By Mark W. T. Harvey
Harvey information the 1st significant conflict among conservationists and builders after international conflict II, the winning struggle to avoid the construction of Echo Park Dam. The dam at the eco-friendly River was once meant to create a leisure lake in northwest Colorado and generate hydroelectric strength, yet could have flooded picturesque Echo Park Valley and threatened Dinosaur nationwide Monument, straddling the Utah-Colorado border close to Wyoming. Mark W. T. Harvey is affiliate professor of historical past at North Dakota nation collage in Fargo.
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Additional info for A Symbol of Wilderness: Echo Park and the American Conservation Movement
While conflict over jurisdiction occurred at the "field level," the two agencies worked closely together higher up in the bureaucracy, a fact which helps to explain the roots of the controversy. 18 In the early I940s, the Park Service found itself engaged in recreational planning across the country. " Under the Park, Parkway, and Recreation Area Study Act of I936, Congress had asked the Park Service to help coordinate the country's "recreational resources;' including national parks, monuments, historic sites, and a variety of federal and state landholdings.
Moreover, NPS officials felt that they had little choice but to consent to their demands. The Park Service did not have the political strength during the Depression to stand up to powerful agencies like the Bureau of Reclamation or the FPC. Certainly, conservation and wilderness groups did not have the same powerful constituencies as water and power interests. In the dark days of the Depression, the construction of dams and hydroelectric-power plants appealed to the American public far more than preserving national parks.
39 In the early 1920S, the FPC established "power withdrawals" within the Lodore and Yampa canyons, thereby asserting its authority to license power firms that undertook to build dams and power facilities in the region. " He referred specifically to the Echo Park site as especially excellent for generating power, and made it clear that the FPC was well aware of its potentia1. 41 As matters developed, Utah Power and Light withdrew its application with the FPC in 1935. Apparently, the firm lacked the financial resources to build power plants at Echo Park or at Blue Mountain, because its own power market had sagged during the Depression.
A Symbol of Wilderness: Echo Park and the American Conservation Movement by Mark W. T. Harvey