Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Sutton, David


This dissertation examines conflicts involving the use of public land for both extractive resources and recreational purposes in Southern Illinois from an anthropological perspective. These conflicts are examined in terms of place, western ideas of nature and culture, and the debate concerning conservation versus preservation. The beginning point for this work was the question of whether or not place building influences conflicts over public land. The conflicts that this work encompasses are logging, hunting, use of off-road vehicles, equestrian, and hydraulic fracturing. My goal was to look at different recreational conflicts of Southern Illinois and determine how issues of place, nature and culture, and conservation versus preservation ethics play into those conflicts. What I found is that all of these factors are inextricably intertwined and that both sides of these conflicts are informed by the identities and place-making of those involved and the perception of those identities and places.




This dissertation is Open Access and may be downloaded by anyone.