Synopses & Reviews
Told through the prism of a tragic death in Yellowstone, an epic account of our century-long attempt to control the American wilderness
In 1972, 25-year-old Harry Walker was killed by a bear in Yellowstone. The ensuing civil trial brought to the fore longstanding, high-stakes debates about wilderness management. In this remarkable excavation of American environmental history, acclaimed writer and former park ranger Jordan Fisher Smith weaves the story of Walker's tragic death into the larger narrative of our attempts to remake wilderness in the name of preservation. Moving across decades and among Yellowstone, Yosemite, Glacier, and Sequoia National Parks, Engineering Eden shows how efforts to manage wilderness are always undone by one fundamental problem: The idea of what is "natural" dissolves as soon as we begin to examine it.
The award-winning story of the century-and-half-long attempt to control nature in the American wilderness, told through the prism of a tragic death at Yellowstone--now in paperback
In the summer of 1972, 25-year-old Harry Eugene Walker hitchhiked away from his family's northern Alabama dairy farm to see America. Nineteen days later he was killed by an endangered grizzly bear in Yellowstone National Park. The ensuing civil trial, brought against the US Department of the Interior for alleged mismanagement of the park's grizzly population, emerged as a referendum on how America's most beloved wild places should be conserved. Two of the twentieth century's greatest wildlife biologists testified--on opposite sides.
Moving across decades and among Yellowstone, Yosemite, Glacier, and Sequoia National Parks, author and former park ranger Jordan Fisher Smith has crafted an epic, emotionally wrenching account of America's fraught, century-and-a-half-long attempt to remake Eden--in the name of saving it.