Heritage land in the United States : continuity and conflict.
This thesis sets out to explain the establishment and.,
protection of United States federal-' heritage '. land,
200 years of conflict and `change.
ý. It uses concepts,.
like preservation, conservation and --exploitation. As
US has .- the-- grown in area and population, pressures on land and
natural resources have also intensified, particularly at
times of external + and -internal strife: wars, the Depression,
etc. As the exploitative pressures grew, a counterbalancing
response arose from the preservationists.
Various federal agencies have a role in protecting heritage
land, none more so than the National Park Service
since Its founding in 1916. Its achievements and problems,
and Its relations with the other agencies, are discussed
in some detail.
From one point of view, heritage land Is a location for
recreation or contemplation. Others regard It as a potential
source of exploitable wealth, specially in its timber
mineral and water resources. These opposed positions may
be understood in terms of a theory that the countervailing
forces of land exploitation and land protection were (and
are) expressed politically in the conflict and Interdependence
of heritage land protection.
More recently, environmental problems have arisen at a
global level, suggesting that the preservation : exploitation
symbiosis is of relevance there as well. It Is
possible that large, though comparatively local, environmental
issues in the United States could be resolved
through the Interplay of local and global politics.