Title page for ETD etd-03302010-020640
|Type of Document
||Empfield, Jeffrey Morgan
||Wilderness rivers :environmentalism, the wilderness movement, and river preservation during the 1960s
||Master of Arts
|Barrow, Mark V. Jr.
|Kaufman, Burton I.
|Shumsky, Neil Larry
|Date of Defense
Wilderness Rivers explores America's treatment of rivers in the
context of the social and political climate of the 1960s. The decades
following the Second World War brought about significant changes in
the way Americans perceived their environment. Higher levels of
affluence and education, continued urbanization, and the popularization
of ecology converged to prOlTIote an environmental awakening that
increased steadily throughout the decade. The conservation movement
broadened to include issues of quality of life and ecological protection.
Rivers enlerged as a central issue in relation to outdoor recreation,
poUu tion, and freshwater shortages. As part of the general idea of
wilderness preservation that came to fruition in the Wilderness Act of
1964, river advocates forwarded proposals to establish a protective
federal system of wild rivers. To this end, the federal government
experimented with a variety of river protection programs before
arriving at the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 1968 which established a
nationwide system of representative river preserves. Despite strong
support for the idea, the resulting system secures only marginal
protection for rivers based largely on recreational considerations. The
Wild and Scenic Rivers Act is most significant for providing a symbolic
acknowledgement of the need to restrain further development and
prevent despoilation of America's rivers.
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