Date of Award:

5-1986

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

History

Committee

Charles S. Peterson

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine the changing relationship between the National Park Service and the residents of Wayne County, Utah. In 1937, Capitol Reef National Park was created as a result of the efforts made by local residents looking for a solution to their economic problems. Over the next five decades, the anticipated economic upturn spurred by the National Park did not develop. Instead, the relationship between the parties involved underwent a radical change because of conflicts over private landholdings, grazing and mineral rights, expansion, development, and road building. While this study does trace the growth of Capitol Reef into a national park, it is not an administrative history of the site. Its focus is on failure of the Park to live up to the expectations of its early supporters and the resulting deterioration of the relationship between local residents and the National Park Service.

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