By Mark W. T. Harvey
Harvey information the 1st significant conflict among conservationists and builders after international warfare II, the profitable struggle to avoid the construction of Echo Park Dam. The dam at the eco-friendly River used to be meant to create a leisure lake in northwest Colorado and generate hydroelectric strength, yet might 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 background at North Dakota country collage in Fargo.
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Additional info for A Symbol of Wilderness: Echo Park and the American Conservation Movement
In I939, along with its surveys, the Bureau of Reclamation constructed a primitive road thirteen miles long which ran from the Iron Springs bench-the high plateau far above the rivers-down into Echo Park, and managed to do so without obtaining clearance from the National Park Service. The Park Service did not have personnel stationed at Dinosaur National Monument at that time, and the preserve fell under the administration of Rocky Mountain National Park two hundred miles to the east. David Canfield, superintendent at Rocky Mountain, wrote to the Bureau of Reclama- The Seeds of Controversy 3I tion in Salt Lake City, in I940, to remind the agency of Park Service jurisdiction at Dinosaur.
National monuments, of course, were created by proclamation rather than by Congress, and in this instance the difference proved to be critical. Because Dinosaur arose from the Department of the Interior during the Great Depression-to prOtect a large portion of public land that remained largely unknown-it received little fanfare outside Colorado and Utah and went all but unnoticed by the traveling public. And while the Park Service was glad to have the new monument, the agency could not afford to build roads or properly administer the new preserve for a number of years after the proclamation.
David Canfield, superintendent at Rocky Mountain, wrote to the Bureau of Reclama- The Seeds of Controversy 3I tion in Salt Lake City, in I940, to remind the agency of Park Service jurisdiction at Dinosaur. He asked that permission be obtained prior to building roads or for entering the monument to undertake surveys. This was the first of many exchanges between the two Interior Department agencies over access to the monument, and it signaled the great clash to come. 17 Such conflicts might suggest that the controversy over Echo Park resulted from a "turf fight" over the public land and waters of the Colorado River Basin.