Department or Program

Environmental Studies


National Park Service Ideology is inherently based on the idea of "mission rivalry," that is, the conflict between conservation or preservation and use or enjoyment. Written into the National Park Service Organic Act in 1916 and stated in the National Park Service mission statement, these apparently contradictory mandates have produced a confused identity for the national parks. Apparent in National Park Service published "media" (brochures, manuals and pamphlets distributed at the parks), conflicts in park management have thus persisted since the conception of the national parks. Beginning primarily in the 1960s, author Edward Abbey questioned the primary motives of the National Park Service as they pertained to "Industrial Tourism," particularly in his well-known Desert Solitaire (1968). Abbey's literature can also be understood as "media" comparable to National Park Service "media," in that it communicates certain perceptions to the public. This thesis investigates how Abbey's "media" influenced change in National Park Service ideology, specific to the temporal space and historical context in which such changes took place.

Level of Access

Restricted: Campus/Bates Community Only Access

First Advisor

Tom Wenzel

Date of Graduation


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Number of Pages


Components of Thesis

1 pdf file


Available to Bates community via local IP address or Bates login.