Making Rocky Mountain National Park questions both the assumption that tourism provides western states with a harmless alternative to extractive industry and the presumption that the science of ecology is a force for restoration and regeneration. In his historical study of Colorado’s iconic national park, Frank finds both ideologies flawed in practice. The tourist culture that touts the experience of “pristine” nature in Rocky Mountain National Park (rmnp) also permits extensive harm to the Park’s natural resources. The ecological outlook has emerged as an alternative to tourism, though in Frank’s view, its proponents have neither defined their goal of “restoration” with any clarity nor offered certain steps toward reaching it. According to Frank, Park managers have largely sidestepped this conflict of ideologies, especially since the 1960s, by managing the Park’s front country for tourists and the backcountry for ecologists. Frank views the stewards of rmnp as failing to...
Making Rocky Mountain National Park: The Environmental History of an American Treasure. By Jerry J. Frank (Lawrence, University Press of Kansas, 2013) 272 pp. $34.95
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Ruth M. Alexander; Making Rocky Mountain National Park: The Environmental History of an American Treasure. By Jerry J. Frank (Lawrence, University Press of Kansas, 2013) 272 pp. $34.95. The Journal of Interdisciplinary History 2014; 45 (3): 445–447. doi: https://doi.org/10.1162/JINH_r_00749
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