The National Parks

S1 E6 | FULL EPISODE

Morning of Creation (1946-1980)

Examine the proliferation of protected lands and the protection of predatory animals.

AIRED: April 25, 2016 | 1:55:42
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
TRANSCRIPT

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.

[Wolf howls]

[Wind blowing]

[Bird cawing]

MAN: I think wolves areprobably the perfect symbol

of that earlier time beforewe human beings set out to

conquer nature.

[Howling]

They're sort of the resistancemovement to everything that

we represent.

The brothers and sisters ofthe wolves' ancestors are

the ones who came over to thecampfire to join our ancestors

and become our most loyal pets.

The wolves' ancestors are theones who refused to come into

the campfire, and we've neverreally forgiven them for that.

[Howling]

They remained free, wild,undomesticated, dangerous.

And long after they no longerposed a real threat to us

and our survival, I think westill held it against them

that they were out there,free and wild and dangerous,

and went out to do as gooda job as we could of getting

rid of them.

MAN: It is a better worldwith some buffalo left in it.

A richer world with somegorgeous canyons unmarred by

sign boards or superhighways, undrowned by power or

irrigation reservoirs.

If we preserved as parks onlythose places that have no

economic possibilities, we would have no parks.

And in the decades to come, it will not be only

the buffalo and the trumpeterswan who need sanctuaries.

Our own species is going to need them, too.

It needs them now.

Wallace Stegner.

PETER COYOTE: Since itsbeginnings in the mid-19th

century, the national parkidea had embraced two equally

important, yet apparentlycontradictory thoughts--that

the park should preserve America's special places

in their natural conditionsforever and that they should

be open and accessible for theenjoyment of all Americans.

Early park leaders had glossedover any paradox, arguing that

the best way to protect theparks was to build public

support for them by encouraging more

and more visitors.

But with the end of World WarII, as the parks neared their

100th birthday and an increasingly affluent

and mobile nation placed demands on them as never

before, the balancing actbetween preservation and use

would be severely tested.

MAN: It's hard to imaginethese places existing without

those tensions.

They are precisely the righttensions that a democratic

nation should have as it triesto figure out how to protect

lands that are there for all the people.

COYOTE: The very definitionof what constituted a national

park would be challenged andthen broadened, and just when

it seemed as if there were nopristine places left to set

aside as national parks,a new one would be created

in the backyard of one of the nation's

fastest growing cities.

While far to the north, inthe nation's last frontier,

the basic principles of the park idea would be

reinvigorated for a new generation.

MAN: I'm not quite sure why itworks this way, but we seem to

put our highest ideals in our national parks.

They're like, um, homes for our finest dreams,

and therefore they function like consciences.

MAN: When you're standingthere silently in the presence

of the giant sequoias,you can't help but recognize

that you're a part ofsomething that is way beyond

whatever it is that youenvision this world might be.

You can't stand there allalone without understanding

that there's a power in theworld that is far greater than

anything that you've everexperienced and that you're

connected to that power justas that sequoia is connected

to that power.

It permeates all of us.

And when you understand that,it improves your relationship

with your fellow man becauseyou realize that he has

the same capacity.

He has the same access.

He is your brother.

[Big band music playing]

COYOTE: In 1946, with thewar finally over and gasoline

rationing and travel restrictions lifted,

attendance at YellowstoneNational Park quadrupled from

189,000 to 807,000.

Two years later, it wouldcross the one million mark

for the first time and never turn back.

MAN: All of a sudden,everybody in the world wanted

to come to Yellowstone.

Everyone was tired of the war.

Everyone wanted recreation.

Everybody flocked toYellowstone in their own cars.

There weren't enough campgrounds.

There weren't enough hotels.

There weren't enough souvenirs.

There weren't enough anything,and the buildings had had 4 or

5 years to deteriorate, sothe park facilities were

in bad shape.

COYOTE: All across the UnitedStates, the same thing was

happening in other parks,straining the entire system.

Nationwide, annual attendancewould climb from a wartime low

of 6.8ilillion visitors in 1943 to nearly

32 million by 1950.

CRONON: One of the things thathappened in the 1950s with the

explosion of families in carstaking their kids on the road

to visit the national parkswas that more and more

American children grew upwith the national parks as

a formative part of their childhood, and I think we

often forget that in fact oneof the aspects of the national

parks that is most importantto our American-ness, to our

patriotism, is the fact thatthey are landscapes of origin

and of childhood for so many Americans.

They are the places where we grew up.

They are the places wherewe experienced our families

in some of their most intimatelocations and where our

families and our childhoodsconnected to what it meant to

be an American.

MAN: It was just like beingin heaven, being in there.

In those days, there was no road.

The park was all a blessedwilderness, and I have often

thought since, what awonderful people we would have

been if we had wanted to keep it that way.

[Thunder]

Adolph Murie.

COYOTE: Back in the summer of1922, a college student from

Moorhead, Minnesota, namedAdolph Murie arrived in

Mt. McKinley National Park in Alaska.

The park had been established5 years earlier, but Congress

had only recently appropriatedany money for its protection

and development--$8,000 usedto hire a superintendent

and one assistant, who wereinstructed to patrol 2,200

square miles, an areahalf the size of Connecticut.

They were also expected tokeep poachers away from the

wildlife and prepare the parkfor the tourists promoters

hoped would soon be comingto see the highest mountain

in North America.

That year, a total of 7 showed up.

One of them was Adolph Murie,who was there to help his

older brother Olaus,a biologist, conduct a study

of caribou migrations.

Murie was 22 years old.

It was his first time away from Minnesota.

MAN: Ade Murie was not an imposing

or intimidating-looking kind of a man.

He kind of had a Minnesotafarmer's look about him,

and I don't mean that as an insult, but he was not

an overwhelming person by looks.

He was,however, in terms of character

and intelligence and durability and stick-to-it-iveness,

a man to be reckoned with.

COYOTE: For 5 weeks, Murie and his brother tramped for miles

across the tundra, following game trails and the braided

gravel beds of glacial rivers,exulting in the notion that

they seemingly had the parkentirely to themselves.

One day he came across the lone footprint of

a grizzly bear.

MAN AS ADOLPH MURIE: In innocent wonder, I gazed

at the imprint.

It was a symbol more poeticthan seeing the bear himself,

a delicate and profound approach to the spirit

of the Alaska wilderness.

We come here to catch a glimpse of the primeval.

We come close to thetundra flowers, the lichens,

and the animal life.

Each of us will take some inspiration home.

A touch of tundra will enterour lives and deep inside make

of us all poets and kindred spirits.

COYOTE: Adolph Murie's tripto Alaska inspired him to get

a doctoral degree in biology,and George Melendez Wright

recruited him for the ParkService's newly formed

Wildlife Division.

By the late 1940s, Murie hadmade a name for himself as

a top-rate field biologist andas an iconoclast whose views

on the direction of park policies often got him

in trouble with his superiors.

At Olympic National Park,where wolves had been hunted

to extinction years earlier, he called for

their reintroduction.

No one listened.

At Isle Royale in LakeSuperior, the moose population

had grown so plentifulbecause of a lack of natural

predators, he wrote, that the park looked "like

"a prosperous barnyard."

And at Yellowstone, Murieobjected to plans to build

a golf course and opposed aproposal to drain a wetlands

around the Old Faithful Lodgein order to reduce the number

of mosquitoes bothering the tourists there.

MAN AS ADOLPH MURIE: Let us leave a few wilderness shrines.

Let there be a few outstandingscenes which can be viewed

without the attendantchatter of the idly curious.

MAN: The heart of thelegislation that established

Yellowstone and the other parks is to preserve

the environment.

It's as simple as that, and ifyou're going to preserve

the environment, you have topreserve the creatures,

the critters, that live there.

COYOTE: Like his mentorGeorge Melendez Wright, Murie

believed many long-heldassumptions about predators

needed to be scientificallytested, and he spent two years

studying what to do about Yellowstone's coyotes.

The answer, he concluded, was not killing the hated

predators but changing park policies.

SCHULLERY: When he producedhis study of the coyotes

in Yellowstone anddemonstrated that they weren't

this--this scourge on the landscape and how they

actually functioned comparedto how people thought they

functioned, that they weren'tturning Yellowstone into

a reservoir of evil thatproduced countless coyotes

that went out and killed offranchers' livestock, it took

a long time for that lesson to soak in.

COYOTE: Yellowstone'ssuperintendent was so upset,

he shelved the report and nearly got Murie fired.

Now one of only 3 biologistsleft in the Wildlife Division,

Murie was dispatched to thenation's most remote and least

visited national park--Mt.McKinley in Alaska, the park

that had made such a profoundimpression on him years

earlier, and once again he would find himself

on the unpopular side of araging controversy when he

embarked on the first in-depthstudy ever undertaken of wolves.

MAN: The wolf is the masterkiller of all wildlife,

the villain in Alaska's pageant of wildlife,

and the worst natural enemyof sheep, moose, and caribou.

Alaska Game Commission.

BROWN: Wolves represented death and destruction.

That bloodthirsty, raveningwolf was viewed as a kind

of an interloper.

I mean, you had the nice animals.

You had caribou and deer andsheep, and here were these

wolves who would tear themapart and eat them in full

view of visitors, and that was anathema.

I mean, extinction was the word.

COYOTE: Americans had beenkilling wolves for centuries.

Despite a Park Service policyagainst the extermination

of any animal species,they had been systematically

eliminated at Grand Canyon,Crater Lake, Death Valley,

Grand Tetons, Mt. Rainier,Olympic, Rocky Mountain,

and after the death of twowolf pups in 1926, Yellowstone

National Park.

Alaska was now virtually theonly place left in the United

States where wolves still existed.

WOMAN: At one time, the ParkService was ordered to shoot

every wolf they saw.

They figured that anythinga wolf gets, the hunter

doesn't get.

But just to shoot wolves tosay they shot a wolf--let's--

let's shoot Democrats.

Let's shoot Republicans.

I mean, it made that much sense.

COYOTE: During his first season back in Alaska,

Murie walked more than 1,700 miles, crisscrossing

the park, gathering data andwhenever possible taking

photographs and home moviesto augment his extensive

field notes.

He analyzed more than 1,000samples of wolf droppings

to determine their eatinghabits, collected 829 skulls

of Dall's sheep to study theirteeth and understand the age

and health of the animals when they died.

His second year, he discovered a wolf den.

MAN AS ADOLPH MURIE: On a ridge across the river

from the den, about a half mile or less

away, there were excellentlocations for watching

the wolves without disturbing them.

I spent about 195 hours observing them.

The longest continuous vigilwas 33 hours, and twice I

observed all night.

MARTIN MURIE: Well, you've gotto have patience. Oh, yeah.

You have to be devoted.

If you have to climb a treein 30 below and sit there

for an hour shivering, you do it.

Every day you're out there.

Doesn't matter what the weather.

He was that type.

COYOTE: He would be at it fornearly a decade, even moved

his wife and children toa remote cabin in the park

and temporarily adopted a wolf pup he named Wags so he could

study its development as it grewfrom a nursling to full size.

Over time, Murie would get toknow wolves better than any

scientist ever had, and thereport he produced would

become a landmark inunderstanding the species.

WOMAN: I often think if we were to send

for a representative of ourspecies to meet with the

animals, we would send Adebecause he's a man who knows

how to listen.

He was a man who understood stillness.

And more than anything, his curiosity and his

extraordinary sense of scienceopened up the landscape

in a new way for all of us.

He saw the land as a set of relationships, nothing

in isolation, everything connected.

COYOTE: Murie's conclusionsthat wolves actually

strengthened the sheep andcaribou herds by culling out

the sick and the weak weredenounced by hunting groups

across the country as a pieceof pro-wolf propaganda from

start to finish.

As private bounty huntersand federal Fish and Wildlife

Service officers initiateda campaign of poisoning

and shooting wolves throughoutthe rest of Alaska, pressure

mounted for the parkto eradicate its wolves, too.

In response, the Park Serviceagreed to a limited wolf

control program, but the person they selected to

oversee it was none other thanAdolph Murie, who kept the

number of kills to the barestminimum, thinning out only

elderly wolves near the endof their natural lives.

And when the sheep herd grew,just as Murie had predicted,

the Park Service quietlyinstituted a permanent ban

on all wolf killings.

It was the first time in history that the species

nearly everyone seemed tohate found protection from any

government agency.

McKinley's wolves had survived.

MAN AS ADOLPH MURIE: Ourgenerosity to all creatures

in the national parks, this reverence for life,

is a basic tradition and isfundamental to the survival

of park idealism.

The goal is to have the minimum of manipulation

in our parks.

Let us be guardians rather than gardeners.

Adolph Murie.

MAN: With so many friends,it is difficult to understand

why parks are so bedeviled bythreats and seem always to be

fighting for their very existence.

The story is an old one.

There are frequent occasionswhen people see nothing wrong

with harming, hurting, marring, or spoiling when

there are valuable resourcesof water, power, timber, oil,

or minerals to be exploitedwithin park boundaries.

Greatest of all threats to theparks today is the pressure to

build dams.

Alfred A. Knopf.

COYOTE: By 1950, Americans whoneeded dams for irrigation,

city water supplies, and hydropower had been

in conflict for half a centurywith other Americans who

wanted national parks kept offlimits from any development.

John Muir had fought and lostthe first battle when the city

of San Francisco used its political muscle to win

federal approval for buildinga dam in the beautiful Hetch

Hetchy Valley within the boundaries

of Yosemite National Park.

The defeat had galvanized thenascent conservation movement

into pushing for creationof the National Park Service

in 1916 to make sure nothinglike Hetch Hetchy would ever

happen again.

Now in the aftermath of World War II,

as the populations of statesin the arid west began to

skyrocket, pressure formore dams only intensified.

With the enthusiastic backingof virtually every elected

official in the region, plans were drawn up for

9 billion dollars' worth ofdam projects, including two

in a remote corner of Utahand Colorado where the Green

and Yampa Rivers converge inthe midst of winding sandstone

canyons, a place known as Echo Park.

But Echo Park was also the site of Dinosaur National

Monument, first set aside in1915 to safeguard an important

discovery of prehistoric bonesand then expanded in the 1930s

to include the dramatic canyonlands upstream.

Few people had ever visitedthe monument or paddled

through its network ofcanyons, but the handful who

had considered it almost sacred.

MAN AS WALLACE STEGNER:This is a country as grand

and beautiful as any America can boast.

A 325-square-mile preservethat is part schoolroom

and part playground and part-- the best part--sanctuary from

a world paved with concrete,a world mass-produced

with interchangeable parts,and with every natural,

beautiful thing endangeredby the raw engineering power

of the 20th century.

Wallace Stegner.

COYOTE: Even though the ParkService opposed the dams,

President Harry Truman andhis Secretary of the Interior

supported them.

It was Hetch Hetchy all over again.

It was exactly the same battle, but the world had changed.

There were now many morepeople prepared to say that,

wait a second.

The national parks are notsupposed to be breached

in this way.

We are not meant to do this kind of work.

COYOTE: In 1952, with 2 ofhis 7 sons and their families,

a 73-year-old retired chemistry professor named

Harold Bradley made a week-long trip down the Yampa

River, snapping photographsand taking home movies as

they traveled.

They had imagined that adesert region named Dinosaur

would be little more thanan arid, desolate boneyard,

one son remembered.

Instead, they found a world of stunning beauty.

MAN: My dad knew that therewere plans on the drawing

board for dams in Grand Canyonand dams that would affect

Glacier Park and other parks, too.

If Echo Park Dam could bebuilt, I think a dam could

have been built anywhere inthe national park system,

and they'd say, "Well, youlet us do it at Echo Park.

"Why not do it here in Grand Canyon?"

COYOTE: Back home inCalifornia, Bradley embarked

on what he called "a one-mancrusade to save Echo Park" by

showing his home movie toanyone who would watch it.

Among those who saw it was David Brower, the new

Executive Director of theSierra Club--young and brash

with a flair for public relations.

MAN: When I was 8 years oldand when my brother was 6,

we went down the Yampa andGreen Rivers, and it was part

of my father's campaign tostop dams in Dinosaur National

Monument, and it--you know,I look back on it now and I

realize what a piece of history it was.

Many people see it as the beginning of the modern

environmental movement.

My father used film,used books, used trips like

this down the river.

He was building a constituencyof people to appreciate

this landscape.

COYOTE: Brower organizedSierra Club outings through

Dinosaur's canyons and invitedinfluential Easterners to

join them.

Alfred A. Knopf, the New Yorkpublisher, emerged from one

trip so impressed that hecommissioned a handsome book

of photographs and essays,edited by the novelist

and historian Wallace Stegner.

Knopf himself wrote one ofthe book's essays and made

sure every member of Congress received a copy.

Other organizations spranginto action, hoping to

mobilize public opinion andkill the project in Congress,

where approval of the dam seemed almost certain.

Harold Bradley helped persuade the Garden Club of America to

oppose the dam and mail leaflets to its members

encouraging them to writetheir Congressmen about it.

The General Federation of Women's Clubs did

the same thing.

My brother Steve was theone that got Pop interested,

and Pop was the one who gotDave Brower interested,

and Dave Brower, once he wasinterested, kind of galvanized

the entire conservation community, and Echo Park

really kind of putconservation on the front page

for the first time instead of something back

with the obituaries.

COYOTE: When mail began pouring into Congress

at a ratio of 80:1 against theEcho Park dam, the Speaker

of the House reluctantly delayed consideration

of its approval.

Authorization for the largerstring of dams and reclamation

projects would eventuallypass, but without the ones

in Dinosaur National Monument.

Public opinion had been felt.

A new national environmentalmovement had been born

and immediately began battling against any other attempts to

despoil the parks and America's wild places.

DUNCAN: You can save a place,but it's never really safe.

It always takes people caring.

It always takes vigilance.

It always takes effort to keep those forces at bay that want

to crowd in, want to change it, want to

over-commercialize it.

Once it's ruined, it's ruined, but once it's saved,

each generation has its duty to keep it saved.

MAN AS WALLACE STEGNER:Sometimes we have withheld our

power to destroy and have lefta threatened species like

the buffalo, a threatenedbeauty spot like Yosemite or

Yellowstone or Dinosaur scrupulously alone.

We are the most dangerousspecies of life on the planet,

and every other species, even the earth itself,

has cause to fear our power to exterminate.

But we are also the onlyspecies which, when it chooses

to do so, will go to greateffort to save what it

might destroy.

Wallace Stegner.

MAN: Charles Stevenson, "Reader's Digest."

Drive to Yellowstone, asmy wife and I did late last

summer, and the moment youenter, you are in a big city

traffic jam.

Pause to look at sights you'vecome thousands of miles to

see, and cars pile up bumperto bumper a quarter of a mile

behind you.

COYOTE: The 32 millionAmericans who had crowded into

their national parks eachyear as the fifties began had

suddenly become nearly 62million before the decade was

even halfway through.

98% arrived by car.

The parks weren't ready for them.

MAN AS CHARLES STEVENSON:Yosemite Valley proper has

become a city festering with commercialism and ugliness.

This spot, which TheodoreRoosevelt once called the most

beautiful in the world, now boasts 3 acres

of burning dump.

Lovely meadows have been pavedto provide parking space.

Warehouses and stores obstruct famous views.

The campgrounds pack inabout 97 persons to the acre.

Campers line up 15 deep for the toilets.

[Car horn honking]

COYOTE: "The people," a park official said, "are wearing out

"the scenery."

The situation was the same in every park.

To make matters worse,staff levels and budgets were

no bigger, and sometimes smaller, than they had

been during the Depression.

Meanwhile President Dwight D.Eisenhower was pushing through

Congress the biggest publicworks program in history--an

interstate highway system.

Conrad Wirth, the new ParkService director, proposed

a similar 10-year plan for theparks, timing its completion

with the agency's upcoming 50th anniversary in 1966.

He named the ambitious project Mission 66.

"The national parks," Wirthsaid, "are in danger of being

"loved to death," and he called for spending $787 million,

more than half for newconstruction, and the rest

for repairs, bettermaintenance, and more staff.

The president enthusiastically agreed.

Work began almost immediately-- fixing roads, modernizing

water and sewer systems, improving campgrounds

and adding new ones, doublingthe park's lodging capacity.

Museums, rest rooms,and information offices were

consolidated into a singlemodern structure strategically

located to intercept largenumbers of people arriving by

car, prepare them for theirpark experience through

a series of displays andpresentations, and send them

on their way.

Wirth called them visitor centers.

Before Mission 66 was through,110 of them would be built.

But as the work continued, many of the park's oldest

allies became Mission 66's harshest critics.

They hated the increased development

and the architectural choices being made.

They thought the new buildings were ugly.

The loudest complaints came from David Brower

and the Sierra Club and focused on highway

construction, particularly aplan to bulldoze and pave the

Old Tioga Road across a longgranite escarpment, skirting

the shores of beautiful TenayaLake in the high country

of Yosemite.

KENNETH BROWER: We went askids with my father because he

was photographing it, and wewere outraged because we had

the religion, and while my father was photographing,

my brother and I said, "Well,let's get to it," and we

started taking the survey stakes out.

And we had gotten quite a few of them out before my

father noticed.

It wasn't my father's style, and he said no, we'd better

put them back.

COYOTE: In the end, the road got built.

Some Sierra Club members nowquestioned the entire premise

of helping more people visit the parks.

MAN: I think the battle aboutthat road was the first moment

when the Sierra Club beganto realize that Muir's notion

that you had to bring peopleto the parks to make them

value them and save them wasa two-edged sword--that if you

brought too many people to theparks, you could ruin them,

even if the people who came loved them.

COYOTE: The controversywould forever tarnish some

of the real accomplishments of Mission 66.

But the American people,mostly unaware of the debate,

continued to flock to their national parks.

Going to the parks was becoming an American rite

of passage--journeys creatingmemories that would last

a lifetime.

MAN: In 1959, my mothertook my brother and me from

Binghamton, New York, across the west.

My father had died in 1958,and we did the grand circuit

of the national parks.

My mother made us navigate.

She gave us the road maps, and we picked the routes.

We chose the camp sites.

We had been to Yellowstone for 3 days,

seen all the wonders, and thendropped down into the Tetons

and Jackson Hole, and I was hooked.

I was a lover and defenderof the national parks

for the rest of my life.

MAN: 1955 in the summer,my wife and I and my little

boy spent the night in Yosemite National Park.

My little boy had heard aboutwhat you could see in national

parks, and he was particularlyinterested in the bears.

He'd never seen a bear in the wild.

At night, after we'd turnout the lights, we heard the

garbage pails outside beinghandled by some force, and he

said, "Dad, is that the bears?"

I said, "I think so."

He said, "Let's go out and see."

I said, "No. You can't go out and see the bears.

"Just hope that they will not bother us."

And I know that when I tookmy son to a national park

for the first time that I wasplanting in him the seed that

would cause him to want to take his family to

a national park.

CRONON: I think for me,the moment that the national

parks really changed my lifewas when I was in fifth grade.

My parents put my brother andme into the back of a Ford

station wagon, and we leftMadison, Wisconsin, and spent

6 weeks circumnavigating theentire American west, but what

we were really doing was goingfrom national park to national

park to national park to national park, and it was

so overwhelming, it moved me so deeply, that it

changed my life.

I would not now do what I do in my life were it not

for that experience.

Part of it was the vistas,but what I most remember was

opening the door of that carand getting out and walking to

some site with my parents,and my father in particular,

who's a wonderful storytellerand, like me, is a historian,

always having some story totell about the place that we

were in that carried me backinto layers of the past that

were also in the place thatwe were in in the present.

And in that reconnection ofpast and present, discovering

that there was far more to seein the place I was in than I

ever would have imaginedwithout the stories that he

shared with me in that place.

DUNCAN: I grew up in a little town in Iowa.

Both of my parents worked,so we didn't take very

many vacations.

My dad would paint the houseduring his vacation, or maybe

we'd go fishing in a lake inMinnesota, but we never went

on real trips.

And when I was just about to turn 10,

we decided, this year we're going to do it.

We packed up borrowed campingequipment from people we knew,

borrowed my grandmother's car, and headed west.

Um, it was a great experience.

We went to the Badlands.

I had never seen something like that.

Playing and running around on that denuded,

bizarre landscape.

We went to Custer Battlefield,as it was called then--the

Little Big Horn.

I found an arrowhead that Iwas pretty sure probably was

Crazy Horse's.

It wasn't until I was a fathermyself that my dad revealed

that he had bought thatarrowhead in the gift shop

and dropped it right underneath me.

And then we came to Yellowstone.

We arrived two days afterthe great earthquake of 1959.

We lived through 3 or 4 tremors.

The earth was shaking underneath me.

The forces that had createdYellowstone were reawakening.

Half of the park was closed.

When we went to the geysers,the rangers talking would say,

"Well, this geyser used to gooff about every two months.

"Whoop! There it is now."

Or "this one," you know, "hasn't gone off since the earthquake."

The earth was in motion there.

We went to the bottom of thewaterfalls, and I thought,

"Boy, I am not in Iowa anymore."

MAN: I'm probably the lastSecretary of Interior--this

was 42 years ago--who willbe flying along in a plane

and look off and say,"Goodness, that ought to be

a national park" and seeingit become a national park.

So it was a wonderful periodof expansion and of new ideas

in terms of what the Park Service should be doing.

SINGERS: All the leaves are brown

All the leaves are brown

And the sky is gray

And the sky is gray

I've been for a walk

On a winter's day

On a winter's day...

COYOTE: Throughout the 1960s,Stewart Udall would serve as

Secretary of the Interiorto presidents John Kennedy

and Lyndon Johnson, overseeingthe most ambitious program

of creating new parks since the time

of Franklin Roosevelt.

The pace of population growthand development in the west

gave Udall, a formerArizona Congressman, a sense

of urgency.

"What we save now," he said,"may be all we save."

He joined forces with the Sierra Club to push

for creation of Redwood National Park along the

northern coast of California,home to the tallest trees

in the world, which over a lifetime spanning two

millennia, can grow 300 feethigh, requiring an environment

of rainfall, fog, and soilfound only in a narrow band

of land a few hundred miles long.

By the 1960s, logging hadcleared 85% of the original

redwood forest.

The national park saved half of what remained.

In west Texas, Guadalupe Mountains National Park,

the ancient remains of an ocean reef rising out

of the desert, had once beenthe home of grizzly bears,

wolves, and buffalo, as wellas the Mescalero Apaches,

who used the mountain oasisas a refuge until they, too,

were driven out.

"My Lord," Udall said when hefirst saw it, "what a paradise

"that place is."

He also supported North Cascades National Park,

a roadless wilderness on the border of Washington

and Canada, containing318 glaciers in its jumble

of mountains, nearly 1/3 ofall the remaining glaciers

in the lower 48 states.

And in the stark desert ofeastern Utah, where the Green

River meets the Coloradoamidst a seemingly endless

maze of meandering canyons,is a place John Wesley Powell

had first described in 1869as a "wilderness of rocks

"and a world of grandeur."

Powell had given the featureshe saw names like Cataract

Canyon, the Dirty Devil, the Labyrinth.

A hundred years later, Udall helped give it all

another name--Canyonlands National Park.

UDALL: I remember a night when I woke up.

We were camping up on the high cliffs, and I looked off into

what is the Doll's Houseand the Maze, and the moon

came through.

It was like I wastransported into anther world.

There was a few minutes whereI just felt that I was having

an experience that I would never have again.

COYOTE: Udall also helpedpersuade Congress to set aside

other parts of the Americanlandscape and place them under

Park Service protection.

National seashores from CapeCod in Massachusetts to Padre

Island in Texas to Point Reyes in California.

National lake shores like Indiana Dunes and Picture

Rocks in the Great Lakes.

The Ozark National Scenic Riverway in Southwestern

Missouri, the first in astring of rivers that would

have portions kept in their free-flowing,

natural conditions.

National trails like theAppalachian Trail, extending

2,100 miles from Georgia to Maine.

And national recreation areas,often reservoirs behind

the dams being built all over the west.

To help him, Udall namedGeorge Hartzog the new Park

Service director, who broughtto the job the same energy

and back-slapping politicalskills Stephen Mather had used

so successfully 50 years earlier.

Hartzog would push the ParkService to have a greater

presence in urban areas,to serve minority populations

that did not yet have arelationship with the parks,

and to increase the number ofhistoric and cultural sites.

To him, the park system's role

in preserving and interpretingAmerican history was just as

crucial as protecting the large natural parks.

HARTZOG: My father,from South Carolina, only made

one trip out of that stateduring his lifetime, and that

was to visit our family here in Washington.

And he said, "I want tosee the Lincoln Memorial."

Abraham Lincoln was not afavorite historical personage

in the low country of SouthCarolina when I was a boy

growing up, and neither was he in my family and in our home,

and I was surprised that the only thing he wanted to see

in Washington D.C. was the Lincoln Memorial.

I started to get out of thecar, and he said, "No, I want

"to go alone," and I sat thereand watched him walk those

steps, and he got there andstopped and faced Lincoln

and turned to the right andwent around that memorial

and read every saying of Lincoln's and came back

and got in the car.

Tears were welling in hiseyes, although they were not

running, and he said to me,"I'm now ready to go home."

That's what they mean.

CROWD SINGING: We shall overcome...

COYOTE: On August 28, 1963,Hartzog witnessed a much

larger crowd at the LincolnMemorial when a quarter

of a million people convergedon the National Mall as part

of the March on Washington toprotest the Jim Crow laws that

still discriminated againstAfrican Americans in the south

and to call on Congress topass a civil rights bill to

bring them to an end.

There, a young ministernamed Martin Luther King Jr.,

who had recently been jailedin Birmingham, Alabama,

who the director of theFBI considered a Communist

sympathizer and whose life wasin constant danger from people

who hated the color of hisskin and everything he stood

for, gave a speech that wouldbe considered a turning point

in American history.

KING: I have a dream that my4 little children will one day

live in a nation where theywill not be judged by the

color of their skin but by thecontent of their character.

I have a dream today!

[Cheering and applause]

This will be the day when allof God's children will be able

to sing with new meaning "My country 'tis of thee, sweet

"land of liberty, of thee I sing.

"Land where my fathers died,land of the pilgrims' pride,

"from every mountainside, let freedom ring."

And if America is to be a great nation, this must

become true.

[Cheering and applause]

And when this happens, we willbe able to speed up that day

when all of God's children--black men and white men,

Jews and Gentiles, Protestantsand Catholics--will be able to

join hands and sing in thewords of the old negro

spiritual, "Free at last, free at least, thank God

"Almighty, we're free at last!"

[Cheering and applause]

HARTZOG: What higherpurpose can a national park

serve than to be responsiveto the crisis in our society,

to the voice of theunderprivileged, to the voice

of the protester who'sobjecting to the institutional

status quo, who is seeing aneed beyond where we are?

It was of the same dimensionas the first time I stood

on the south rim of the GrandCanyon and looked at that

magnificent canyon in front of me.

These are everlastingmoments that stay with you

and influence your life all your life.

FRANKLIN: The idea of thenational parks certainly was

appreciated by Abraham Lincoln in the 1860s.

A century later, here isMartin Luther King giving his

great speech "I Have a Dream"before a vast audience, before

Abraham Lincoln, and with apark ranger standing by him.

You have this sweep of history.

You have these dramatic turns.

You have these marvelouscoincidences and ramifications

that extend from Lincoln to King, from the idea

of the national park to thePark Service officer standing

by King when he gives his "I Have a Dream" speech.

The parallels of historyare infinite and limitless.

COYOTE: 5 years later, Dr. King would

be assassinated.

12 years after that,his birthplace in Atlanta,

Georgia, would be dedicatedas a historic site, part

of the national park system.

[Wolf howls]

MAN AS ADOLPH MURIE: We wereapproaching our cabin one

stormy night.

It was snowing and gettingdark, and out of the storm

came music, the long, drawn,mournful call of a wolf.

It started low, moved slowly up the scale

with increased volume.

At the high point, a slightbreak in the voice, then

a deepening of the tone as itbecame a little more throaty

and gradually descended thescale, and the soft voice

trailed off to blend with the storm.

We waited to hear again the voice of wilderness,

but the performer, with artistic restraint,

was silent.

Adolph Murie.

I think we all pick up certainsounds or sights that are sort

of symbolic, and I thinkthat for Adolph, the sound

of the wolf meant wild, nature, untamed but also

a part of the planet, a partthat we just can't do without.

[Wolf howls]

He felt very much like Thoreaufelt, I think, about wildness.

We got to have it.

COYOTE: When the Mission66 plans had been unveiled

for Mt. McKinley NationalPark, they called for widening

and paving the 90-mile rough and narrow gravel road that

provided the only access into the park's interior.

The road would permit ashowcase hotel near beautiful

and quiet Wonder Lake, expanded campgrounds,

gas stations, and a visitor center.

No one was surprised whenAdolph Murie came out against

it and submitted a detailedanalysis to the park

superintendent outlining his concerns.

MARTIN MURIE: Adolph was justpassionately determined to

stop that road, and he was avery stubborn person for what

he believed in, and we need stubborn people.

He became more accepting, more diplomatic as

time went on.

He became more forgiving,but he knew how to draw a line

in the sand, and when it cometo things like that, Wonder

Park Road, he'd say no.

No.

BROWN: He was the conscience of the park.

He stood like a rock onthese matters of principle.

He was not unduly cantankerous or aggressive.

He just lasted.

He just wore away at them likewater on a granite boulder.

COYOTE: "My efforts were notappreciated," Murie said,

and for the next two years,he was reassigned to Grand

Teton National Park in Wyoming.

When he was finally allowed toreturn to Alaska to continue

his research, Murie wasdismayed at what he found.

The first 13 miles of parkroad had been excavated

and paved, and at mile 65,a visitor center was being

constructed that looked, he said,

"like a Dairy Queen."

To stop further construction,he turned to his brother

Olaus, now the director of the Wilderness Society, for help.

MARTIN MURIE: He kept tellingOlaus, "Now, you got to write

"about this road."

He'd feed Olaus the data about the road and say,

"Write about it. You write beautifully.

"I can't do it. You can do it."

COYOTE: Olaus Murie wasthe perfect person to help.

He was accustomed to waging public campaigns

and in a position to openlychallenge the Park Service.

This time, the ParkService director listened.

That was the last frontier.

This is your last opportunityto save virgin America is

Alaska, and it's enormous.

COYOTE: Hartzog stopped theroadwork where it was--13

miles widened and paved, another 17 widened

but unpaved, and the remaining60 miles to be kept in more or

less the condition Adolph Murie had suggested--a narrow

gravel pathway where, he said, "the feeling one gets is that

"the road passes through awilderness that comes up to

"the road."

It is still that way today.

MAN AS ADOLPH MURIE: Freedom prevails.

Even the bad wolf seeks an honest living as of yore.

He is a respected citizen, morally on a par

with everyone else.

In our thinking of McKinley,let us not have puny thoughts.

Let us think on a greater scale.

Let us not have those of thefuture decry our smallness

of concept and lack of foresight.

Adolph Murie.

RUNTE: By the 1960s, ifyou stood on Glacier Point

and looked down at YosemiteValley, you saw lights.

You saw fires. You saw cars everywhere.

You looked down at that valleyand you said to yourself,

"This looks more like a citythan it does a national park."

COYOTE: For nearly a hundredyears, one of the biggest

attractions in Yosemite Valley had been

the dramatic firefall.

Every evening in the summerseason, as throngs gathered to

watch, a huge bonfire wouldbe built on Glacier Point,

then pushed over the edge to cascade down toward

the valley floor.

In 1968, Hartzog said no

and ordered a stop to it.

HARTZOG: The firefallin that magnificent valley was

about as appropriate as hornson a rabbit, and it should

not be there.

It was an absolutelyspectacular sight, but it was

inappropriate for the silenttranquility and beauty of that

great valley.

COYOTE: At Yellowstone,Hartzog also enforced what

George Melendez Wright,Adolph Murie, and many other

biologists had advocated yearsearlier--not just a paper

policy against feeding thebears, which tourists and park

officials had routinely ignored, but a concerted

effort at weaning the bearsfrom human food along the

roadside or at garbage dumps.

SCHULLERY: They saw it as beneath the dignity

of a national park--

that these bears should insome sense have a right to

a more natural life and thatpeople should be experiencing

them in a more natural way.

COYOTE: New park policies nowrecommended placing scientific

research as the basis for management decisions,

emphasizing that the complexecology of each park be

restored to what it hadonce been and stating that

a national park should represent a vignette

of primitive America.

Slowly, in the tension betweenpreservation and use, parks as

nature's sanctuaries and parksas tourist resorts, things had

begun to shift a little,back in nature's direction.

George Melendez Wright'sold vision was finally being

taken seriously.

MAN: I like the quiet out here.

I'm not pestered orbothered by a lot of people.

I am alone, but I am not lonely.

When you have plenty of interests, like the water

and the woods, the birds and the fish, you don't

get lonely.

Lancelot Jones.

COYOTE: By the 1960s, no oneknew Biscayne Bay, off the

southeastern tip of Florida, better than Lancelot Jones.

He had been born in the bottom of a small boat there in 1898

while his father was frantically sailing his

pregnant mother toward a hospital in Miami.

From that time on, the bay had been his home.

His father, Israel LafayetteJones, had risen up from

slavery in North Carolina, migrated to Florida after

the Civil War, and steadilyimproved life for himself

and his Bahamian wife.

Eventually, he had managedto buy 3 of the small,

uninhabited islands thatseparate Biscayne Bay from the

Atlantic Ocean and began aprofitable business growing

key limes.

In honor of his favorite story, "The Knights

"of the Round Table," he hadproudly named his two sons

King Arthur Jones and Sir Lancelot Jones, hoping,

perhaps, Lancelot said later,that by giving us great names,

we would become great men.

But 3 years after his father'sdeath, the Hurricane of 1935

had laid waste to the family'slime crops and forced Lancelot

into a new line of work asa fishing guide for wealthy

visitors to Biscayne Bay.

By the 1960s, there were plenty to go around.

Just across a small channelfrom Jones' modest home

on Porgy Key was the CocoloboClub, an exclusive retreat

for some of themultimillionaires who wintered

at Miami Beach, men withnames like Firestone, Maytag,

Honeywell, and Hertz.

They had this exclusiveclub down there, and it was

nice for them.

COYOTE: Lancelot Jones becamethe favorite fishing guide

for them and for their politically

well-connected friends.

GREENE: He was a tall,lanky kind of guy and very

hospitable, and he seemed likea perfectly happy guy living

out there by himself.

He knew a lot of people.

A lot of important peoplewould stop by and visit him

when they went down there,including all these big shots

that belonged to that private club.

He knew where all the fishwere and where everything else

was, too, down there.

COYOTE: But other millionaireshad other plans for the bay

and its chain of more than 3 dozen pristine islands.

In 1961, a shipping tycoonannounced he intended to

construct a deep-water port, an oil refinery, and

an industrial complex oncehe dredged a deeper channel

through the shallow bay 8 miles out to the ocean.

At the same time, a group ofdevelopers proposed a bridge

linking the mainland to theislands to do with them what

had already happened at MiamiBeach and Key Biscayne--a

series of high-rise hotels,retail shopping centers,

and private beachfront properties.

The organizers convincedauthorities to create the city

of Islandia and ferried avoting machine to Elliott Key,

where they staged an electionattended by 14 of the 18

registered voters, all of them absentee landowners hoping to

cash in on theanticipated real estate boom.

Lancelot Jones, one of onlytwo full-time residents

of the new Islandia, was not among them.

He was against their plans andhad also turned down offers

from the refinerydeveloper to buy Porgy Key.

MAN AS LANCELOT JONES: I neverthought commercialization

of this land was right.

I always felt this land wasnot right for development,

that it should stay as it is.

COYOTE: Meanwhile, a small group had formed to fight

both proposals.

Lloyd Miller, an avid fisherman, believed the

refinery and seaport wouldturn one of Florida's most

fertile fish-breeding grounds into a stagnant pool

of oily water.

Juanita Greene,an enterprising young writer

for the "Miami Herald," worried that

the considerable financialinterests behind both

developments weresteamrolling the plans toward

hasty approval.

Her own newspaper supported the refinery.

She thought the public wasnot only being shut out

of the decision but would alsobe denied access to precious

waterfront once everything was completed.

It would become, she warned,"a rich man's paradise."

GREENE: I could see that forthe average Joe who wanted to

go to the beach on Sundayafternoon, there were fewer

and fewer places to go.

I didn't think that that wasfair that only people who

could live in the fancy hotelsor the condominiums had access

to the beach.

I objected mightily to it andwrote a story in which I said

"This is a freak city withlots of power and no people."

And it was true.

COYOTE: At a meeting heldaround her dining room table,

Greene, Lloyd Miller, and another friend,

Art Marshall, decided thatthe only way to stop the

development of the islands wasto make it a national park.

Greene persuaded her newspaper to at least cover the budding

opposition movement and toallow her to write occasional

opinion pieces advocating her point of view.

As the public leader of theopposition, Miller found his

car sprayed with paint.

People urged his employer to fire him.

An anonymous caller threatened his family.

GREENE: And somebody poisoned his dog.

So Lloyd had to put up with alot, but he was a determined

man, and he was not gonna be run out of this.

COYOTE: Slowly their movement gained strength.

A slate of anti-refinery candidates was elected to

the county commission.

Local political leaders withdrew their support

for a bridge to the islands.

And after visiting the bay,Stewart Udall came out

in favor of protecting it.

In October of 1968, Lloyd Miller was peering over

the shoulder of PresidentJohnson as he created Biscayne

National Monument, saving 173,000 acres of the bay,

coral reefs, and islands.

[Seagull cawing]

MAN SINGING: Sitting in the mornin' sun...

COYOTE: The first privatelandowner to sell his land to

the federal government forthe new national monument was

Lancelot Jones--277 acres on 3 islands on the condition that

he be allowed to live outhis life in the family home

on Porgy Key.

MAN SINGING: Sittin' on the dock of the bay...

GREENE: And that's the kind of guy he was.

MAN SINGING: ...tide roll away...

GREENE: He was not one ofthese greedy people that was

waiting for the developers to come pay him big bucks

for his land.

He just liked things the waythey were and was willing to

help other people have an opportunity to enjoy

the islands.

COYOTE: His favorite pastimewas teaching small groups

of schoolchildren aboutthe bay's fish and sponges

whenever the Park Servicebrought them to Porgy Key.

The only compensation heasked for was a key lime pie.

MAN SINGING: Watching the tide roll away...

MAN AS LANCELOT JONES: I like the name "monument."

It means that things here aregoing to stay pretty much as

they are today.

Lancelot Jones.

[Singer whistling]

MAN AS WALLACE STEGNER: Thenational park idea, the best

idea we ever had, was inevitable as soon as

Americans learned to confrontthe wild continent not

with fear and cupidity, but with delight,

wonder, and awe.

Once started, it grew like thebackfire it truly was, burning

backup wind against the current of claim and grab

and raid...

proving that our rapacioussociety could hold its hand,

at least in the presence ofstupendous scenery, and learn

to respect the earth for something besides its

economic value.

Wallace Stegner.

COYOTE: On March 1, 1972,Yellowstone, the world's first

national park,celebrated its centennial.

During its 100 years ofexistence, the park had seen

its wildlife wantonly slaughtered by poachers

and then protected by law.

Yellowstone had been guardedby cavalrymen and park

rangers, defended by poets,and studied by scientists.

Endlessly painted and photographed by artists

and amateurs alike, toured byone American president after

another, seeking everythingfrom exhilarating inspiration

to simple relaxation.

Yellowstone had been the siteof everything from Indian wars

to bitter fights over the limits of commercial

exploitation, battles overthe value of nature,

and a continuing argument over how Americans could enjoy its

treasure house of wonders without ruining it

for the next generation.

Along the way, Yellowstonehad become one of the most

recognizable symbols of America itself.

In 1972,Old Faithful, still spouting

as regularly as it did whenit got its name a century

earlier, would thrill 2.2 million people.

But they would representa tiny fraction of the 165

million visitors who came thatyear to a park system that now

had a presence in nearlyevery state in the union--38

national parks and roughly200 historic sites, national

monuments, and other placesAmericans had set aside

for posterity.

By the 1970s, the park ideahad spread from Yellowstone

all the way around the world,ultimately becoming, like the

idea of freedom itself, one ofAmerica's greatest exports--

more than 4,000 parks in nearly 200 nations.

MAN SINGING: Light out singing

And walking in the morning sunshine

Sunshine daydream

COYOTE: But back in the UnitedStates, in the farthest corner

of the nation, the nationalparks were about to experience

their most dramatic expansion.

WOOD: Most people ask,"What brought you to Alaska?"

but the question to ask is "What made you stay?"

We just fell in love with the country.

The country told us what it should be and what it

shouldn't be.

I think that being out therewas a little bit like Conrad

said of the sea--it's not for you or against you.

It's just very unforgiving of errors.

COYOTE: In the hundred yearssince Secretary of State

William Seward had purchasedit from Russia in 1867, Alaska

had had the nickname Seward'sFolly, especially by those who

believed a territory soremote and so far north was

a colossal waste of the $7.2million Seward had agreed to

pay, even if it was more thantwice the size of Texas.

John Muir had a different name for it.

MAN AS JOHN MUIR: To the loverof pure wildness, Alaska is

one of the most wonderful countries in the world.

This is nature's ownreservation, and every lover

of wildness will rejoice withme that by kindly frost it is

so well defended.

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

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

So we buckled down, and itbecame a very serious affair

about what to do with Alaska.

COYOTE: After Alaska wasgranted statehood in 1959,

a federal law was passed tosettle the claims of Alaska's

native peoples, includingthe Inupiaq and the Tlingit,

the Aleut and the Athabaskan.

The land was to be divided up,some for the new state to

control and open for development if it wished,

some for the tribes, and aportion to be withheld forever

in the national interest for all Americans.

As the discovery of vast oil deposits on the north slope

and the construction of the trans-Alaska pipeline

demonstrated, the stakes were enormous.

The fight over what to do withthe federal land would consume

more than a decade and wouldquickly become a national one,

waged in the halls ofCongress, involving commercial

and industrial groupscapable of spending millions

of dollars in advertising andlobbying, versus the Alaska

Coalition, a collection of 50environmental groups which

quickly mushroomed to 1,500 organizations,

representing 10 million members, most of whom had

never set foot in Alaska.

It was the largestgrassroots conservation effort

in American history.

POPE: An entire generationcame along and said, "We want

"to be part of this," and forthem, the Alaska battle was

the culmination.

We'd passed clean air and clean water acts.

We'd passed the Wilderness Act.

We'd set aside millions of acres of wilderness

in the 1970s, and suddenly wehad a landscape where we could

really save what was best about it.

People embraced it. people rallied to it.

It was the chance to get it right.

COYOTE: In the mid-1970s, Congressman Morris Udall

of Arizona, the brother ofStewart Udall, sponsored

a bill setting aside 110million acres of federally

owned land in Alaska.

In May of 1978, Udall'sbill passed overwhelmingly

in the House--277 to 31.

But in the Senate, even thougha clear majority favored

the legislation, a threatenedfilibuster by Alaska Senator

Mike Gravel tied things up,preventing a vote before

Congress adjourned.

It appeared that the bigdreams for preserving large

sections of Alaska would be for nothing.

Then, President Jimmy Carter,acting on the recommendation

of his Interior Secretary,Cecil Andrus, decided to

bypass Congress and invokethe Antiquities Act, a tool

presidents have been using inthe name of conservation since

Theodore Roosevelt.

On December 1, 1978, Cartertook out his pen and signed

executive orders creating 17 national monuments covering

56 million acres of the most critical areas

in Udall's bill.

In Alaska, all hell broke loose.

MAN: I'd be in favor ofsending a contingent of state

troopers to Washington to arrest President Carter

and Andrus for conspiracy to commit a felony, namely the

theft of millions of acres of land in Alaska.

DIFFERENT MAN: In a newnational monument near Mt.

McKinley, about 1,500 Alaskansstaged what they said was

a trespass.

They ran races, shot guns,claimed they had violated 27

laws, and dared park rangers to arrest them.

HEACOX: You have a frontiermentality in Alaska.

"We want to do things our way."

The opposition was intense.

Park planes were burned.

President Carter was burned in effigy.

People protested in the streets.

RUNTE: In New York City, 99%of the people would be

for the park.

In Alaska itself, 99% of thepeople in some of these towns

were against the parks becausethey lived there, and they

didn't see how the touristindustry was going to benefit

them in any way.

COYOTE: To handle the volatilesituation on the ground,

the administration chose JohnCook, a westerner who had

earned a reputation as a tough problem-solver.

The parks were in his blood.

His father and his grandfatherhad worked at the Grand

Canyon, and he joined the ParkService the day he graduated

from high school, steadilyworking his way up the ladder.

COOK: When I stepped off theplane, I was the third least

popular person in Alaska.

The least popular was President Carter.

Cecil Andrus was pretty unpopular as well.

He was the number two man,and then it was me.

We were told they would killthe first Park Service person

that set foot in Duffy'sTavern in northeast Alaska.

4 days later, I walked intoDuffy's Tavern with a tape

recorder and a roll of maps,wearing Alaska clothes,

in the middle of winter flewa ski plane in and sat there

with 200 people, half of themgetting pretty tanked up,

and faced them all, talked tothem, told them what was gonna

happen and what wasn't gonna happen.

COYOTE: On the Kenai Peninsulaat the head of Resurrection

Bay was the small town of Seward, named for the

much-maligned politician who had made Alaska part

of the United States.

Its economy revolved around fish harvesting

and a commercial port that hadbriefly boomed with activity

during the oil pipeline's construction.

Nearby was the HardingIcefield, a sheet of ice 700

square miles wide and one milethick, spawning more than 30

glaciers, many of whichdescend directly to sea level,

where they have carved aseries of deep coastal fjords.

Their waters teem withwildlife--whales, sea lions,

and seals beyond number.

Carter's proclamation hadcreated a 570,000-acre Kenai

Fjords National Monument inhopes it all would eventually

become a national park.

The sentiment in Seward was dead-set against it.

Twice, the city council passed resolutions

condemning the idea.

MAN: Beverly Dunham.

DUNHAM: Alaskans are beingcriticized for wanting as much

of state lands underAlaskan control as possible.

We have been termed selfishfor wanting development...

DUNHAM, VOICE-OVER: I was fearful of it.

I thought the same thing thatmost people did, that it was

going to harm us.

Any interference by thefederal government in any way

was offensive to Alaskans in general and Sewardites

in particular.

We were just fearful of what would happen to us.

COOK: I was sent up there tomake it work, and what I did

is I hand-picked people.

I brought up a task force the first year.

I said, "Whateveryou do, never lie to the people.

"Don't whitewash anything.Go from town to town.

"Live in the towns. Be truthful."

It's awfully hard to stayangry at your neighbor if your

neighbor's a good neighbor.

Governor Hammond and I cameup with a term that he used to

help soften things, and thatwas that the new national

monuments and tourism wouldbe Alaska's permanent pipeline

because we won't run out ofvisitors but in a long time

run out of oil.

COYOTE: While John Cook triedto dampen the local hostility

to Carter's proclamations,the Alaska Coalition prepared

for another Congressional battle to settle all

the Alaska land issues once and for all.

My friends, the vote you makein just a few moments is the

one you've got to live withand your grandchildren have to

live with.

There ought to be a few placesleft in the world the way

the Almighty made them.

We'll never see a buffaloherd again, but if we're wise

today, your grandchildren might be able to see

a caribou herd.

This is the test of conservation in your

Congressional career.

This will be the mostimportant vote you will cast.

COYOTE: On December 2, 1980, after another year

and a half of debate and compromise, President

Carter signed the Alaska National Interest Lands

Conservation Act into law.

It wasn't everything he andthe Alaska Coalition had once

hoped for, but it was stillthe largest single expansion

of protected conservation lands in world history,

creating 4 national forests,10 national preserves,

16 national wildlife refuges.

The national park system,with 47 million acres added to

its care, had suddenlymore than doubled in size.

Within those additions were7 brand-new national parks.

WOMAN: I got a question which-- to write an article on why

we need national parks,and the question struck me

dumb for a minute.

It was like saying, "Why do we need air?"

I mean,we need to have these places,

even if I never go--theonly place I've never been

is Alaska.

Even if I never go to Alaska,I need to know it's there.

COYOTE: And at Seward,the national monument at Kenai

Fjords became the seventhof the new national parks.

5 years later, as the touristeconomy and Seward began to

emerge as a crucial part of the town's livelihood,

the city council quietly butofficially rescinded its two

previous resolutions denouncing the park idea.

Several years after that,they asked that the national

park at their doorstep be expanded.

DUNHAM: I think it's great.

It has done a lot for Seward.

As far as tourism is concerned, it has made

a vast difference.

There are, I think, a thousandseats on day cruisers that

come in and take people out to the fjords.

It has proven that it hasn't hurt anything.

If anything, it's enhanced it.

COOK: And in Alaska, man was acknowledged.

The natives, who were a partof that landscape long before

European man came and calledit wilderness, were using it.

They still get to use it for subsistence purposes.

It's still a part of theirculture, and they are a part

of the preservation.

And it's not preserving museum Indians.

It's preserving a dynamic culture that's within

a dynamic landscape that's also changing.

COYOTE: Mt. McKinleyNational Park, which had been

in existence since 1917, was also affected by

the Alaska Lands Act.

Its area was nearly tripled insize--2.4 million more acres

to the park itself, plus anadditional 1.3 million acres

in two national preserves nextto it--a dramatically larger

expansion than even AdolphMurie had proposed just before

his retirement.

The old park, surrounded bythe new additions, was now

officially designated awilderness, bringing with it

even greater protections tothe land and animals Murie

had championed.

And as if to symbolize allthat had happened, the park's

name was changed toreflect its deeper history.

It would revert to the Athabaskan Indian name

for the tremendous mountainat its core--Denali,

the high one.

COOK: History will, of course,view the creation of those

national parks along withSeward's purchase of Alaska.

History will show that itwas the right thing to do.

COYOTE: John Cook would soongo back to the lower 48 to

become superintendent of GreatSmoky Mountains National Park.

As his father and his father'sfather had done, he would pass

on his love for the nationalparks to his children,

including his daughter Kayci,who would become the fourth

generation of the Cook familyto serve in the Park Service.

KAYCI COOK: At the end ofmy father's career in 1999,

I had become what I always wanted to be,

a superintendent, and I usedmy power in that position to

honor my father for his 43-year career with the National

Park Service, and I invokedthe tradition of the military

tattoo at Fort McHenryNational Monument Historic

Shrine, and I bestowed upon myfather the title of Honorary

Colonel of the Fort McHenry Guard.

I felt very proud doing that for him, and as we stood up

and saluted one another,commander to commander, I felt

much more strongly that it wasa mantle that he was passing

to me much more than anythingthat I was giving to him.

I have a 4-year-old son, Sean, and he has already

expressed an interest in beinga ranger like his mommy.

He sees me put this uniform on every day.

He loves to wear my hat around.

I think he's showing somereal promise in terms of being

a fifth generation, and that would not hurt my feelings.

[Car horn honks]

MAN: When I was a child inDetroit, national parks really

didn't exist.

There were no family trips tonational parks, so it really

didn't exist for me and for my friends.

We didn't sit around talkingabout, "Boy, can't wait to get

"to the Grand Canyon," you know.

That didn't come up as a topicof conversation in Detroit

for me as a child.

But always, there was thisdesire to see Yellowstone.

There was a desire to see theGrand Canyon, to see Yosemite.

There was a desire to fullyinvest my physical self and my

spiritual self in America because that's a part

of America that I didn't know, and I wanted to become

familiar with it.

COYOTE: In 1984, Shelton Johnson became the first

generation of his family tovisit a national park when he

stepped off a bus at the entrance to Yellowstone

and immediately fell in love with everything it offered.

Johnson soon started a careerin the Park Service and by

the 1990s he was working inYosemite as an interpretive

ranger, proudly telling visitors the little-known

story of the African Americanbuffalo soldiers, the park's

earliest protectors.

In the last decades of the20th century, the focus

of the Park Service shifted.

More and more historicsites were saved, including

reminders of painful episodesin American history, set aside

on the belief that a great nation could openly

acknowledge them.

From Kingsley Plantation inFlorida, preserving not only

the owner's grand home,but also the cluster of small

cabins used by the slaves who made his comfortable

life possible.

The central high school in Little Rock, Arkansas,

where in 1957 federal troopshad to escort 9 African

American teenagers pastangry mobs to their classes,

crystallizing the crisis of school desegregation.

From Andersonville, adeadly Civil War prison camp

in Georgia to a polished slabof marble in Washington D.C.

listing the names of 58,000dead and missing soldiers

who served their country in Vietnam.

From Sand Creek and Washita on the Great Plains, where Chief

Black Kettle's peaceful Cheyenne villagers were

massacred by American soldiers.

To Manzanar in the highdesert of eastern California,

where American citizens ofJapanese descent were kept

behind barbed wire during World War II.

From Oklahoma City, where 168 empty chairs now

commemorate the men,women, and children killed

in a senseless act ofdomestic terrorism in 1995.

To a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, that

immortalizes the sacrificesmade by passengers aboard

United Flight 93 on September 11, 2001.

CRONON: When you're asked,"Well, what is coherent

"about a system that contains natural wonders

"and birthplaces of famous people?"

I think the answer you come tois that they are all finally

about a vision of where theUnited States comes from.

We come from nature, but wealso come from our own past,

and so the interpretation ofnature and history together is

not a distraction that the parks face.

It is the very core of the enterprise.

They are all about where we come from.

COYOTE: In the years to come,Americans would continue

expanding the number ofnational parks and continue

using them in ever-increasingnumbers, from 255 million

visitors in 1990, then closingin on 300 million visitors

a decade later--each visit anopportunity to forge a new

relationship to their land,their nation, and themselves.

MAN: We need national parksto have people--especially our

kids--understand what America is.

America is not sidewalks.

America is not stores.

America is not video games.

America is not restaurants.

We need national parks so people can go there and say,

"Ah. This is America."

DUNCAN: And then it was myturn to take my family out to

see the national parks.

It was gonna be our own epic journey as a family.

If there's a national park between Arizona

and the Canadian borderalong the spine of the Rocky

Mountains, we went there.

We broiled in the sun in Arches and Canyonlands,

went and visited Dinosaur asI had when I was a small boy,

hiked around Jenny Lake in theGrand Tetons, then to wear

bear bells, which was veryexciting for the kids

because bears might be around.

At Yellowstone, I got towatch my children see their

first bison.

And then we came to GlacierNational Park, and it was

something of a sentimentalreturn for Diane and me

because 13 years earlier,when we were courting, we had

gone there.

And as we went up Going to the Sun Highway, I took a picture

of my daughter, about to become a beautiful woman

in the same place that herbeautiful mother had once sat

for a photograph, and then wegot to Logan Pass, and my son

Will and I decided to go ona buddy hike and headed up

toward Hidden Lake.

And we came around a corner,and coming toward us were

these mountain goats. And Isaid, "Shh. Just be quiet.

"Don't do anything to disturbthem, and maybe we'll get to

"take a picture."

Well, we just stepped to the side, and this family

of mountain goats came rightdown the trail within about 2

or 3 feet of us, and I don'tknow whose eyes were bigger,

Will's or mine.

I had asked everybody tokeep a diary during our trip,

and that night in his diary,Will wrote, "This was the most

"exciting day of my life."

And so it was the mostexciting day of my life, too.

COYOTE: In January of 1995,a convoy of trucks entered

Yellowstone National Parkat its northern gate, where

a stone arch dedicated byTheodore Roosevelt proclaims

the park's purpose--"for the benefit and enjoyment

"of the people."

Riding in cages in the truckswere 14 gray wolves recently

captured in western Canada.

Two months later, afterbeing kept in small pens to

acclimate them to their newsurroundings, the wolves were

set free, part of a long-range plan to reestablish

the predators in their formerhabitat and make the world's

first national park a littlemore representative of what it

had once been.

I keep imagining that firstwolf coming out of its cage,

and I think of Adolph beingthere, and he probably would

have cried.

Just think--we now have wolves in Yellowstone.

COYOTE: Within only a few years, the wolves were

thriving--part, once more, of the entire

Yellowstone ecosystem.

WHITTLESEY: I was in the backcountry with one of my good

friends, and we're standingout there in the dark, and we

hear this long, low, throatyhowl, and I'd never heard that

sound before.

[Wolves howling]

And I knew immediately what itwas, and I remember standing

there thinking...

"I am so lucky to get to hear that

"sound that has not been heard in the back country

"of Yellowstone for 60-some years."

WILLIAMS: I think ourchallenge as lovers of our

national parks in the 21stcentury will be the challenge

of restoration.

I think that's the story that's yet to be told,

the story of restoration.

And not only are our nationalparks a gift, I think they're

a covenant.

They're a covenant with thefuture, saying, "This is

"where we were.

"This is what we loved...

"and now it's in your hands."

MAN: One learns that the world, though made, is

yet being made, that this isstill the morning of creation.

This grand show is eternal.

It is always sunrise somewhere.

The dew is never all dried at once.

A shower is forever falling.

Vapor is ever rising.

Eternal sunrise, eternal sunset, eternal dawn

and gloaming.

On sea and continents andislands, each in its turn,

as the round earth rolls.

John Muir.

Captioning made possible by Friends of NCI

Captioned by the National Captioning Institute --www.ncicap.org--

ANNOUNCER: To further explore

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

visit PBS online 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 shopPBS.org

or call 1-800-PLAY-PBS.

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.


FEATURED PROGRAMS

World Channel
Vienna Blood
Under a Minute
The Talk: Race in America
The Cardinal’s Files
The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross
Talking Pictures with Neil Rosen
Room Tone
Reel 13
RECONSTRUCTION: AMERICA AFTER THE CIVIL WAR
Prideland
Pioneers of Television
PBS Remixed
PBS Online Film Festival
PBS Indies