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A monthly display in the Purdy/Kresge Library featuring resources on specific thematic subjects.
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Subject of the Month-National Parks- July 2014

July National Parks Subject of the Month Sign

Selector: Lori Rinaldi and Rachael Clark

America's National Parks System springs from an idea as uniquely American as the Declaration of Independence and just as radical: that the most precious portions of the land should be preserved, not for royalty or for the rich, but for everyone, for all time.  From the world's very first National Park-Yellowstone, in 1872- to the most recent -Pinnacles, in California, in 2013-our National Parks System has been the guideline for the rest of the world in preserving important areas of land for our future generations to enjoy. With 58 National Parks; 109 National Monuments; 2,532 National Historic Landmarks and  596  National Natural Landmarks to choose from-there are endless possibilities for you to explore! What are you waiting for? Let's start planning your next trip!

National Parks Featured Databases


  • Pro Quest
    Includes citations and articles - many full text - on a broad range of topics including arts, business, education, general interest, health, humanities, international, law, multicultural, psychology, sciences, social sciences, and women's interests from a mix of scholarly journals, trade publications, magazines, and newspapers.
    Provides image and full-text online access to back issues of selected scholarly journals in history, economics, political science, demography, mathematics, and other fields of the humanities and social sciences. WSU currently subscribes to the Arts and Sciences I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VII, IX, X and XI Collections.
  • Science Direct
    A Web database for scientific research that contains abstracts and the full text of more than 1000 Elsevier Science journals in the life, physical, medical, technical, and social sciences.
  • Biological Abstracts
    Contains bibliographical references with abstracts in English from life sciences research journals published worldwide
  • America: History and Life
    Online version of: America: history and life. Includes full-text of hundreds of journals originally published in paper

Electronic Journals on the National Parks


National Parks Featured Electronic Books

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Wildlife Watching in America's National Parks - Gary Vequist; Daniel S. Licht
ISBN: 9781603448277
Publication Date: 2013-01-01
From the Great Smoky Mountains to Point Reyes National Seashore, Americas national parks are home to some of natures great wildlife spectacles. Here, Gary W. Vequist and Daniel S. Licht, two veterans of the National Park Service, focus on twelve animals that have been imperiled and at risk, but are now protected within the National Park System.Showcasing one species for each month of the year, including gray wolf, black bear, prairie dog, sea turtle, bison, bats, salmon, elk, beaver, American alligator, gray whale, and bald eagle, Vequist and Licht pair each premier species with a featured park, adding information about other parks where the species may also be readily seen and identifying other animals to look for in the same habitat--animals that prey, are preyed upon, or exist side by side with the focal species.Beyond being a guide to observing these remarkable animals, "Wildlife Watching in Americas National Parks," as the title implies, is also a book about Americas national parks. Reminding Americans why national parks are truly our "best idea" and encouraging readers to go find out why, these career wildlife specialists stress that it is "impossible to fathom America without these animals and without the parks in which they reside."Nature lovers, travelers, and outdoor hobbyists of all types will be enthralled by this inside view of Americas wildlife and the breathtaking photographs of places they inhabit. List of Wildlife and Parks Featured Yellowstone National Park: Gray Wolf Great Smoky Mountains National Park: Black Bear Badlands National Park: Prairie Dog Dry Tortugas National Park: Sea Turtle Theodore Roosevelt National Park: Plains Bison Carlsbad Caverns National Park: Bats Olympic National Park: Pacific Salmon Buffalo National River: Rocky Mountain Elk Cuyahoga Valley National Park: Beaver Everglades National Park: American Alligator Point Reyes National Seashore: Gray Whale

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Tourism in National Parks and Protected Areas - Paul F. J. Eagles; Stephen F. McCool
ISBN: 0851995896
Publication Date: 2004-07-01
This book describes the state of the art of tourism planning and management in national parks and protected areas. It also provides guidelines for best practice in tourism operations.

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The Great American Wilderness - Larry H. Ludmer
ISBN: 0585175292
Publication Date: 2000-01-01
Hunter Publishing is proud to offer travelers this collection of unique titles that are not part of any series and often stand alone in their field of coverage. The eclectic selection of topics includes cultural and historical travel, as well as books that are tailored to specific interests, such as fall foliage and nature. All books are written to the high standards you expect from Hunter and provide detailed, up-to-date information. From Acadia to Yellowstone, this book profiles the most scenic parks in the States. Candid evaluations tell you what you must see and what you can afford to miss. Driving routes within each park, plus walking tours and facilities offered. Tips on how to avoid the crowds, when to visit and nearby attractions. Map for each park.

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Repairing Paradise - William R. Lowry
ISBN: 9780815703921
Publication Date: 2009-12-01
By the turn of the millennium, it had become painfully apparent that the United States had made some serious misjudgments in its interactions with the natural world. The country's treasured national parks, while remaining immensely popular tourist destinations, were not immune to the damage. Preservation alone would no longer be enough; by this time, repair and restoration were necessary. Can the United States reverse the mistaken policies that severely damaged the crown jewels of its national park system? This thoughtful and hopeful book, in turns analytical and personal, investigates that critical question by focusing on four of America's most-loved public paces. In Repairing Paradise, William Lowry, an eminent expert on U.S. natural resource policy, details and assesses four ambitious efforts to reverse environmental damage in the national parks: • The reintroduction of wolves in Yellowstone • Reducing the impact of vehicle traffic in Yosemite • Restoring fresh water to the Everglades • Removing structural impairments to river flows in the Grand Canyon Repairing Paradise combines authoritative research with extensive personal experience. Lowry has spent time in all four of the parks -observing conditions, talking to the most informed decisionmakers, and taking photos. He deftly combines his field research with solid public policy analysis to paint an instructive portrait of the mission to restore the natural health and glory of some of the world's most wondrous places.

Preserving Nature in the National Parks - Richard West Sellars
ISBN: 058535068X
Publication Date: 1997-01-01
This book traces the epic clash of values between traditional scenery-and-tourism management and emerging ecological concepts in the national parks, America'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 park 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 Service -- 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 America's most admired federal bureaus. "A major contribution to the history of a controversial and timely topic". -- Robert M. Utley, former Chief Historian of the National Park Service and author of many books on the American West

National Parks and the Woman's Voice - Polly Welts Kaufman
ISBN: 0585277907
Publication Date: 1998-01-01
Travelers and explorers -- Early park founders and advocates -- First women ranger-naturalists -- Park service wives -- Women in uniformed field positions -- Equity issues for managers and support staff -- Recent park founders and advocates -- Claiming women's legitimate place.


National Parks Featured Juvenile Books

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Our National Parks - Michael Weber
Call Number: 973 .W388ou
ISBN: 156294438X
Publication Date: 1994-03-01
Three parks in each of 4 areas of the country are introduced with material on their histories and attractions.

Yellowstone - Ruth Kirk; Louis Kirk (Illustrator)
Call Number: 917.875 K634y
ISBN: 0689500068
Publication Date: 1974-01-01
Discusses the geologic history and the varied plant and animal life of Yellowstone, the oldest national park and home of geysers, mud pots, and hot springs.

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Yellowstone Fires - Dorothy Hinshaw Patent; William Muñoz (Illustrator)
Call Number: 574.5 P272y
ISBN: 0823408078
Publication Date: 1990-04-01
Describes the massive forest fires that burned almost one million acres of Yellowstone National Park in 1988 and the effects, both positive and negative, on the ecology of the forest there.

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Summer of Fire - Patricia Lauber
Call Number: 581 .52642 L361su
ISBN: 0531085430
Publication Date: 1991-01-01
Describes the season of fire that struck Yellowstone in 1988, and examines the complex ecology that returns plant and animal life to a seemingly barren, ash-covered expanse.

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Letters Home from Yosemite - Lisa Halvorsen
Call Number: 979.447 H169y
ISBN: 1567114628
Publication Date: 2000-01-01
Describes the physical features, vital statistics, and history in letters written home by a young person traveling through our nation's most scenic wonderlands. First person text -- with "captioned snapshots" of the trip's highlights -- provides a unique way to learn about different parks.

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Letters Home from the Grand Canyon - Marcia S. Gresko; Lisa Halvorsen
Call Number: 979.13 H169g
ISBN: 1567114636
Publication Date: 2000-01-01
Each book describes the physical features, vital statistics, and history of our nation's most prized natural lands. Written as a letter sent home by a young person, each book weaves vital facts and statistics into a first-person text augmented by beautiful "captioned snapshots" of the trip's highlights. Letters Home From books are a unique and engaging way to stimulate interest in travel, U.S. history, geography, wildlife, conservation, and environment. Young readers and families will also love to use these books for planning great trips!

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John Muir - Karen Clemens Warrick
Call Number: M896W3
ISBN: 0766016226
Publication Date: 2002-03-01
Take a gentle walk along the edge of the peaceful Merced River, where John Muir built his first home in the valley. Climb the steep trail to the very top of Yosemite Falls and share Muir's excitement of watching the water begin its sixteen-hundred-foot plunge to the valley. For that, we can thank John Muir and his dedication to the preservation of America's wild places.


National Parks-Pinterest (board of Lori Rinaldi)

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National Parks Books from the Catalog Scrolling Content Box

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The Wolves of Yellowstone - Michael K. Phillips; Douglas W. Smith; Barry O'Neill (Photographer); Teri O'Neill (Photographer)
Call Number: QL 737 .C22 P5 1996
ISBN: 0896583309
Publication Date: 1996-11-23

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Mammals of the National Parks - John H. Burde; George A. Feldhamer
Call Number: QL 717 .B857 2005
ISBN: 0801880971
Publication Date: 2005-05-13
From the stunning seascapes of Acadia to the desert of Death Valley, America's national parks are home to hundreds of species of wild mammals. Captured in vivid photographs, both the mammals and the parks are revealed in this breathtaking book written by two leading experts -- one a forester and the other a zoologist. The first section of the book describes the history and landscape of each park, and gives an overview of conservation issues and tips on sighting particular animals. The second section provides a thorough description of each type of mammal, including physical characteristics, behavior, range, and feeding habits. Each entry outlines the environmental issues affecting the populations. Providing a rare glimpse into the habits and habitats of mammals in all fifty-six national parks, Mammals of the National Parks captures the wonder and beauty of our national treasures.

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Amphibians and Reptiles of Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks - Edward D. Koch; Charles R. Peterson
Call Number: QL 717 .B857 2005
ISBN: 0874804728
Publication Date: 1995-12-01

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Birds of Voyageurs National Park - Voyageurs Region National Park Association Staff
Call Number: QL 684 .M6 B57 2001
ISBN: 0816638993
Publication Date: 2001-03-01
Voyageurs National Park, on the Minnesota-Ontario border, is beloved by campers, canoeists, kayakers, hikers, and bird-watchers. Its solitude offers a relatively undisturbed habitat, and its unusually varied ecosystem -- the open water of large lakes, wetlands, and upland forests -- provides a unique home for its bird population. Indeed, Voyageurs encompasses some of the greatest diversity of bird life in North America with over one hundred species known to breed within the park and more than one hundred nonbreeding visitors. This book describes one hundred of Voyageurs' most commonly seen bird -- from the familiar Common Loon to more unusual species such as the Black-Backed Three-Toed Woodpecker and the Mourning Warbler. Each entry includes a full-color photograph, a detailed description, behavioral information, and tips for where to go in the park to see these birds. Here we learn that more than half of the warblers of eastern North America can be found in the Voyageurs environs. And we are given explanations for surprising facts such as the paucity of sandpipers in the park (it has few of the sandy beaches and mudflats they require) and the influence of beavers on the bird species that reside there. Voyageurs is one of the best birding destinations in the national park system. Until now there was no adequate resource for those wishing to enjoy its singular combination of species and habitats. This richly illustrated volume fills that void. Not only informational, it will also be a cherished memento for visitors to the Minnesota-Ontario border country and an inspiration for those planning such a trip. The Voyageurs Region National Park Association was formed in 1965 to work forthe creation of Voyageurs National Park. Since the park's authorization by Congress in 1971, the organization has worked to preserve the natural, recreational, and historic resources of Voyageurs National Park and to promote

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National Parks and the Woman's Voice - Polly Welts Kaufman
Call Number: SB 481.5 .K38 2006
ISBN: 9780826339942
Publication Date: 2006-03-30
A decade has passed since the publication of the first edition of National Parks and the Woman's Voice: A History. Polly Welts Kaufman thought it time to revisit the subject of activism of women citizens in preserving national parks and to learn how far the promise of the inclusion of career women in the Park Service hierarchy has progressed. Kaufman discovered the staff in a national park can no longer fulfill the Park Service mission without outside support. Both this new reality and the acceptance of women as leaders have affected Park Service culture, making it more collaborative, more inclusive, less paternalistic, and more open to partnerships. What was said about the first edition: "[Polly Kaufman used extensive sources from women's, environmental, and national park history; she interviewed almost four hundred women. . . . She analyzes effectively the ways in which various women dealt with the male-de?ned Park Service culture, contemporary patterns of service in which women are superintendents primarily in small to medium sized historic parks, problems of dual-career marriages, and ways in which women's perspectives and values, which often differ from those of men, helped shape today's national parks."--Sylvia W. McGrath, H-Net, the Popular Culture and the American Culture Associations

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Exploring Careers in the National Parks - Bob Gartner; Robert Gartner
Call Number: SB 486 .V62 G37 1999
ISBN: 0823929647
Publication Date: 1999-07-15
Accelerated Reader is a program based on the fact that students become more motivated to read if they are tested on the content of the books they have read and are rewarded for correct answers. Students read each book, individually take the test on the computer, and receive gratification when they score well. Schools using the Accelerated Reader program have seen a significant increase in reading among their students. These titles give your students the tools they need to make sound career choices.

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A Woman in the Great Outdoors - Melody Webb
Call Number: SB 481.6 .W43 A3 2003
ISBN: 0826331750
Publication Date: 2007-10-16
Melody Webb's reflections on her twenty-five-year-long career in the National Park Service is an insider's account of a public bureaucracy. As a woman, she was working in a male-dominated agency; as an idealist, she attempted to champion the wise use of the national parks in a pragmatic political agency. Webb's career began in Alaska during President Gerald Ford's administration. She helped set up the mechanism that permitted Alaskan Natives to claim up to 2 million acres of federal land to preserve culturally significant areas. Following a dozen years of historic preservation work in Alaska and New Mexico, Webb spent the second half of her tenure in management positions. She served as superintendent at the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park and then as assistant superintendent, in charge of all park operations at Grand Teton National Park. During this period the Park Service was faced with conflicting mandates: there was a growing demand for recreational land use and, at the same time, environmental requirements and tight budgets limited the NPS's options. Webb's frankness about the day-to-day politics within an institution that many Americans feel should be above politics make this book an eye opener for historians and anyone who has an interest in the National Park System.

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Take down Flag and Feed Horses - William C. Everhart; Bill Everhart
Call Number: F 722 .E92 1998
ISBN: 0252066812
Publication Date: 1998-01-01
"Part memoir, part reportage, and all good reading, Take Down Flag & Feed Horses is the first volume devoted to the daily work of staff members at Yellowstone National Park. Written by a retired National Park Service historian, the book is divided into two parts, the first chronicling daily life at Yellowstone and the second detailing the savage fires that hit the park during the summer of 1988 and their aftermath." "Bill Everhart lived in the park during the summer of 1978, accompanying the superintendent and his staff of rangers, naturalists, and scientists on daily rounds. His lively anecdotes and observations will lure readers farther and farther into the book - and perhaps into the park as well. His gripping account of the unstoppable fire of 1988 shows how fire, a presence in the Yellowstone ecosystem for thousands of years, ensured biological diversity."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

America's National Battlefield Parks - Joseph E. Stevens; Beth Silverman (Illustrator)
Call Number: E 160 .S72 1990
ISBN: 0806122684
Publication Date: 1990-12-01
Documents the battlefield parks administered by the National Park Service, including Gettysburg, Little Bighorn, and Pearl Harbor.

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The Complete Guide to America's National Parks (1996-97 Edition) - Fodor's Travel Publications, Inc. Staff
Call Number: E 160 .C656 1996
ISBN: 0679029702
Publication Date: 1996-01-01
This is the only official guide to the National Parks system, and includes every one of America's 367 National Park areas. Parks, battlefields, historic sites, rivers and trails are all covered here.

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The Yosemite - Galen A. Rowell (Photographer)
Call Number: F 868 .Y6 M92 1989
ISBN: 0871566532
Publication Date: 1989-09-26

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Yellowstone - Seymour L. Fishbein; Raymond Gehman; U. S. National Geographic Society Staff
Call Number: F 722 .F57 1997
ISBN: 0792270312
Publication Date: 1997-04-01
Explore the beauty of the United States' First National Park! Observe the geysers, hot springs and wildlife that span the 14 million acres of wilderness in Yellowstone Country. Each book in the Park Profile series captures all the beauty and variety of the United States' beloved National Parks.

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Geology and Landscape of Michigan's Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore and Vicinity - William L. Blewett
Call Number: QE 627.5 .M5 B54 2012
ISBN: 9780814334416
Publication Date: 2012-03-15
Michigan's Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore was established in 1966 to preserve one of the most exquisite freshwater coastal landscapes in North America. Located between Munising and Grand Marais on Lake Superior, the rugged coastline is anchored by the Pictured Rocks cliffs-soaring sandstone fortresses awash with natural pink, green, and brown pigments. While the Pictured Rocks' geologic history is generally well understood by scientists, much of this information is scattered among different sources and not easily accessible to general readers. In Geology and Landscape of Michigan's Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore and Vicinity, William L. Blewett synthesizes published and unpublished information on the park's geologic history and combines it with vivid color photographs, detailed maps, and diagrams of the area. Blewett examines the history and geology of the very ancient Precambrian, Cambrian, and Ordovician components of the Pictured Rocks dating back hundreds of millions of years, as well as the much younger unconsolidated Pleistocene (ice age) and Holocene (warm period since the ice age, including the modern landscape) sediments mantling the bedrock, most of which are no older than 12,000 years. He also details the history of the Lake Superior basin, tracing the events that shaped the modern shoreline from ancient times. For visitors to Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Blewett has provided a detailed mileage-referenced road log to guide readers to the best and most accessible field sites, and, for the more adventurous, includes a day hike keyed to the geology. A comprehensive bibliography and index are also included at the end of the book for further research. While it assumes an understanding of basic geologic principles, the volume is very readable and suitable for students, interested park visitors, and geologists, physical geographers, and those working in closely related fields such as archaeology, biology, ecology, and environmental science.

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Isle Royale National Park - Jim DuFresne
Call Number: GV 199.42 .M512 I843 1991
ISBN: 0898862833
Publication Date: 1991-06-01
Guide for hikers and canoeists to Lake Superior's most isolated wilderness.

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Preserving Nature in the National Parks - Richard W. Sellars
Call Number: SB 482 .A4 S44 1997
ISBN: 0300069316
Publication Date: 1997-09-23
This text traces the epic clash of values between traditional scenery and-tourism management and emerging ecological concepts in the national parks, America's most treasured landscape.

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Indian Country, God's Country - Philip Burnham
Call Number: E 98 .L3 B87 2000
ISBN: 155963667X
Publication Date: 2000-04-01
The mythology of "gifted land" is strong in the Park Service, but some of our greatest parks were "gifted" by people who had little if any choice in the matter. Places like the Grand Canyon's south rim and Glacier had to be bought, finagled, borrowed -- or taken by force -- when Indian occupants and owners resisted the call to contribute to the public welfare. The story of national parks and Indians is, depending on perspective, a costly triumph of the public interest, or a bitter betrayal of America's native people.In Indian Country, God's Countryhistorian Philip Burnham traces the complex relationship between Native Americans and the national parks, relating how Indians were removed, relocated, or otherwise kept at arm's length from lands that became some of our nation's most hallowed ground. Burnham focuses on five parks: Glacier, the Badlands, Mesa Verde, the Grand Canyon, and Death Valley. Based on archival research and extensive personal visits and interviews, he examines the beginnings of the national park system and early years of the National Park Service, along with later Congressional initiatives to mainstream American Indians and expand and refurbish the parks. The final chapters visit the parks as they are today, presenting the thoughts and insights of superintendents and rangers, tribal officials and archaeologists, ranchers, community leaders, curators, and elders. Burnham reports on hard-won compromises that have given tribes more autonomy and greater cultural recognition in recent years, while highlighting stubborn conflicts that continue to mark relations between tribes and the parks.Indian Country, God's Countryoffers a compelling -- and until now untold -- story that illustrates the changing role of the national parks in American society, the deep ties of Native Americans to the land, and the complicated mix of commerce, tourism, and environmental preservation that characterize the parks system. Anyone interested in Native American culture and history, the history of the American West, the national park system, or environmental history will find it a fascinating and engaging work.

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American Indians and National Parks - Robert H. Keller; Michael F. Turek; Keller
Call Number: E 93 .K25 1998
ISBN: 0816513724
Publication Date: 1998-08-01
Many national parks and monuments tell unique stories of the struggle between the rights of native peoples and the wants of the dominant society. These stories involve our greatest parks—Yosemite, Yellowstone, Mesa Verde, Glacier, the Grand Canyon, Olympic, Everglades—as well as less celebrated parks elsewhere. In American Indians and National Parks, authors Robert Keller and Michael Turek relate these untold tales of conflict and collaboration. American Indians and National Parks details specific relationships between native peoples and national parks, including land claims, hunting rights, craft sales, cultural interpretation, sacred sites, disposition of cultural artifacts, entrance fees, dams, tourism promotion, water rights, and assistance to tribal parks. Beginning with a historical account of Yosemite and Yellowstone, American Indians and National Parks reveals how the creation of the two oldest parks affected native peoples and set a pattern for the century to follow. Keller and Turek examine the evolution of federal policies toward land preservation and explore provocative issues surrounding park/Indian relations. When has the National Park Service changed its policies and attitudes toward Indian tribes, and why? How have environmental organizations reacted when native demands, such as those of the Havasupai over land claims in the Grand Canyon, seem to threaten a national park? How has the Park Service dealt with native claims to hunting and fishing rights in Glacier, Olympic, and the Everglades? While investigating such questions, the authors traveled extensively in national parks and conducted over 200 interviews with Native Americans, environmentalists, park rangers, and politicians. They meticulously researched materials in archives and libraries, assembling a rich collection of case studies ranging from the 19th century to the present. In American Indians and National Parks, Keller and Turek tackle a significant and complicated subject for the first time, presenting a balanced and detailed account of the Native-American/national-park drama. This book will prove to be an invaluable resource for policymakers, conservationists, historians, park visitors, and others who are concerned about preserving both cultural and natural resources.

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Tourism and National Parks - Richard W. Butler (Editor); Stephen W. Boyd (Editor)
Call Number: G 155 .A1 T683 2000
ISBN: 0471988944
Publication Date: 2000-06-22
This comprehensive book provides a holistic consideration of all aspects involved in tourism in national parks. Broken down into logical sections, the contributions cover the economic, sociological, and geographical issues facing the tourist industry the world over. Closing with a view into the future, a discussion is reviewed that concerns the issues of sustainability that will inevitably arise, given the increasing popularity of peripheral destination tourism.

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Parks and Plates - Robert J. Lillie
Call Number: QE 511.4 .L55 2005
ISBN: 0393924076
Publication Date: 2005-03-07
In Parks and Plates, Robert J. Lillie explains the fascinating geological processes that have formed these dramatic volcanoes, shorelines, and landscapes. Structuring the text around major geological features, Lillie highlights geologic patterns across many different parks and uses over 100 park sites to illustrate plate tectonics visually. Lavishly illustrated with full-color photographs, diagrams, and maps, Parks and Plates is the ideal text to enrich undergraduates' experience of our national parks.

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Lines on the Land - Scott Herring; John Tallmadge (Contribution by)
Call Number: PS 163 .H47 2004
ISBN: 0813922577
Publication Date: 2004-02-25
The nineteenth-century photographer William Henry Jackson once complained of the skepticism with which early descriptions of Yellowstone were met: the place was too wondrous to be believed. The public demanded proof, and a host of artists and writers obliged. These early explorers possessed a vigorous devotion to the young nation’s wilderness—the naturalist John Muir famously toured the land from Wisconsin to Florida on foot—and through their work established aesthetic categories that exist to this day. In Lines on the Land, Scott Herring contends that these writers and artists were canon makers, recognizing the national parks as naturally occurring works of art and conferring upon them a cultural prestige: the parks were the splendid focal points of the American landscape. These early, canonizing works are homages to a vast, untouched wilderness. This praise would gradually give way, however, to a distinctly American anger—what Herring calls "outraged idealism." Later generations were faced with a changing culture that had imperfectly absorbed, and even misrepresented, the national-park aesthetic. The postwar park was overrun by cars and tourists who could not possibly match the pioneering naturalists’ profound commitment to and appreciation for their surroundings. The collective tone of the parks’ chroniclers, as a result, evolved from celebration of awesome beauty to indignation over the perceived corruption of the parks, both as an ideal and as actual physical settings. Herring traces this shift through the work of a wide spectrum of creative minds, from early figures such as Muir and Thomas Moran to later observers of the parks such as Ansel Adams, Sylvia Plath, Edward Abbey, and Rick Bass. The text is punctuated by autobiographical "interchapters," in which Herring relates the book’s chief themes to his own experiences in Yellowstone National Park.


Featured National Park Videos July 2014 At the entrance to Yellowstone National Park is a stone arch inscribed with the words "For the benefit and enjoyment of the people." Park ranger Shelton Johnson discusses his arrival at this famed archway and what those words mean to him in Ken Burns's newest film, THE NATIONAL PARKS: AMERICA'S BEST IDEA


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