Synopses & Reviews
This book traces the epic clash of values between traditional scenery-and-tourism management and emerging ecological concepts in the national parks, Americaand#8217;s most treasured landscapes. It spans the period from the creation of Yellowstone National Park in 1872 to near the present, analyzing the management of fires, predators, elk, bear, and other natural phenomena in parks such as Yellowstone, Yosemite, Grand Canyon, and Great Smoky Mountains.
Based largely on original documents never before researched, this is the most thorough history of the national parks ever written. Focusing on the decades after the National Park Service was established in 1916, the author reveals the dynamics of policy formulation and change, as landscape architects, foresters, wildlife biologists, and other Park Service professionals contended for dominance and shaped the attitudes and culture of the Service. The book provides a fresh look at the national parks and an analysis of why the Service has not responded in full faith to the environmental concerns of recent times.
Richard West Sellars, a historian with the National Park Service, has become uniquely familiar with the history, culture, and dynamics of the Serviceand#151;including its biases, internal alliances and rivalries, self-image, folklore, and rhetoric. The book will prove indispensable for environmental and governmental specialists and for general readers seeking an in-depth analysis of one of Americaand#8217;s most admired federal bureaus.
This groundbreaking book--now reissued with a new foreword and epilogue that bring the book up to the 2009 change in presidential administrations--traces the epic clash of values between traditional scenery-and-tourism management and emerging ecological concepts in America's national parks. Preserving Nature inspired the greatest advances in scientific natural resource preservation in the history of the national parks.--Stewart L. Udall, Secretary of the Interior, 1961-1969 Anyone who hopes to understand the rich history of our national parks--or cares about their future--needs to read this penetrating book.--Dayton Duncan, writer and producer of The National Parks: America's Best Idea broadcast on PBS This book has changed the way I think about the National Park Service. Its honesty, clarity, and deep research all mark this book as a landmark in N.P.S. historical treatises.--Robert C. Pavlik, Yosemite Association Selected as one of the top twelve books on conservation by wilderness advocate Dave Foreman. Preserving Nature won Eastern National's 1997 Authors Award in the field of natural science or history, and Sellars won the 2008 George B. Hartzog, Jr., Award, given by the Coalition of National Park Service Retirees, mainly for his contributions through this book.
About the Author
Richard W. Sellars
is a historian with the National Park Service, Santa Fe, New Mexico.