To the Best of Our Knowledge: National Parks

  • by Jim Fleming
  • 0 hrs and 52 mins
  • Radio/TV Program

Publisher's Summary

In this hour, William Cronon directs the University of Wisconsin's Center for Culture, History and the Environment. He tells Steve Paulson that national parks intended for the masses are a 19th century invention and a distinctly American one. Also, the early national parks were patrolled and protected by the American Cavalry. Ken Burns explains their role in a brief excerpt from his latest PBS series, then, independent producer James Mills follows up on Ken Burns' remarks about the Buffalo Soldiers and looks into the issue of why so few African-Americans visit the national Parks today.
Next, Journalist Mark Dowie is the author of Conservation Refugees: The Hundred Year Conflict Between Global Conservation and Native Peoples. Dowie tells Steve Paulson about a recent confrontation between a Masai leader and several thousand environmentalists gathered for a conference. He also provides examples of conservation projects involving native peoples that actually work.
Then, Anthropologist and naturalist Richard Nelson lives in Alaska and is the host of a public radio program called Encounters. Nelson hikes through the Alaskan wilderness recording sounds you can't hear anywhere else, and he plays excerpt during this conversation with Anne Strainchamps. There's a link to his radio show at
And finally, Nevada Barr has written 15 mystery novels featuring Park Ranger Anna Pigeon. She tells Jim Fleming that despite Anna's fictional adventures, the National Parks are safe places, and wildly different from each other. Barr's latest book is 13 ½. [Broadcast Date: September 3, 2010]


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Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-03-2010
  • Publisher: Wisconsin Public Radio (To the Best of Our Knowledge)