To Render Inaccessible: The Sierra Club's Changing Attitude Toward Roadbuilding
Schultz, Jason Henry
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In the early twentieth century, the Sierra Club was a foremost booster of roads and national parks as a way of rendering the mountains accessible. In the middle of the twentieth century, however, the Club reassessed this stance. By looking at three instances where the Club initially supported roads and recreational projects in California's Sierra Nevada--improvement of the Tioga Road, support for a Minaret Summit Highway, and development of Mineral King for skiing--I trace the Club's movement from an organization promoting automobile-oriented recreation to a group opposed to the development of recreation facilities, including roads. These Sierran struggles broaden the importance of the definition of wilderness as roadlessness investigated by Paul Sutter, and demonstrate that such visible concerns over roads persisted beyond the interwar years.