A Case for Storied Landscapes: Wilderness and Historic Preservation
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Type of Work397 p.
ProgramMA in Historic Preservation
RightsTo view a complete copy of this thesis please contact Goucher College Special Collections & Archives at firstname.lastname@example.org or (410) 337-6075.
National Wilderness Preservation System
cultural resources in wilderness
historic preservation in wilderness
federal agency wilderness management
cultural resources management
National Park Service
Cumberland Island National Seashore
Olympic National Park
Green Mountain Lookout
Historic preservation -- Theses
United States. Wilderness Act -- History
United States. National Park Service.
Wilderness areas -- United States -- Management.
This treatise presents a new framework for addressing cultural resources in the context of wilderness designated under the 1964 Wilderness Act. To this end, it presents a contextual history of the concept of wilderness on early federal public lands, and of the overlay of early federal historic preservation mandates. Using analyses of federal policies for both wilderness management and historic preservation, it traces late 20th century developments in both mandates with an emphasis on lands under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service. This policy analysis is augmented by in-depth studies of four court cases with decisions pertinent to my thesis topic, and detailed case studies of wilderness management in three National Park Service units. My thesis research considers the principles, theories and concepts of both historic preservation and wilderness to derive a new typology of heritage values specifically applicable in wilderness management. These values are then integrated with the parameters and restrictions of the Wilderness Act to support a new framework for managing cultural resources in wilderness. My treatise closes with a discussion of this framework, and recommendations for new directions in managing America’s cultural heritage in wilderness. Wild places and the cultural heritage resources within them are priceless and irreplaceable. My findings support the idea that we can realistically and sustainably manage both, and indeed that it is crucial for the health of both that we do so. Understanding the human history of wild places is a vital part of addressing their complexity. Embracing their human dimensions is key to overcoming the myth of uninhabited wilderness. And wilderness historic preservation, through integrative and nuanced critical thinking, is not only possible but imperative.