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A Symbol of Wilderness: Echo Park and the American Conservation Movement

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Pages: 368

Book format: An electronic version of a printed book that can be read on a computer or handheld device designed specifically for this purpose.

Publisher: Date:10/1994 - Univ of New Mexico Pr

By: Mark W. T. Harvey

Dinosaur National Monument straddles the Utah-Colorado border near Wyoming. It attracted little attention and few visitors until plans to dam the Green River and flood picturesque Echo Park Valley sparked public opposition in the early 1950s. Echo Park Dam would have threatened part of this national monument, a prospect that alarmed the National Park Service. In July 1950 the writer Bernard DeVoto published his essay,"Shall We Let Them Ruin Our National Parks?" in the "Saturday Evening Post" and spurred nationwide opposition. Soon the Sierra Club, the Wilderness Society, and other organizations embraced preservind Echo Park. By the spring of 1956 the coalition of wilderness enthusiasts and conservation organizations had faced down the dam's proponents and force Congress to cancel its construction. As Professor Harvey makes clear, the battle to save Echo Park marked the first major clash between preservationists and developers after World War II, a conflict that replays itself in the West with greater intensity each decade.  


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