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From Competition to Cooperation: A History of Canada–US National Park Relations

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This essay explores the evolving international relationship of the two national park agencies that in 1968 began to offer joint training classes for protected-area managers from around the world. Within the British settler societies that dominated nineteenth century park-making, the United States’ National Park Service (NPS) and Canada’s National Parks Branch were the most closely linked and most frequently cooperative. Contrary to campfire myths and nationalist narratives, however, the relationship was not a one-way flow of information and motivation from the US to Canada. Indeed, the latter boasted a park bureaucracy before the NPS was established. The relationship of the two nations’ park leaders in the half century leading up to 1968 demonstrates the complexity of defining the influences on park management and its diffusion from one country to another.
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Keywords: Canada; National Parks; United States; park management; park systems

Appeared or available online: November 14, 2019

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