A Symbol of Wilderness

Echo Park and the American Conservation Movement

Mark W. T. Harvey
Foreword by William Cronon

  • Published: September 2015
  • Subject Listing: History / Environmental History; Environmental Studies
  • Bibliographic information: 400 pp., 27 photos, 6 x 9 in.
  • Territorial rights: World Rights
  • Series: Weyerhaeuser Environmental Classics
  • Contents

Harvey details the first major clash between conservationists and developers after World War II, the successful fight to prevent the building of Echo Park Dam. The dam on the Green River was intended to create a recreational lake in northwest Colorado and generate hydroelectric power, but would have flooded picturesque Echo Park Valley and threatened Dinosaur National Monument, straddling the Utah-Colorado border near Wyoming.
Mark W. T. Harvey is associate professor of history at North Dakota State University in Fargo.

"The Echo Park controversy marks the beginning of the modern wilderness movement. Understanding it is essential for knowing the importance of wilderness in American culture."
-Roderick Nash, author of Wilderness and the American Mind

"A Symbol of Wilderness is a superb introduction to what has made the wilderness movement a significant force in 20th century environmentalism. This is a natural for classroom use."
-William L. Lang, Portland State University

"With the recent proliferation of dam-removal campaigns and rising concern over the ecological impacts of artificial reservoirs, this is a must-read for anyone-scholar, student, or general reader-seeking to comprehend the complex relationship between large-scale dams and the environmental movement."
-Donald C. Jackson, author of Building the Ultimate Dam: John S. Eastwood and the Control of Water in the West

"By every standard of narrative and historical scholarship, this book is a major contribution to our understanding of protected parks and wilderness."
-Alfred Runte, author of National Parks: The American Experience

Foreword by William Cronon
The Peculiar Past of a National Monument
The Seeds of Controversy
Primeval Parks and the Wilderness Movement
"A Mere Millpond"
Searching for an Alternate Site
Wilderness for a New Generation
The Great Evaporation Controversy
The Politics of Preservation
A Symbol of Wilderness
Triumph of the Park System