out in an almost purely political arena, and the political odds appeared in many ways to favor the Bureau of Reclamation rather than the National Parks Association, the Sierra Club, or the Wilderness Society.

Warm Springs Bend in Yampa Canyon. Visitors in Sand Canyon circa 1950s. The confluence of the Yampa and the Green Rivers at Echo Park. A view of the south side of Steamboat Rock. Secretary of the Interior Oscar Chapman and National Park Service Director Newton Drury in December, 1949. Bernard DeVoto in Portland, Oregon, January 1954. Fred Packard, executive secretary of the National Parks Association. Howard Zahniser, executive secretary of the Wilderness Society. Joe Desloge studies Backus Rapid in the Canyon of Lodore, July 1955.

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A Symbol of Wilderness: Echo Park and the American Conservation Movement by Mark W. T. Harvey


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