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Journal Article

Silver Falls State Park and the Early Environmental Movement

Zeb Larson
Oregon Historical Quarterly
Vol. 112, No. 1 (Spring 2011), pp. 34-57
DOI: 10.5403/oregonhistq.112.1.0034
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Page Count: 24
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Silver Falls State Park and the Early Environmental Movement
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Environmentalism in the early twentieth century began with two movements: conservation and preservation. Conservation stressed the wise use of limited resources, while preservationists tried to protect wilderness areas from commercial developments. At the turn of the century, these two movements seemed to be in direct opposition to each other. Nevertheless, historian Zeb Larson argues, the values from both movements are evident in the creation of Silver Falls State Park, much of which was constructed as make-work projects during the Great Depression. Through restoring landscapes damaged by fire and logging, creating structures that blend with the landscape, and building youth camps, the park's designers and managers drew on beliefs from both environmental ideologies as well as the aesthetics of the Arts and Crafts movement. Today, Silver Falls is the largest state park in Oregon.

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