The National Parks


Great Nature (1933-1945)

To battle unemployment in the Great Depression, Franklin D. Roosevelt creates the Civilian Conservation Corps, which spawns a “golden age” for the parks through major renovation projects. In a groundbreaking study, a young NPS biologist named George Melendez Wright discovers widespread abuses of animal habitats and pushes the service to reform its wildlife policies.

AIRED: April 25, 2016 | 1:55:41

Announcer: Our national parks belong to all of us.

They are places of discovery, they are places of inspiration,

they are America's best idea.

Major funding provided by: the Evelyn & Walter Haas, Jr. Fund.

Additional funding was provided

by the Park Foundation in support

of a clean and healthy environment;

The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations--

dedicated to strengthening America's future

through education;

the National Park Foundation,

the official charity of America's national parks;

the Peter Jay Sharp Foundation;

the Pew Charitable Trusts;

by General Motors;

by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting;

and by generous contributions to this PBS station

from viewers like you.

Thank you.

Bank of America is proud to be

exclusive corporate underwriter

for the films of Ken Burns

and hopes you enjoy this encore presentation.

[Bell clanging]

PETER COYOTE: In July of 1929,a 90-year-old woman returned

to the Yosemite Valley in California.

She was called Maria Lebrado,but 78 years earlier as

a young girl, she had been knownby her real name To-tu-ya,

the granddaughter of Chief Tenaya, leader

of the Ahwahneechees, an Indian tribe who

for centuries had calledthe valley their home until

in 1851 a battalion of whitemen had driven them out

at bayonet point.

To-tu-ya was the sole remaining survivor

of that sad moment.

This was her first time back.

Half a generation after theAhwahneechees' expulsion,

the federal government hadpreserved the beautiful valley

permanently as a national park.

Still, everywhere she looked,To-tu-ya was reminded of how

much things had changed.

In a broken mixture ofEnglish, Spanish, and her own

ancient language, she told herescorts the valley floor was

now more wooded and brushy than in her day.

Her people had regularly set grass fires to keep

the meadows open and the trees and shrubs at bay.

Then she looked up at the rock walls of the valley.

The great monoliths and majestic waterfalls

stood unchanged.

Turning toward Half Dome,the cleft rock she knew as

Tis-sa-ack, she stretched outher arms and raised her voice

in a strong, clear,high-pitched call that echoed

off the granite walls.

It was, she explained, the call her

grandfather Tenaya had once used to summon his

people together.

Until that moment, she hadbeen the last one to hear it.

[Woman calling]

WOMAN: They're islands of hope.

The parks are always whereI can go home again.

I go back to my hometown,there is a Safeway where I

used to play withSylvia Gonzalez, they have taken

and turned my old school into a junk shop,

but the parks don't do that.

So these are places we can always go home

and paradoxically that we canalways see into the future

and hope for the better things.

MAN: When we look at parks andwe look at the United States

and we examine the whole ideaof democracy, I think that

the park experience is an exploration

of the idea of freedom.

Where do I come from, where am I going,

how did I get here, how didwe as a people get here?

I think that when people goto a national park, they

get a sense, a compass to history.

COYOTE: As the 1920s ended,the United States was about to

enter two of the darkestand most frightening decades

of the 20th Century, ones that included an economic

catastrophe that threatenedthe foundation of American

society, followed by a warthat threatened the existence

of freedom throughout the world.

For a time during those darkyears, the national parks

would thrive as never before.

In the 1930s and 1940s, hundreds of thousands

of American boys would go to the parks in pursuit

of a paycheck and discovera new sense of dignity.

Then hundreds of thousandsmore under different

circumstances would enjoy inthe parks a moment of peace.

And what happens in the UnitedStates is that the American

land comes to embody the American nation,

and the national parks becomethe icons of our nationalism,

the place where we come tocelebrate what it means

to be an American.

COYOTE: The national park idea was changing, too.

Though the park service hadlost its charismatic first

director Stephen Mather, a new president and his

progressive administrationwould vastly expand the number

of parks and then even moredramatically expand the very

notion of what a national park could be.

A young biologist would insist that the survival of wildlife

is as important as the preservation of scenery

and that places withoutmountains or waterfalls should

be seen as natural wonders,as well, and in a time when

the future of the country wasmost in doubt, the symbols

of her complicated past wouldbe set aside and cherished

while Americans from everywalk of life and every

possible background wouldfind in the parks a deeper

connection to their land,their nation, and themselves.

MAN: My sense is that our special connection with

the national parks comes fromthe fact that we're a nation

of immigrants, we're a nationof people for whom this is not

home, and the national parks are what anchor and root us

on this continent.

They are the meaning of home for many of us.

They're what it means to bean American and to inhabit

this continent.

It's the end of the immigrantexperience, and they're what

takes you and says, "Now I am in America."

COYOTE: In April of 1933,Franklin Delano Roosevelt,

newly sworn in as president,asked Horace Albright,

the second director of theNational Park Service to come

along with him during a daytrip from Washington to

Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains.

MAN AS HORACE ALBRIGHT:The president got in the front

seat, where there was moreroom, and they took

the braces off his legs.

He put a cigarette inhis long cigarette holder,

sat back, and relaxed.

I sat behind him on thejump seat just a few inches

from his ear.

I had a dream I wanted to make real.

For years, I had wanted toget the many national military

parks, battlefields,and monuments transferred out

of the War Department andDepartment of Agriculture into

the National Park Service.

As we approached theRappahannock River, I began

thinking, "If I'm going to talk to the president

"about getting the military parks,

"I had better get to it."

Now was the time.

COYOTE: Albright beganpointing out sites important

to the Second Battle ofBull Run in the Civil War,

then broadened the discussionto myriad other battlefields

and historic sites in the area.

WOMAN: So my father had a golden opportunity.

He told him exactly what he wanted.

He wanted the monuments, and he wanted

the battlefields. "All right."

When they got back to the White House,

"Hey, Albright," he said.

"Tomorrow morning, I want a plan in my office.

"I want to know what you want to do."

FRANKLIN ROOSEVELT: And tothe formal duties of the

Park Service by transferring from other departments many

other parks, battlefields, memorials,

and national monuments.

COYOTE: Within days, Rooseveltwould sign two executive

orders initiating a sweepingreorganization that overnight

transformed the Park Service.

From the War Department, the agency was given

responsibility for more than20 military parks and historic

battlefields and monuments:from Castillo de san Marcos,

an ancient Spanish fortin St. Augustine, Florida,

to Yorktown, Virginia,where the decisive victory

of the American Revolutionhad been won; From Antietam,

where the bloodiest battleof the Civil War was fought,

to Appomattox Courthouse, where it ended.

Under the new plan, the Park Service was now expected to

protect and interpret morethan a dozen nonmilitary

historic sites, as well: The Statue of Liberty in

New York's Harbor; Mount Rushmore in South Dakota;

and manyof the District of Columbia's

most hallowed places,

including the Lincoln Memorial, the shrine to

the president who in 1864 hadgiven the national park

idea its first tentative expression.

National parks now embracedthe idea of America itself.

MAN: Our national heritageis richer than just

scenic features.

The realization is coming that perhaps our greatest national

heritage is nature itself withall its complexity and its

abundance of life.

George Melendez Wright.

COYOTE: During To-tu-ya'semotional return to Yosemite,

one of her escorts, chosenbecause he was fluent

in Spanish, was a young ParkService employee named

George Melendez Wright.

He had been born into awealthy San Francisco family.

His mother came from one of El Salvador's most

prominent dynasties.

His father was a ship captain.

When they both diedprematurely, he was raised by

an aunt, who encouraged hisfascination with the natural

world, which led to a degree in zoology.

Working in Yosemite as anassistant park naturalist,

Wright became convinced thatthe parks were fulfilling only

part of their purpose.

By focusing so much on attracting visitors,

park managers had overlookedanother responsibility,

which Wright called "the veryheart of the National Park

"System," preserving wildlife in its natural state.

MAN AS GEORGE MELENDEZ WRIGHT:When a tourist enters the

park, he is looking for thesame concentration of animals

he saw in the paddocks of the zoological garden.

A galaxy of bears at ourgarbage platform approximates

this concept, and he is satisfied.

Then comes a day when his heart skips a beat.

Walking along a deep foresttrail, he comes upon a single

bear eagerly peeling the bark from a log in search

of fat white grubs.

This is a fresh thrill, andit brings the realization that

the unique charm of theanimals in a national park

lies in their wildness,not their tameness, in their

primitive struggle to survive, rather than their fat

certainty of an easy living.

COYOTE: Though only in hismid-20s and near the bottom

of the Park Service careerladder, Wright proposed to his

superiors that he undertakesomething that had never been

done before, a scientificsurvey of wildlife conditions

in the parks.

It took a year of persuasion,but he finally won approval

for his plan, partlybecause of his persistence

and friendly personality andalso because the financially

independent Wright offeredto pay for the whole

thing himself.

In the summer of 1930 in a Buick Roadster he had

purchased and customized tocarry camping gear, cameras,

and scientific instruments,Wright set off with two

colleagues on an 11,000-miletour of the western parks.

They would keep at it for 4 consecutive years.

At each park, Wright kept a daily log

of the animals he saw.

He also gathered informationfrom his conversations

with people in the field, park rangers

and superintendents,local rangers and hunters,

old-timers who remembered what it was like back

in the 19th Century, anyone with information

about the state of wildlife in the parks, to augment what he

and his fellowresearchers were observing

with their own eyes.

Everywhere he went, Wrightdiscovered disturbing evidence

that the equilibrium of nature was out of kilter.

Coyotes, wolves, and mountainlions, even badgers and hawks

and owls were routinelyshot as unwelcome predators.

Buffalo were kept incorrals like domestic cows.

Elk, deer, and antelope were being fed hay

in the wintertime.

At Yellowstone, he learnedthat rangers had been ordered

to go to the nesting grounds of white pelicans and stomp

their eggs because it wasfeared that grown pelicans

deprived anglers of too many fish.

The bears meanwhile weretreated like pets, fed scraps

of food at staged eventseach evening near the parks'

garb ncouraged to beg for handouts from tourists.

MAN AS GEORGE MELENDEZ WRIGHT:The average citizen expects

more intelligence from a bear than he has any

right to expect.

He goes on the assumption that if he feeds a bear two sticks

of candy and does not wantto give it a third he is

the one to say,"No, no," and he believes that

the bear is to be accused of an unforgivable breach

of etiquette if it takes allthe candy out of his hand

and perhaps takes the hand with it.

COYOTE: Wright eventually published two reports

proposing a radically new policy.

Unless threatened withextinction within in a park,

each native species, includingthe hated predators, he wrote,

"should be left to carry on its struggle

"for existence unaided."

MAN: When he said that "therare predators shall be

"protected in the national parks

"in proportion that they arepersecuted everywhere else,"

that was--that was revolutionary.

COYOTE: Wright also called forthe end of winter feedings,

closing the bear dumps, no more stocking streams

with nonnative fish, expansionof some park boundaries to

accommodate grazing habitsand changes in a multitude

of practices that had become ingrained.

Most park managers were unconvinced,

but Horace Albright, intriguedby the surveys, established

a new Wildlife Division in 1933

and named George Melendez Wright,

only 29 years old, as its chief.

MAN AS GEORGE MELENDEZ WRIGHT: If we destroy nature blindly,

it is a boomerang which will be our undoing.

Consecration to the task ofadjusting ourselves to the

natural environment so thatwe secure the best values from

nature without destroyingit is not useless idealism.

It is good hygiene for civilization.

MAN: Part of the changingrelationship with national

parks as we evolved as a nation went

from scenery to science.

The scenery was obvious.

It was overwhelming, it was stunning.

The science is not so obvious.

Science embraces mystery,and it begins to look into

the future in ways that mostpeople can't preserve.

It asks questions that mostpeople don't ask, and it says,

"We need to hold on to theseplaces, and I can't give you

"precise reason why, but thereason will come along later,

"and if we don't have them,we'll never be able to explore

"the answers to thequestions we'll be asking."

So they hold the answers toquestions we have not even

yet learned to ask.

[Frogs croaking]

WOMAN: I think it's the peoplethat pressure the government

to do the things that benefit them.

I don't think most politicianssit there and say, "Now what's

"the best thing I can do for the people today?"

But they hear from theirconstituents, and that's what

makes up their minds,

and the people really love their parks.

They mean a lot.

There's an emotional bond there, and they'll

fight for them.

WOMAN: There are no other Everglades in the world.

Nothing anywhere else is like them.

Their vast, glittering openness wider than

the enormous visible round ofthe horizon, the sweetness

of their massive winds under the dazzling blue

heights of space.

The miracle of the lightpours over the green and brown

expanse of saw grass andwater, shining and slow-moving

below, the grass and waterthat is the meaning central

face of the Everglades of Florida.

It is a river of grass.

Marjory Stoneman Douglas.

COYOTE: For centuries, the fresh waters of Lake

Okeechobee had flowed slowlyand yet unimpeded across

a vast swath of southern Florida toward the Gulf

of Mexico, a seemingly endless saw grass marsh punctuated by

cypress swamps and mangrove forests, creating

an environment unlike anything else on earth.

Its highest elevation is nevermore than a few feet above sea

level, yet its rich landscapesupports more than a thousand

different species of plants from royal palms

and smooth-barked gumbo limbo trees

to delicate orchids and bromeliads.

It is the only place wherealligators and crocodiles can

be found living side by side,and it is a critical breeding

ground for wading birds beyondcounting: egrets and ibises

and herons of all sizes, roseate spoonbills,

and the wood stork, the onlystork native to America.

GREENE: It's magnificent whenyou stand there and look out

on the vastness of it all.

Well, they call it a swamp,but it's really not a swamp

because the water moves everso slowly, but it moves.

COYOTE: Because of itstrackless impenetrability,

the Everglades became something of a sanctuary

for people, too.

In the 1800s when the SeminoleIndians were driven out

of Florida, small groupsescaped and found refuge deep

in the cypress trees and saw grass along

with the Miccosukee Tribe andhundreds of runaway slaves.

Later when the fashion inwomen's hats made the white

feathers of egrets morevaluable per ounce than gold,

plume hunters and poachers hid out in the Everglades

and slaughtered the birds there with impunity.

A few game wardens who daredtry to stop them were killed,

too, but a greater threat soonimperiled not just the birds

but the Everglades itself.

Napoleon Bonaparte Broward,elected governor on a slogan

of "Drain the Everglades" wasmerely one in a long series

of Florida politicians and promoters who built their

careers on the idea of turning the vast wetland into

a developer's promised land.

They had divided up theEverglades into lots that they

were selling to the suckers from up north.

They were selling land by the gallon.

COYOTE: As mechanized dredgesbegan digging drainage canals,

real estate speculators began offering land

at $1.00 an acre, then $20, then $50,

even though some of it was still underwater.

A succession of real estatebooms swept south Florida.

Much of the northernEverglades was turned into

sugar cane plantations, vegetable fields,

and cattle ranches.

The towns sprouting up alongthe coastline began taking

more and more land in the interior as their

populations swelled.

Then in the late 1920s in theMiami area, a small movement

began, hoping to save as much of the remaining

Everglades as possible.

The Florida Federation of Women's Clubs had already

preserved a 120-acre parcelcalled Royal Palms and given

it to the state.

That wasn't enough for Ernest Coe, a landscape

architect who had recently movedfrom Connecticut to Miami

and was shocked to learn thatrare orchids, exotic birds,

and so much else in the Everglades were being

systematically destroyed.

He decided to make it hislife's work to create a much

larger national park.

Coe threw himself into thecause, convening meetings,

firing off petitions, relentlessly pestering

politicians, and persuadingothers to join his crusade.

WOMAN AS DOUGLAS: I can't sayI've spent many years and months

communing with the Everglades.

To be a friend of theEverglades is not necessarily

to spend time wandering around out there.

It's too buggy, too wet,too generally inhospitable.

I suppose you could say theEverglades and I have the kind

of friendship whatdoesn't depend on constant

physical contact.

I know it's out there,and I know its importance.

Marjory Stoneman Douglas.

COYOTE: Marjory Stoneman Douglas soon became

the movement's most powerfulpublic voice, even though,

as she was the first to admit, she seemed an unlikely

champion of the cause.

She wouldn't voluntarily say,"Well, let's go have a picnic

in the Everglades," or, "Let'sgo boating in the Everglades."

She just wasn't that muchof an outdoor person really,

but she taught people about the Everglades.

She would go anywhere anytime to make a speech

about the Everglades.

COYOTE: A graduate ofWellesley College, Douglas had

come to Florida in 1915 toget a divorce after a brief

and unhappy marriage, then enlisted in the Navy

in World War I and servedwith the Red Cross in Europe.

"I wanted my own life in my own way," she said.

She became the "Miami Herald"society reporter but found

herself more interested in thestruggles for women's rights

and racial justice, earning areputation for her feistiness

and colorful writing.

When Ernest Coe turned herattention to the Everglades,

Douglas quickly agreed with him that its unique

combination of water,wildlife, and plants needed

federal protection, but atthe national level, many park

supporters were unsure whetherthe Everglades, lacking

dramatic mountains, waterfalls, or geysers,

was worthy of being a national park.

"A swamp is a swamp," one leading

conservationist said.

The National Park Service hasspent the first 15, 20 years

of its own existence promotingthe West, and suddenly,

the Everglades comes along,and the National Park Service

says, "But wait a minute. Where's the scenery?

"Where's the Canyons? Where's the mountains?

Why are people going to come here?"

COYOTE: Frederick Law OlmstedJr., who like his father had

helped define the nationalpark idea, was dispatched to

Florida to study the request.

"The quality of the scenery," he conceded, "is to

"the casual observer somewhatconfused and monotonous,

"perhaps rather subtle forthe average person in search

"of the spectacular."

Then at the end of a long day,Olmsted found himself near the

nighttime roost of thousandsof ibises and herons.

MAN AS OLMSTED: After dusk, flock after

flock came in from theirfeeding grounds and settled

in the thickets close at hand.

It was an unforgettable sightthat ranks high among the

natural spectacles of America.

MAN: Somebody can tell youabout a place, and you can nod

your head and say, "Yeah, boy, that's interesting."

Someone can show you aphotograph or a painting of it

and say, "Man, that'ssomething," but until you're

actually there, until you'rein the midst of the place,

where all your senses are involved, that's

the transformative moment,that's when you say,

"This is a place, and I am part of it."

COYOTE: Skeptical Park Service leaders, including

Horace Albright, made a seriesof official trips to decide

whether to support the idea.

So did George Melendez Wright, director of the new

Wildlife Division.

Both found it easier toconduct at least part of their

investigations from the air,floating above the Everglades

in the Good Year Blimp.

Both were astonished by what they saw.

"Unless this area is quicklyestablished as a national park,"

Wright warned, "the wildlife there will

"become extinct."

RUNTE: And then Horace Albright got in a blimp,

went over the Everglades,looked down, saw the wildlife,

saw the alligators and all theibises and all the wonderful

bird life, and said,"You know, this is a beautiful

"place, and I think this couldbe a park," and began to

change his mind.

And in the process of changing his mind,

it changed the Park Service's mind.

COYOTE: Finally, Ernest Coeand Marjory Stoneman Douglas'

efforts paid off.

A bill to create EvergladesNational Park passed Congress

by the narrowest of margins.

For the first time in history,a park had been created solely

for the preservation of animals and plants

and the environment that sustains them.

GREENE: It was an enchantedspot, and to me, that was the

closest thing to heaven on earth, and I spent almost

every weekend down in the alittle bitty boat cruising

Florida Bay and looking at the birds.

We didn't fish, we didn't speed around in a boat.

We just floated around and felt like we were

all part of it.

Us and the birds.

And the fish that we couldsee on the bottom the water

was so clear.

We were just being there part of it all.

I think that's what anational park is all about.

It gives people breathing room, it gives people

a tranquil atmosphere.

It gives them an opportunityto be a part of nature.

You're just part of it all,just part of the rest of it.

ROOSEVELT: Today for the first time, I have seen Glacier Park.

Perhaps I can best express toyou my thrill and delight by

saying that I wish that everyAmerican, old and young,

The great mountains, the glaciers, the lakes,

and the trees make me longto stay here for all

the rest of the summer.

To say from standpoint of scenery alone that--

MEN, SINGING: Where seldomis heard a discouraging word

And the skies are not cloudy all day

COYOTE: In Franklin DelanoRoosevelt, the national parks

had found their greatest friend in the White House

since the presidency of hiscousin Theodore Roosevelt

a generation earlier.

F.D.R. had developed his owndeep love of the outdoors

during his boyhood on his wealthy family's

country estate.

Adding historic sites andbattlefields to the national

parks had been simply a first step in the larger

reorganization F.D.R. and hisadministration contemplated,

but a much bigger issue demanded his attention.

The Great Depression had thrown 1 out of every 4

American wage earners out of work.

Factories shut down, farmswere foreclosed, unemployed

young men, concerned that theyhad become a burden to their

families, roamed the countryside

by the hundreds of thousands.

Many Americans wondered where their next meal

would come from.

In some cities, animals inthe zoo were shot and the meat

distributed to the poor.

Everyone in the United States was affected.

MAN: The welfare at that time was called relief.

It was sad when I found outthe source of that money.

It was from the paupers' fund,so that was hard to take,

but, hey, it kept us going.

COYOTE: Juan Lujan had grownup in west Texas near the tiny

town of Redford on the Rio Grande.

LUJAN: By the time I graduatedfrom high school, that was

the depth of the Depression,so that prompted me and my

mother to seek something,and one of the social workers

advised her about the CCCs.

COYOTE: The TVA, the PWA, the WPA, the CWA.

Among the alphabet soup ofprograms Roosevelt's New Deal

created to stimulate the economy and combat

unemployment was one especially dear to

the president's heart becauseit incorporated his concern

for conservation.

He had pushed it throughCongress in less than a week

after being inaugurated.

The Civilian ConservationCorps put young men to work

in national forests, stateparks, and national parks,

clearing brush and replantingforests, fighting fires,

building visitor sheltersand ranger cabins, improving

campsites and trails.

Horace Albright was part of the early planning,

and because the Park Servicealready had a long list

of projects ready to go, it was given a lead

role in the new program.

Within 3 months, 1,000 CCC camps were up and running

with nearly 300,000 young menat work in them, sending money

back home, helping millions of Americans.

LUJAN: Prior to the CCC, I didn't know anything

about national parks exceptwhat I read in my history

books, that they existed somewhere.

I had never been to a national park before.

COYOTE: Juan Lujan wasdispatched to help develop

what would become Big BendNational Park in Texas.

LUJAN: We were housed in barracks,

we ate in a mess hall just like the military,

and we had a certain discipline.

We'd get up early in the morning, do calisthenics.

That was before breakfast,and you'd better be

at the calisthenics.

Otherwise, KP, kitchen patrol.

COYOTE: For many, it was theirfirst time away from home

and their first real encounterwith the natural world.

Burton Appleton from Brooklynwas sent to Glacier National

Park in northwest Montana.

I once visited my brotherin Hackettstown, New Jersey,

which was maybe 50 miles west of the Hudson River.

I had an aunt who lived out on Long Island,

Eastport, Long Island.

Maybe that was 50 miles.

I can't remember visiting anyplace else.

Those are the only two timesthat I think I had left

Brooklyn, New York.

We'd been on the train for about 4 days, and we were

awakened at a stop, and Ilooked out the window of my

upper berth, and there wasthis mountain with snow

in April, and of course,in Brooklyn, we had a bluff

maybe in Prospect Park wecould walk up, but nothing

like that in my past.

Another thing I remember isthat I was out there by myself

one day with my Kodak boxcamera, and I--to this day,

I don't believe it.

A deer walked up to me within 10 feet maybe.

I stood stock still.

I couldn't believe that,and I took a picture, and as

soon as I clicked the camera,the deer turned tail an ran,

and I have that photo.

COYOTE: Claude Tyler, at age 16 the eldest of 6 boys and

2 girls in a desperately poorfarm family from Blossom,

Texas, was dispatched to thebarren wastes of Death Valley

National Monument.

TYLER: We loaded on a trucksomewheres in that area

and went to Death Valley,and it was pretty warm then,

but in June, it really did get hot.

Fifth day of June, it was 120 in the shade.

270 foot below sea level.

Well, it was hot, and usboys kind of got toughened

to it, I think.

We all got a good suntan.

COYOTE: Tyler was then sent to Lassen Volcanic National Park

in northern California, a peak more than

10,000 feet above sea level.

TYLER: I'd never been to the mountains before.

It was all new to me.

Kind of short-winded thefirst time I went up there.

Ha ha ha!

Get up above the tree line,why, you get short of breath,

and I would make pictures andsend them home and tell them I

was doing all right and this is where I'm at, and Mother

would write and say, "Well, you be careful

on those mountains."

We got paid $30 a month ofwhich a whole $5.00 was ours.

The rest of it went home,and $25 a month seems like

nothing, but it made a big difference.

Money and dignity wasimportant because whenever you

need a shirt and you buy it,if you bought it with your own

money, that's a good feeling.

ROOSEVELT: It's very good to be here at these

Virginia CCC camps.

I wish I could see them all over the country.

I hope that all over thecountry they're in as fine

condition as the camps that I have seen today.

I wish that I could take acouple of months off from the

White House and come down hereand live with them because I

know I'd get full of health the way I have.

LUJAN: We almost thought he was God.

We really liked him.

Because at the same time,there were many other programs

having nothing to do with theCCC, but there was progress,

there was work, there was money in

the community circulating.

COYOTE: Besides theconservation work they did,

the men also participated inorganized sports, hobby clubs,

discussion groups, andclasses meant to prepare them

for getting jobs once they left the camps.

At Big Bend, Juan Lujan helpedlay the foundations for new

park buildings and then,because he spoke both Spanish

and English fluently, became a museum guide.

He was also put to work teaching his

less-educated comrades.

LUJAN: Most of the enrollees in that particular camp had

not graduated from high school.

Many of them had little orno education, and those of us

that had some, we volunteeredto teach classes, and some

of them wanted to learn howto read and write Spanish.

I taught some of those, too.

COYOTE: Juan Lujan would goon to college, something his

mother always wanted him to do, eventually earn a master's

and then a doctoral degreeand continue teaching others

for the rest of his life.

After his time at Lassen, Claude Tyler returned

to Blossom, Texas.

TYLER: I went back to school for a year.

I went over to the school house, and the teacher wanted

me to go from a--I had onlyfinished about the fifth

grade, and he looked oversome of the things that I took

in CC camps and correspondence courses, and he put me

in the first year in highschool, and so I went one year

in high school, and that's the last

of the education that I had.

It's because my parents hadn't really got up

on their feet real good.

I went back to CC camps andstayed two terms in there.

APPLETON: I was not a very good high-school student.

My grades were not all thatgood, and I am convinced to

this day that the only reasonI was able to matriculate

at the New York State Collegeof Forestry was that I

convinced the registrar orthe dean of admissions of my

experience in the CCC.

That's what the CCC did for me.

COYOTE: Over the course of the Depression, more than

3 million men would find work atone time or another with the

Civilian Conservation Corps.

They would build more than97,000 miles of fire roads

in national forests, combatsoil erosion on 84 million

acres of farmland, and plant3 billion trees, more than one

half the total reforestation accomplished

in the nation's history.

During that time, some$218 million would be pumped

into projects solely within the national parks,

including trails and buildingsthat remain to this day.

RUNTE: The Depression is a golden age

because the National ParkService is a federal agency,

and it's going to get all of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's

"let's rebuild the nation" dollars.

And the budgets of theNational Park Service soar,

and as the National ParkService looks at projects that

could put people to work, Congress agrees,

and Franklin Delano Roosevelt agrees,

and the National Park Service

suddenly finds itself swimmingin money relative to what it

had in the 1920s.

ROOSEVELT: We are definitely in an era of building today,

the best kind of building,

the building of great public projects

for the benefit of thepublic and with the definite

objective of building humanhappiness at the same time.

TYLER: Looking back on it now,I believe that it helped a lot

of families have a better life.

I realize now that it was forthe benefit of the economy,

too, but I believe that a lotof families might not have

been able to survive if it hadn't have been

for that program.

And I got to see a lot of theworld that I wouldn't have

seen before that if I hadn'thave done to the CC camps.

Mount Lassen was outstanding all right.

Death Valley was just hot.

I don't know whether I'dcall that a favorite memory,

but I can remember it.


SCHULLERY: The national parkshave always been managed

pretty much by the values of their time.

It was still spectacle.

Wild beauty was defined onsuperficial levels that had

very little to do with wildness and how wildness

actually works.

Oddly enough, it's thescientists who had the most to

do with redefining beauty.

MAN AS GEORGE MELENDEZ WRIGHT: In the end, the National Park

Service either will be praisedfor intelligently conserving

the last fragments ofprimitive America or condemned

for failure to hold to the real purpose.

George Melendez Wright.

WOMAN: I think his passionreally shows through

in his writing.

He was very persuasive.

He could convince people whoreally were against his ideas,

he could bring them along.

He was a joyous person.

He was very comfortable inhis own skin, not egotistical

but very confident in himself.

He was a small person evenby Hispanic standards

but with a big heart, mind, and presence.

COYOTE: By 1936, GeorgeMelendez Wright was married

with a growing family, but he was busier

with is work than ever.

The Wildlife Division he hadstarted within in the Park

Service now had 27 biologistspromoting Wright's vision that

park policies had to takethe animals and plants into

account, not just the tourists.

His personal interest inYellowstone's trumpeter swans,

the largest and most rare ofAmerican water fowl, which had

been reduced by hunting toa mere handful of breeding

pairs, had turned into apersonal crusade to save them

from extinction.

Wright solicited the helpof local rod and gun clubs,

lobbied state fish and gamecommissions and other federal

agencies, even donated some of his own money again to create

a special wildlife refuge thatultimately brought the swans

back from the brink.

MAN AS GEORGE MELENDEZ WRIGHT:Sometimes while I'm watching

these birds, the illusion ofthe untouchability of this

wilderness becomes so strongthat it is stronger than

the reality, and the polishedroadway becomes the illusion,

the mirage that has no substance.

COYOTE: In February, the traveled to the newly

authorized Big Bend NationalPark in southwest Texas,

where the Chisos Mountains rise out of the Chihuhuan

Desert and the Rio Grande cutsthrough a series of dramatic

canyons separating theUnited States from Mexico.

With Roger Toll, anotherrising star within the Park

Service, Wright was part of atwo-nation commission studying

the possibility of aninternational park straddling

both sides of the border.

His fluency in Spanish and hisoutgoing disposition helped

him make friends with his Mexican counterparts.

After the meeting, he and Toll headed for home.

Near Deming, New Mexico,an oncoming car blew a tire

and crashed head-on into their vehicle.

Both men were killed.

George Melendez Wright was 31.

Without him,the Park Service's interest

in wildlife waned.

By the end of the decade,of the 27 biologists who had

once been under hissupervision, only 9 were left.

MAN: Scenery without wildlife is scenery.

Wildlife is a component of the grander scene.

Without that wildlife, you don't have

a national park.

George Melendez Wright wasa savior of wildlife

in America's national parks,but more importantly,

George Melendez Wright is a savior

of the national park ideal.

ROOSEVELT: I'm very keen about travel, not only personally--

you know that--but also travelfor as many Americans as can

possibly afford it because thoseAmericans will be fulfilling

a very desirable objective ofour citizenship, getting to

know their own country better,and the more they see of it,

the more they will realizethe privileges which God

and nature have given to the American people.

COYOTE: Throughout the Depression,

President Roosevelt made anumber of well-publicized visits

to the national parks, glorying in the chance to be outdoors

in the midst of such stunninglandscapes, even if the polio

that had destroyed his legsconfined him to the backseat

of his touring car, and he cheerfully encouraged his

ROOSEVELT: I decided todaythat every year ought

to be National Parks Year.

There is nothing so Americanas our national parks.

The scenery and wildlife are native, and the fundamental

idea behind the parks is native.

It is in brief that thecountry belongs to the people.

They are not for the rich alone.

COYOTE: Despite hard times,the number of park visitors

continued to rise during the1930s from roughly 3 million

a year at the start of thedecade to 15.5 million

in 1939, and Roosevelt wasintent on setting aside more

places for them to visit.

He turned his attention tothe northwestern corner of

Lake Superior off the coastof Minnesota and Michigan

and the largest freshwaterisland in the world, creating

Isle Royale National Park.

The president also used his authority under

the Antiquities Act to bypassCongress altogether and create

a string of national monuments.

Some of them would eventuallybe elevated to park status,

including Joshua Tree insouthern California, named

for the distinctive plantsMormon pioneers believed

looked in silhouette liked theProphet Joshua raising his

arms to beckon them forward.

The Dry Tortugas, a remote cluster of 7 tiny islands

70 miles off thesouthernmost tip of Florida.

On one island sits thelargest brick fortification

in the world, Fort Jefferson,

used during the Civil War as a prison.

Capitol Reef in Utah, where a hundred-mile fold

in the earth's crust exposes apanoply of differently colored

rock formations the Navajo Indians called

The Land of the Sleeping Rainbow.

And off the coast of Santa Barbara,

the Channel Islands,

a crucial breeding ground forhundreds of animal species,

including the California brownpelican, whose nesting place

had virtually disappearedeverywhere else in the western

United States, an oasis ofundeveloped land just a few

miles from the explosive urbangrowth of greater Los Angeles.

All clear!

ROOSEVELT: We should rememberthat the development of our

national park system over aperiod of many years has not

been a simple bed of roses.

It has been a long and fiercefight against many private

interests, which were entrenched in political

and economic power.

MAN: This is an allocationout of the total sum...

COYOTE: No one was morewilling to take on entrenched

interests than the president's

irascible Secretary of theInterior Harold Ickes,

a self-described old curmudgeon.

A Chicago lawyer and formerRepublican stalwart known

equally for his explosivetemper and his fierce devotion

to New Deal policies, he hadbecome one of Roosevelt's

closest and most controversial advisors.

"The meanest man who ever sat in a cabinet office

"in Washington," Horace Albright said,

"and the best Secretaryof the Interior we ever had."

Ickes fought battles on every front.

One of his first acts wasto abolish the department's

segregated lunchrooms.

Then he told the nationalparks in the South to simply

ignore local Jim Crow laws

requiring separate facilities for blacks.

At Virginia's Shenandoah National Park, signs

segregating campgrounds or picnic areas were

quietly taken down.

Ickes make more enemies byrepeatedly proposing the

creation of a Department ofConservation that would put

national parks, nationalforests, and all other natural

resources under the sameadministrative control--his.

Congress repeatedly refused,but he continued to have

Roosevelt's ear and trustand was tirelessly effective

in advocating new parksregardless of the opposition.

In 1937, Roosevelt and Ickes entered

into a park controversy thathad been raging for 30 years.

On the Olympic Peninsula westof Seattle, majestic mountains

trapped the moist Pacific winds, which dropped

160 inches of rain a year,nurturing verdant rain forests

that contained the largestspecimens in the world

of Douglas fir, red cedar, western hemlock,

and Sitka spruce.

For centuries, it was thehomeland of native tribes like

the Makah and Quinault, the Hoh and Skokomish.

Over the years, more than10 different bills had been

introduced in Congress tomake Mount Olympus National

Monument into a National Park.

Each one was defeated, caughtin a seemingly endless battle

between the Forest Serviceand the Park Service.

Meanwhile, loggers wereapproaching the last virgin

stands of rain forest.

"Left to the care of theForest Service," Harold Ickes

contended, "such places suffered the same fate as

"a pig in the stockyards.

All that is left," he said, "is the squeal."

POPE: Harold Ickes was one ofthe few Interior Secretaries

of the 20th Century who was asbig as the parks because Ickes

was the first Secretary of theInterior who really engaged

the fact that you could savea place once somebody had

aspirations on it.

The early parks werecreated before anybody big

and powerful had aspirations,and when San Francisco,

which was big and powerful,drew its bead on Hetch Hetchy,

San Francisco won, Hetch Hetchy lost.

Ickes said, "Wait a minute.

"Big, powerful people may have their aspirations

"on the Olympics,but they don't have to win."

COYOTE: The president decidedto have a look for himself,

but his visit was arrangedby the Forest Service and its

allies in the lumber and pulpmill industries, all of them

intent on convincing Rooseveltthat a national park would

ruin an already suffering local economy.

No detail was overlooked.

They excluded allPark Service officials from

the invitation list, scheduleda massive logging train to

rumble past the president'slodge during his breakfast,

a not-so-subtle reminder ofthe jobs at stake, and they

moved the sign marking theNational Forest boundary to

give the impression that a heavily logged area,

now several square miles of burned stumps, was not

on federal land.

"I hope the son of a bitchwho's responsible for this is

"roasting in hell," Rooseveltsaid, not realizing that he

was actually looking at anational forest and his guide

was the forest supervisor.

When Roosevelt learnedabout the deception, it only

increased his commitment to protect the forest.

On June 29, 1938, withthe president's passionate

support, Congress convertedthe National Monument to

Olympic National Park and gaveRoosevelt the authority to

expand its boundaries,which he soon did, saving two

of the most threatened valleysby stripping an additional

187,000 acres away from the Forest Service.

MAN: When the weekend comesaround, I get restless.

At night, I bring maps ofMount Rainier into bed with me

and fall asleep looking at them.

When it's time to depart fora trip, I cannot stay in bed

any longer and get up before anyone else.

I can't wait to go hiking again.

Iwao Matsushita.

COYOTE: Among the millions of people who

took President Roosevelt'sadvice to visit national parks

were Iwao Matsushita and hiswife Hanaye, Japanese citizens

who had moved to Seattle in 1919.

Each Sunday, the Seattle Camera Club, which he had

helped start, organized outings to nearby

Mount Rainier National Park,where Matsushita not only took

still photographs but alsocreated home movies and kept

a small journal to record their adventures.

[Projector running]

MAN AS IWAO MATSUSHITA: Beyondthese high valleys, you can

see the craggily whitemountains, whose peaks are

showing through a thick fog.

It is a view worthy of a sumi-e painting.

Looking to the north, you cansee Mount Rainier appearing

majestically like our kingof mountains Mount Fuji.

I sit on a patch of heather.

I marvel at the speed with which clouds are

changing their shape.

I crouch by a stream fed bythe remaining snow to enjoy

a cold drink of water and open up my sushi.

COYOTE: By the mid-1930s,Iwao and Hanaye had visited

the park more than 100 times,drawn to the place they called

Holy Mountain.

MAN AS IWAO MATSUSHITA:Everyone here is having a good

old time, and no one had a reason to frown.

Like a paradise of our own world and time.

Looking up, I feel as thoughthe great snowy mountain were

an affectionate mother to all the people playing

on her slopes.

COYOTE: Farther to the south,another Japanese immigrant was

finding similar joy and inspiration

in another national park.

MAN: Success or failure is not my aim in life.

Whether I be a flake ofsnow or only a drop of dew,

I do not care.

I wish only to paint with gratitude to nature in my

heart and with sincerity in my brush.

This is my future, this is my biography.

Chiura Obata.

COYOTE: Chiura Obata hadarrived in the United States

in 1903 at age 17, a promisingyoung painter whose original

intention was to stay only briefly in America before

going on to Paris to continuehis career, but he soon set

down roots in San Francisco,creating some of the only

on-site sketches of thedestruction wrought by the

Great 1906 Earthquake, makinga name for himself in the bay

area's international artcommunity, even co-founding

the first Japanese-Americanbaseball team on the mainland.

Then in 1927, he visited the high Sierra

and John Muir's Yosemite.

MAN AS CHIURA OBATA: In theevening, it gets very cold.

The coyotes howl in the distance.

In the mid-sky, the moon is arcing.

All the trees arestanding here and there...

[Coyote howls]

and it is very quiet.

[Water running]

You can learn from the teachings within

this quietness.

Some people teach by speeches,some by talking, but I think

it is important that you are taught by silence.

WOMAN: I think for mygrandfather it was not only

that he was able to paintthis landscape, but for him,

it became a spiritualinspiration, as well, and he

would describe it that thiswas "the greatest harvest

"for my whole life and futurein painting," and not only did

he paint for art that he would bring home but also even just

little postcards.

He sent several postcards backto his children back home.

One of them reads, "Gyo-chan,the lovely moon is gone.

"It went to bed early to sleep.

"Grow big and shine more."

COYOTE: For two months, heand two other artist friends

tramped the high country,taking in all the park had to

offer, exposing Obata to whathe called "not just shizen,"

or nature, "but dai-shizen, great nature."

Obata's Yosemite images drewhuge crowds when they were put

on exhibit and rave reviews from the critics.

"To see our native beauty spots through the eyes

"of a foreign artist of highrank," one of them wrote,

"is to find new charm in our own land."

By the 1930s, Obata had beenasked to join the art faculty

at the University ofCalifornia, and every summer,

he and his family would returnto Yosemite, where he gave

lectures, taught outdoor sketching classes to the

tourists, and made his annualpilgrimage to a special mountain

spring, whose clear water he collected for use in making

his paints throughout the rest of the year.

MAN AS CHIURA OBATA:I dedicate my paintings first to

the great nature ofCalifornia, which has always

given me great lessons, comfort, and nourishment,

second to the people who sharethe same thoughts as though

drawing water from one river under one tree.

My paintings, created by the humble brush of a mediocre man,

are nothing but expressions of my

whole-hearted praise and gratitude.

COYOTE: By 1940, thanks ingreat part to the national

parks they had come to cherish as their own,

both Chiura Obata and Iwao Matsushita

had decidedthe United States was home,

even if its laws atthe time prohibited them from

becoming citizens becausethey had been born in Japan.

When the company he workedfor ordered him back to Tokyo,

Matsushita resigned.

The Depression would makefinding a new job difficult,

but he and Hanaye wanted to stay close to their

Holy Mountain.

MAN AS IWAO MATSUSHITA:I enjoy my life in Seattle.

I have so many happy memorieswith nice people, both

Japanese and Americans.

I have visited Mount Rainier,my lover, more than 190 times.

I cannot leave Seattle when Ithink of the beautiful views

of Mount Rainier.

Iwao Matsushita.

MAN: Fortunate he is who maysee Mount McKinley against

the summer midnight sky, thelush fern forests of Kilauea,

the white jubilance of Yosemite's waters,

and the somber rock and surfof Acadia National Park.

To record and interpretthese qualities for others,

to brighten the drab moods of cities, and build high

horizons of the spirit on theedge of plain and desert,

these are some of the many obligations of art.

Ansel Adams.

COYOTE: In 1938, a book arrived at Harold Ickes'

It was filled with stunningimages of the mountainousil."

Kings River Canyon region ofthe southern Sierra, captured

by an aspiring photographer named Ansel Adams.

This was his first book oflandscapes, and since he knew

that Ickes was interested inmaking the area a national

park, Adams had sent it alongwith his personal compliments.

Ickes took it to the White House to show

President Roosevelt, wholiked it so much he quickly

appropriated it for his own.

Ansel Adams was on his way tobecoming the most influential

photographer for the cause of national parks since

William Henry Jackson's imagesof Yellowstone had helped

persuade Congress to create the world's

first park in 1872.

There is this unendingargument about whether art can

affect human affairs, andI think Ansel is one great

example of how it did.

Muir is another example.

Muir's writings absolutelyhad effect, and it wasn't just

propaganda writings.

It was his evocative descriptive writings

of the Sierras.

Same with Ansel.

Ansel used his photographs inthis movement and used them

very effectively.

COYOTE: The sensitive onlychild of a patrician

San Francisco family, Adamshad first encountered nature

during a family trip to Yosemite.

There, seeing thewaterfalls and the rock faces,

El Capitan,The Three Brothers, Half Dome,

he was transfixed.

"We should not casually passthem," Adams wrote later,

"for they are the very heartof the earth speaking to us."

"I knew my destiny," he added,

"when I first experienced Yosemite."

In the 1920s when he made two pack trips into the

Kings Canyon Country, it ignitedin him the conviction that

the place was just asinspirationally spectacular as

Yosemite and equally deserving of federal protection.

It was an old dream.

John Muir had fought forit and failed in the 1890s.

Then Stephen Mather had taken up the cause

with the same result.

Now Adams and the Sierra Clubbelieved they had an ally who

shared the dream and had thepower to make it come true--

Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes.

"If I had my way aboutnational parks," Ickes said,

"I would create one without aroad in it, a place where man

"would not try to improve upon God."

Ickes saw in Kings Canyonhis chance to create a new

kind of park,a wilderness park in which

roads, hotels, and other large developments would be banned.

He thought it should be calledthe John Muir Kings Canyon

Wilderness Park, and he threwhimself into the fight against

the forces that instead wanteddams, irrigation projects,

grazing, timber harvesting,and elaborate tourist resorts.

Through a series of shrewdmaneuvers, he turned one

private interest group againstthe other, waged ceaseless

battle against the ForestService's efforts to retain

control over the land, and persuaded most

of the major conservationgroups not to abandon their

support because of the compromises he felt

he had to make.

"Ickes was," one opponent of the park said,

"overambitious, egocentric,ruthless, unethical,

"and highly effective."

In the final moments beforethe vote in Congress, the name

was simplified, dropping any reference

to John Muir and wilderness.

On March 4, 1940, PresidentRoosevelt signed the law

creating Kings Canyon National park.

Because it was a roadless parkand because of his disability,

Roosevelt would never be ableto see Kings Canyon in person.

Instead, he contented himselfwith following John Muir's

trail through the photographsand words of Ansel Adams.

MAN AS ANSEL ADAMS: The dawnwind in the high Sierra is not

just a passage of cool airthrough forest conifers,

but within the labyrinth ofhuman consciousness becomes

a stirring of some world magicof most delicate persuasion.

Here are forces familiarwith the eons of creation,

contemplating the flow of lifeand of change through living

things, each of them tied to cloud, stone, and sunlight.

We may make new discoveries about ourselves.

COYOTE: In the fall of 1941,Ickes decided Adams could be

of even greater assistance.

He put him on the InteriorDepartment's payroll at $22.22

a day and told him to bringback photographs of all the

parks for prominent displayin the capital city.

Adams said it was one of the best ideas ever to come out

of Washington and happilypacked up his station wagon to

set out on his assignment.

Off and on for the next 8 years, he would compile

thousands of images of thenational parks and visit every

one of them except, to hisgreat regret, the Everglades.

[Radio static]

ANNOUNCER: This bulletin from the NBC Newsroom

here in New York.

SECOND ANNOUNCER: We've just had a flash...

ANNOUNCER: Actionagainst Pearl Harbor defenses.

SECOND ANNOUNCER: saying that a state of war exists

with the United States.

THIRD ANNOUNCER: That the Japanese have attacked

the United States Naval Base.

SECOND ANNOUNCER: Now webegin to see through things,

it's obvious that the--the,uh, Imperial General's staff

has precipitated an attack and now announces

that that attack is war.

COYOTE: But just a few monthsafter Adams began his travels,

the Japanese attacked PearlHarbor, and the United States

was thrust into another World War.

Now Adams pursued his projectwith even greater passion.

To those who questionedwhether his artistry could be

put to a better purpose in wartime, he had

a simple reply.

"I believe my work," he wrote,"relates most efficiently to

"what we are fighting for."

Like everything else inAmerican life, the national

parks now found themselvessubordinated to the all-out

effort to defeat Japan and its ally Germany.

The CCC camps closed down asthe men who had been working

on trails and park buildings became soldiers and shipped

out overseas.

Park budgets were cut to a quarter of their

pre-war levels.

Just as in the First World War, pressures mounted to open

them up to timber cutting,mining, and grazing.

Harold Ickes did his best do minimize the damage.

MAN AS ANSEL ADAMS: WhenWorld War II began, there were

strong pressures in manycircles to close the national

parks for the duration withthe thought that no one needs

a vacation in wartime.

Ickes disagreed with this,stating that in times

of national stress and sorrowthe people needed precisely

what the national parks could offer.

Ansel Adams.

COYOTE: When Ickes informedRoosevelt that a proposed

bombing range wouldendanger the breeding grounds

of the rare trumpeter swanthat George Melendez Wright

had worked so hard topreserve, the president dashed

off a quick note to his Secretary of War

countermanding the decision.

"The verdict is for thetrumpeter swan and against

"the Army," Roosevelt wrote.

"The Army must find a different nesting place."

In 1941, the year leading up to

America's entry into the war,a record 21 million people had

visited the national parks.

The next year, the figuredropped to 9 million, then to

6.8 million in 1943.

All across the system, many park rangers changed

uniforms and went off to war.

"Poor, old National Park Service is in a bad way,"

a now retiredHorace Albright wrote to his

successor after being informed of all the cutbacks,

but the parks still had a role to play.

At Mount Rainier, units of what would become

the 10th Mountain Division were taught how to survive in high

altitudes and cold weather.

War planners also realized that national parks could

provide much needed rest and recuperation

for battle-weary soldiers.

The Navy took over the swankAhwahnee Hotel in Yosemite

for a convalescence center.

Rest camps went up in Sequoia, Carlsbad Caverns,

the Grand Canyon,

and Mount McKinleyNational Park in Alaska was

transformed into an army recreation camp.

Soldiers stationed in theAleutian Islands could fish,

hike, ski, skate, and relax.

In 1943, 1.6 million soldiers found

momentary solace and enjoyment in a national park,

1/4 of the total visitation.

That same year, Ansel Adamsinterrupted his photographic

survey and went to theOwens Valley of California

in the eastern shadow of Mount Whitney to document

something entirely different.

After the surprise attackon Pearl Harbor, President

Roosevelt signed an executiveorder requiring all people

of Japanese descent living onthe West Coast, even those who

were United States citizens,to be uprooted from their

homes and sent to internment camps

for the duration of the war.

"We must prosecute this warwith all ruthless efficiency,"

Adams wrote after he had photographed the Manzanar

Internment Camp, "but we mustbe certain that, as the rights

"of the individual are themost sacred elements of our

"society, we will not allowpassion, vengeance, hatred,

"and racial antagonism to cloud the principles of universal

"justice and mercy."

WOMAN: Dear Husband, I'm a little too much tired,

but I'm sure I can live here all right.

Just imagine a mountain camp.

When the sky's clear, we will see our holy

Mount Rainier, I suppose.

I will write you again very soon.

Lovingly yours, Hanaye.

COYOTE: Because he had workedfor a Japanese company,

Iwao Matsushita was arrestedand taken away from his wife

in the first hours after Pearl Harbor.

Hanaye was put in a temporarydetention center near Seattle,

where she tried her bestto boost the spirits of her

husband far away in an internment camp

in western Montana.

WOMAN AS HANAYE MATSUSHITA:Dear Husband, after severe

rain, the sky became clear,and we saw Mount Rainier over

the hill yesterday for the first time.

There will actually be aday when you'll be released

and we'll be able to rest peacefully.

Once in a while, I dreamabout running around the base

of Mount Rainier.

Remember the times we hikedthrough the mountain together?

It all seems like a dream.

MAN AS CHIURA OBATA: The sudden burst of Pearl Harbor

was as if the Mother Earth onwhich we stood was swept by

the terrific force of a big wave of resentment

of the American people.

Our dignity and our hopes were crushed.

COYOTE: Friends of Chiura Obata had pleaded with the

federal government that theartist posed no security

threat and even suggested thathe be taken instead to his

beloved Yosemite.

The request was denied.

Obata and his family were forced to go to a camp

in Topaz, Utah.

To help keep his and hisfellow prisoners' minds off

what he called"the intolerable sin" of their

incarceration, Obata openedan art school at the camp

and continued his own sketching and painting.

HILL: So here he wasbasically with a community

of fellow Japanese.

"Yes, we are in this desert, but don't just look

"at the dust and the ground,don't just be depressed

"about what's happening.

"You can somehow lift your spirits by looking

"at the mountains that are surrounding us."

They were not the same mountains that he had

experienced in the Sierrasof course, and yet,

he felt comforted.

He would use that word.

"I still feel comforted andnurtured by great nature."

And he wanted other peopleto understand this, as well.

COYOTE: One of his paintings,"Moonlight Over Topaz,"

was given to the president'swife, Eleanor Roosevelt,

in thanks for her speakingout for fair treatment

of Japanese Americans.

Years later in remembranceof his personal ordeal, Obata

would paint "Glorious Struggle," the image of a tree

in Yosemite's high Sierra,whose own struggle to survive

seemed to give him strengthand hope in his darkest hour.

One subject he loved to paint again and again

was the sequoia.

For him, they were this great vertical

line that connected heaven andearth, and for him, he saw

the life of a person in thesetrees and that no matter the

storms and trials of life thatthese trees survive with great

dignity and great strength.

MAN AS CHIURA OBATA: In suchtimes, I heard the gentle

but strong whisper of the Sequoia gigantean.

"Hear me, you poor man.

"I've stood here more than3,700 years in rain, snow,

"storm, and even mountain fire, still keeping my thankful

"attitude strongly with nature.

"Do not cry, do not spend yourtime and energy worrying.

"You have children following.

"Keep up your unity. Come with me."

Chiura Obata.

COYOTE: In the midst of the war, a letter arrived

at the White House for President Roosevelt.

MAN: My dear Mr. President, many years ago,

I purchased some 30,000 acres of land

in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, confidently expecting

that the federal government would gladly accept

the land as a gift to be addedto its national park system.

15 years have passed.

The government has not accepted the property.

I have now determined to dispose of the property,

selling it if necessary in the market to any

satisfactory buyer.

Very sincerely, John D. Rockefeller Jr.

COYOTE: The longestfestering fight in the history

of the parks was about to erupt into

a full-scale battle.

Back in the 1920s, Horace Albright had shown

Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller Jr.

the flat, sage-brush- coveredplain called Jackson Hole

and explained to them his dream that all of it,

the valley floor as well as

the mountains, would oneday be preserved, but when

Congress had created GrandTeton National Park in 1929,

it left the valley alone andset aside only the mountains.

Meanwhile, Rockefellercontinued anonymously buying

up ranches and homesteads inthe valley with the intention

of donating it all for thepark's expansion, but Wyoming

politicians, who had learnedof Rockefeller's scheme,

did everything they could tothwart his plan, not wanting

Washington to tell them what they could and could not do

with their land.

The state's sole congressmaneven introduced a bill calling

for the complete abolitionof Grand Teton National Park

despite the fact that the mountains were not part

of the dispute.

MAN AS HORACE ALBRIGHT:I must confess I get pretty

discouraged at times in trying to understand some

of the people out there.

It almost makes one weep, not for one's self

because after all whatdifference does it make to

an individual what happens to Wyoming, but one weeps

for Wyoming itself.

Horace Albright.

COYOTE: Albright was a privatecitizen but more determined

than ever to see his dream fulfilled.

In 1943 with Congress stillunwilling to enlarge the park,

he and Rockefeller and Harold Ickes decided that their

only hope lay in the president's unique authority under

the Antiquities Act to create a national monument.

Rockefeller's letter toRoosevelt was meant to prod

the president into action.

It worked.

On March 15, 1943, Rooseveltsigned an executive order

establishing Jackson HoleNational Monument, placing

221,610 acres of federal landon the eastern border of

Grand Teton National Parkunder Park Service control.

In Wyoming, the response was a declaration of political war.

The president, one senatorsaid, had committed

"a foul, sneaking, Pearl Harbor blow."

A journalist wrote thatRoosevelt's action followed

the general lines of Adolf Hitler's

seizure of Austria.

MAN: When this happened, it was a big uproar,

lots of talk,lots of talk, and the ranchers

were totally opposed, andthey thought their grazing

rights were being destroyed.

COYOTE: Wyoming's governorthreatened to use state police

against any National Parkofficial attempting to assume

authority in the new monument.

Some Forest Service employeesgutted their ranger stations

before turning them over tothe Park Service, and hoping

to provoke a confrontation anddraw attention to their cause,

a group of armed localranchers, led by the aging

movie star Wallace Beery, defiantly herded 500 head

of cattle across themonument without a permit.

MAN: I was born here in Jackson Hole in 1912.

There was pretty strongresentment about the manner

in which the monument had beencreated, and we had rifles,

and wthe monument land, andt Wallace Beery was right

at the--right at the head.

ostensibly to shoot anybodywho might try to stop us.

No one tried to stop us, but we did get

a lot of attention.

COYOTE: In Washington,Wyoming's delegation pushed

through a bill abolishing thenational monument and turning

the land back to the Forest Service.

Roosevelt vetoed it.

The state of Wyoming thenwent to court, claiming that

Jackson Hole lacked the objects of scientific or

historic interest necessaryfor national monument status.

Postcards showing a ramshackleouthouse were circulated

with a message saying, "These are some

"of the historic structures here.

"This is one known to havebeen occupied several times

"by Horace M. Albright."

A federal court dismissed thecase, saying it was a dispute

between the executive andlegislative branches which

the judiciary would do well to steer clear of.

In 1945, Roosevelt died and World War II ended,

but the battle of Jackson Hole roared on.

MAN AS HORACE ALBRIGHT:Dealing with Wyoming is like

dealing with the Russians.

You never get anywhere by trying to cooperate.

Horace Albright.

COYOTE: "This was a battle,"the retired Albright said,

"I had to get into."

He lobbied his Republicanfriends like former president

Herbert Hoover and marshaled acampaign by major conservation

groups to rally their members to tell Congress that

the American people also had a stake in what

happened in Wyoming.

A study was published showingthat retail sales taxes

in Jackson Hole had doubledand the region's overall

economy had been strengthenedby the boost in tourism,

but the local politicalclimate remained decidedly,

stubbornly antipark.

Finally in 1950 after itbecame clear that the bitter

battle would never end inunconditional surrender by

either side, a compromise was worked out.

Teton County would bereimbursed for lost property

taxes, existing grazingrights were grandfathered in,

and the migratory elk herdwould be managed by both the

Park Service and the state,which would be permitted to

oversee supervised hunts.

part of an enlarged of JacksonGrand Teton National Park,came

now 3 times its original size.

Included in it was the 30,000 acres of private land

John D. Rockefeller Jr. had beentrying so hard to give away.

MURIE: So it's not just the spectacular.

It's the foreground.

You have to have foregroundsto wilderness, you have to

have the highlands and middlelands and the lowlands,

and a huge piece of northernJackson Hole is saved from

strip malls, saved fromwhat happened to--to--down

in the town of Jackson.

COYOTE: Tucked away in thecompromise that finally ended

the battle of Jackson Hole was another concession:

"According to this provision, future United States presidents

"are barred from ever againusing executive action to

"establish new national monuments

"in the state of Wyoming except

"by the express permission of Congress."

Wyoming, the state with thedistinction of having the

world's first national park,Yellowstone, and the first

national monument,Devil's Tower, now had another

distinction--the only statewhere the Antiquities Act

is null and void.

HANSEN: I was one who was verycritical of the Rockefellers

and I'm grateful now that Iwasn't successful because Iand did all I was able to doto try to thwart their plans,

have to appreciate as everyoneelse does the uniqueness

and the beauty of this area.

Thank God for the Rockefellers.

I've told them on more thanone occasion that I'm glad

I lost that fight.

WOMAN: For all thebureaucracy, for all the red

tape, for all the argumentsabout public policy,

our national parks are firstand foremost places of love,

and I think each American canlook into their own hearts

and tell you, "This is mynational park," and it might

be the Great Smokys, it might be Yosemite.

For our family, it's Grand Teton.

This is the range of our memory.

My great-grandfather brought my grandfather, who brought

my father, who brought us as children.

It's the last place mymother came before she died.

It's also the last place mybrother took his family before

he succumbed to lymphoma.

I'll never forget.We were at the Murie Ranch,

and Steve and Annand the girls were walking

toward the Snake River.

It was pink light, alpenglow, and Steve stopped,

and you could see the reflections of the Tetons

in one of the pools, and heturned to Ann and the girls,

and he said, "Mark this moment."

And then 5 elks went acrossthe Snake River, and I watched

this family of 5 return.

These are the stories thatallow us to go home and face

not only our lives but even our deaths.

That's the power of these remembered landscapes.

DUNCAN: The Declaration ofIndependence began with this

incredible statement that all men, all human beings

are created equal.

We've been chasing that ideal,those words for the rest

of our history, often tooslowly, never quite reaching

it even yet, but that's thestatement that we're chasing.

The national park idea,which is the best idea we had

after we became a nation, didn't start that way

with a bold statement, grand ideals that we're

trying to chase.

It began sort of experimentally,

improvisationally, and it'sonly as we've moved through

time that we have added thisnotion of what a park is

and what's allowed in it andwhat's not allowed in it,

what we should be drawingfrom it, but like the notion

of freedom, we've always beenarguing over it, we've always

been trying to grapple withits meaning, and always trying

to on the one hand remain trueto the ideal but leaving it up

to each succeeding generationto either push it a little bit

farther or broaden it a little bit more.

COYOTE: In the midst of Franklin Roosevelt's

presidency, the world renowned contralto Marian Anderson had

been denied the opportunity to perform in

Constitution Hall, the 4,000-seat auditorium

controlled by the Daughtersof the American Revolution,

because of the color of her skin.

At the urging ofEleanor Roosevelt, Harold Ickes,

who had once been the head ofthe NAACP in Chicago, quickly

issued Anderson permission tosing at a different venue,

the Lincoln Memorial, a recent addition

to the national park system.

The concert was freeand drew a crowd of 75,000

of all races and creeds.

HAROLD ICKES: Genius, geniusdraws no color line, and so it

is fitting thatMarian Anderson should raise her

voice in tribute to the noble Lincoln,

whom mankind will ever honor.

Miss Marian Anderson.

COYOTE: After being introduced by Ickes, Anderson stepped to

the microphone and began her program.

My country, 'tis of thee

Sweet land of liberty

Of thee we sing

Land where my fathers died

Land of our pilgrims' pride

From every mountainside

Let freedom ring

Ave Maria

ICKES: In this great auditorium under the sky,

all of us are free.

When God gave us thiswonderful outdoors and the sun

and the moon and the stars,he made no distinction of race

or creed or color.

[Anderson continues singing "Ave Maria"]

POPE: You start out with places that were created

in the late 19th Centurybecause nobody wanted them,

like Yellowstone.

You go through places likeHetch Hetchy, which were

sacrificed because somebody did want them.

You go to the OlympicPeninsula, and the guys who

wanted to cut the logs lose.

You go to Jackson Hole, and the state of Wyoming

desperately fights the creation of Grand Tetons

and then puts it on itslicense plates, and finally,

you end up with history.

So what--what, a Europeanwould ask, does all this have

in common, and I think what itall has in common is these are

the places where Americans encounter who they

are and are home.

These are the places thatmake this continent our home.

This is what enables Americansto inhabit this whole place,

where after all very few ofus originally came from.


[Cheering and applause]

Announcer: Next time on "The National Parks,"

a lonely battle to save an animal

everyone seems to hate.

America'’s last frontier becomes a testing ground

for the future of the parks...

MAN: Alaska was the last chance to do it right.

This is it.This is the end of the line.

Announcer: and American familiespass on unforgettable memories

to the next generation...

MAN: We had been to Yellowstonefor 3 days, and I was hooked.

I was a lover and defender of the National Parks

for the rest of my life.

Announcer: In the final episode of "The National Parks."

DIFFERENT ANNOUNCER: To furtherexplore "The National Parks:

America'’s Best Idea," visit PBS on-line at...

"The National Parks: America'’s Best Idea,"

a film by Ken Burns,

is available on DVD and Blu-ray.

A companion book and CD are also available.

To order, visit

or call 1-800-PLAY-PBS.

Captioning made possible by Friends of NCI

Captioned by the National Captioning Institute

Bank of America is proud to be

exclusive corporate underwriter

for the films of Ken Burns

and hopes you enjoyed this encore presentation.

Announcer: Our national parks belong to all of us.

They are places of discovery, they are places of inspiration,

they are America's best idea.

Major funding provided by: the Evelyn & Walter Haas, Jr. Fund.

Additional funding was provided

by the Park Foundation in support

of a clean and healthy environment;

The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations--

dedicated to strengthening America's future

through education;

the National Park Foundation,

the official charity of America's national parks;

the Peter Jay Sharp Foundation;

the Pew Charitable Trusts;

by General Motors;

by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting;

and by generous contributions to this PBS station

from viewers like you.

Thank you.


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