By Larry Anderson
Planner and originator of the Appalachian path and a cofounder of the barren region Society, Benton MacKaye (1879-1975) was once a pioneer in linking the thoughts of renovation and sport. Spanning three-quarters of a century, his lengthy and effective occupation had an important effect on rising activities in conservation, environmentalism, and local making plans. MacKaye's seminal rules on outdoors activity, desert safeguard, land-use making plans, neighborhood improvement, and transportation have encouraged generations of activists, pros, and adventurers looking to strike a harmonious stability among human desire and the typical environment.This pathbreaking biography presents the 1st entire portrait of this crucial and specified determine in American environmental, highbrow, and cultural background. Drawing on huge study, Larry Anderson strains MacKaye's broad profession, examines his many released works, and describes the significance of MacKaye's relationships with such influential figures as Lewis Mumford, Aldo Leopold, and Walter Lippmann. This booklet will entice scholars, students, and execs in renovation, conservation, activity, making plans, and American experiences, in addition to common readers drawn to those topics.
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Additional info for Benton MacKaye: conservationist, planner, and creator of the Appalachian Trail
By back road, cart path, and sheer bushwhacking,” MacKaye and Hildreth (Percy departed halfway through their trip) followed the Green Mountains north, over the summits of Stratton, Haystack, Bromley, Killington, Camel’s Hump, and Mount Mansﬁeld, Vermont’s highest peak. Such a trek was no mean feat in 1900. Although paths led up many of these mountains, the Long Trail, the 265-mile footpath along the main Green Mountain ridge from Massachusetts to Quebec did not yet exist; it was not proposed until 1910 and was not completed until 1930.
More important, Eliot had pioneered establishment of the elective system, which would become a standard of American higher ed- 30 • b e n to n m a c k ay e ucation. 3 As it happened, the Harvard of the late 1890s was the ideal place at the ideal time for a student of Benton MacKaye’s interests, aptitudes, and peculiar brand of self-discipline. ^ As the youngest of the MacKaye boys, Benton perhaps felt less keenly than James and Percy the loss of wealth and status which their prodigal father’s undisciplined habits and ﬁnances had brought upon the family.
18 • b e n to n m a c k ay e By the middle of 1890, Steele’s fortunes and prospects in the theater had reached their lowest ebb. His most recent play, aptly titled Money Mad, closed after a two-month run. The peripatetic and ﬁnancially hard-pressed MacKaye family now gravitated to the point of the compass where prospects were brightest. C. Harold and James, respectively twenty-four and eighteen, both held modest government positions, Harold in the Patent Ofﬁce, James with the Census Bureau. Their modest but dependable incomes then provided the foundation of the MacKayes’ livelihood.