Preserving Nature in the National Parks
A History
NPS Arrowhead logo





Chapter 1: Creating Tradition: The Roots of National Park Management

Growth of the National Park Concept
Resorts, Spas, and Early National Parks
The Management of Nature

Chapter 2: Codifying Tradition: The National Park Service Act of 1916

Advocates and Opponents
The Statement of Purpose
A Utilitarian Act

Chapter 3: Perpetuating Tradition: The National Parks under Stephen T. Mather, 1916-1929

Building Park Service Leadership
A Formal Policy and a Bureaucratic Rivalry
Appropriate and Inappropriate Park Development
Deletions and Additions of Park Lands
Nature Management
The Predator Problem
Popular Wildlife Species
Forest Management
Ecological Concerns and Mather's Leadership
Utilitarian Aesthetics and National Park Management

Chapter 4: The Rise and Decline of Ecological Attitudes, 1929-1940

Park Service Leadership and the Wildlife Problem
Conflict over Park Development
Biological Research
Rangelands and the Grazing Species
Expanding Park Service Programs
New Deal Impacts on the Park Service
Declining Influence of the Wildlife Biologists

Chapter 5: The War and Postwar Years, 1940-1963

Wartime and Postwar Pressures
Natural Resource Issues under Drury and Wirth
The Status of Wildlife Biology
The Road to Mission 66
Mission 66
Changes in Wilderness and Recreation Programs
The Public Hunting and Crisis and a New Look at National Parks

Chapter 6: Science and the Struggle for Bureaucratic Power: The Leopold Era, 1963-1981

Mission 66 and Parkscape U.S.A.
The Leopold and National Academy Reports
The Pursuit of Bureaucratic Power
Environmental Legislation and Change
Policies-New and Old
Natural Regulation and Elk
Grizzly Bears
Exotic Species
The State of the Parks Report

Chapter 7: A House Divided: The National Park Service and Environmental Leadership

Building an Environmental Record
The Vail Agenda
National Park Service Culture and Recreational Tourism





Index (omitted from the online edition)

This book is published partially through a generous grant from Eastern National Park and Monument Association.

All royalties from this book go to the Albright-Wirth Employee Development Fund to advance the professional skills of National Park Service employees.

Earlier versions of portions of this book have appeared in the Washington Post, Wilderness, Journal of Forestry, Montana The Magazine of Western History, and The George Wright Forum.

Copyright © 1997 by Yale University.
All rights reserved.
This book may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, including illustrations, in any form (beyond that copying permitted by Sections 107 and 108 of the U. S. Copyright Law and except by reviewers for the public press), without written permission from the publishers.

Printed edition designed by James J. Johnson and set in Caledonia types by Keystone Typesetting, Inc. Printed in the United States of America by Edwards Brothers, Inc., Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Sellars, Richard West, 1935—
Preserving nature in the national parks: a history/Richard West Sellars.
p. cm.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 0-300-06931-6 (cloth)
0-300-07578-2 (pbk.)
1. United States. National Park Service—
History. 2. National parks and reserves—
United States—Management—
History. 3. Nature conservation—United
States—History. 4. Natural resources—
United States—Management—
History. I. Title
SB482.A4 S44 1977
333.7'0973—dc21     97-16154

A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library.

For John E. Cook,
of the National Park Service,
and for my wife,
Judith Stevenson Sellars

But our national heritage is richer than just scenic features; the realization is coming that perhaps our greatest national heritage is nature itself, with all its complexity and its abundance of life, which, when combined with great scenic beauty as it is in the national parks, becomes of unlimited value. This is what we would attain in the national parks.
—GEORGE M. WRIGHT, JOSEPH S. DIXON, and BEN H. THOMPSON, Fauna of the National Parks of the United States, 1933

A national park should represent a vignette of primitive America. . . . Yet if the goal cannot be fully achieved it can be approached. A reasonable illusion of primitive America could be recreated, using the utmost in skill, judgment and ecologic sensitivity. This in our opinion should be the objective of every national park and monument.
—A. STARKER LEOPOLD et al., "Wildlife Management in the National Parks" (The Leopold Report), March 1963

I have always thought of our Service as an institution, more than any other bureau, engaged in a field essentially of morality—the aim of man to rise above himself, and to choose the option of quality rather than material superfluity.

Many of our problems are historical, but history can't be wiped out.
—JOHN A. CARVER, JR., Assistant Secretary of the Interior, to the National Park Superintendents "Conference of Challenges," Yosemite National Park, October 1963


Preserving Nature in the National Parks
©1997, Yale University Press
sellars/contents.htm — 1-Jan-2003