Wilderness in National Parks: Playground or Preserve by John C. MilesWilderness in National Parks: Playground or Preserve by John C. Miles

Wilderness in National Parks: Playground or Preserve

byJohn C. Miles

Paperback | July 6, 2009

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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 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.

John C. Miles is professor of environmental studies at Western Washington University, Bellingham, Washington.
Title:Wilderness in National Parks: Playground or PreserveFormat:PaperbackDimensions:344 pages, 9 × 5.96 × 0.82 inPublished:July 6, 2009Publisher:University Of Washington PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0295988754

ISBN - 13:9780295988757

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Table of Contents


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


Editorial Reviews

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

- Wildlife Activist, Wildlife Activist