Master of Arts (MA)
First Committee Member
Number of Pages
The evolution of search and rescue in Yosemite after World War II highlighted the ways in which park users and administrators negotiated the contentious discourses of technology, tourism, and wilderness in the modern national parks movement. The establishment of a technologically sophisticated search and rescue force provided free by the federal government blurred the lines between preservation and use in national park policy by allowing administrators to resist development and support wilderness while still providing a safe environment for recreation. The co-evolution of rock climbing and rescue also illuminated the resulting tensions between individual freedom, social responsibility, and class in environmental culture. Drawing from incident reports, administrative correspondence, and climbing literature, this thesis demonstrates that the professionalization of search and rescue enabled the Park Service to accommodate visitors seeking to both preserve nature and consume it through rock climbing and other wilderness activities in the nation's premier national park.
Evolution; Handrails; National; Park; Rescue; Search; Wilderness; Yosemite
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
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Johnson, Christopher Edward, "Wilderness handrails: The evolution of search and rescue in Yosemite National Park" (2007). UNLV Retrospective Theses & Dissertations. 2174.