Department of Environmental Studies, Huxley College of the Environment at WWU
Currently Dr. Miles is working on a major study of the role the wilderness idea has played in national park history in the United States. Wilderness was an idea that contributed to the national park movement, especially through the advocacy of John Muir. Yet, ever since the National Park Service was created in 1916 that agency has struggled with how it should incorporate the concept of wilderness into its thinking. It was, for instance, opposed to the Wilderness Act in the early stages of the effort to pass that legislation. Then, after the Act was approved by Congress, it was slow to do the review of its road less lands required by that legislation. What was behind the long ambivalence of this agency about the idea of wilderness? That is the question Dr. Miles hopes his study will answer.