To Conserve Unimpaired: The Evolution of the National Park Idea

Front Cover
Island Press, May 31, 2013 - Science - 368 pages
0 Reviews

When the national park system was first established in 1916, the goal "to conserve unimpaired" seemed straightforward. But Robert Keiter argues that parks have always served a variety of competing purposes, from wildlife protection and scientific discovery to tourism and commercial development. In this trenchant analysis, he explains how parks must be managed more effectively to meet increasing demands in the face of climate, environmental, and demographic changes.

Taking a topical approach, Keiter traces the history of the national park idea from its inception to its uncertain future. Thematic chapters explore our changing conceptions of the parks as wilderness sanctuaries, playgrounds, educational facilities, and more. He also examines key controversies that have shaped the parks and our perception of them.

Ultimately, Keiter demonstrates that parks cannot be treated as special islands, but must be managed as the critical cores of larger ecosystems. Only when the National Park Service works with surrounding areas can the parks meet critical habitat, large-scale connectivity, clean air and water needs, and also provide sanctuaries where people can experience nature. Today's mandate must remain to conserve unimpaired—but Keiter shows how the national park idea can and must go much farther.

Professionals, students, and scholars with an interest in environmental history, national parks, and federal land management, as well as scientists and managers working on adaptation to climate change should find the book useful and inspiring.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

Chapter 1 What Is a National Park?
1
A Wilderness Sanctuary
13
Tourism in the Wild
41
Recreating in Paradise
65
Putting Nature on Sale
91
Nature Culture and Justice
121
Experimentation and Education
143
An Imperfect Wildlife Reserve
173
EcosystemScale Conservation
203
New Parks and New Strategies
231
Chapter 11 Nature Conservationin a Changing World
261
Notes
271
Index
331
About the Author
343
Board of Directors
345
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2013)

Robert B. Keiter is the Wallace Stegner Professor of Law, University Distinguished Professor, and founding Director of the Wallace Stegner Center for Land, Resources, and the Environment at the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law. He lives in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Bibliographic information