Join journalist and former park ranger, Heather Hansen, to hear the story of the National Park Service (NPS) — a story of the people who fought to protect the places that help define our national identity. The nation’s pars are those places we all now hold dear—from the hazy blue mist that hangs over the Great Smoky Mountains to the spouting geysers of Yellowstone to the steamy, sinuous waterways of the Everglades.
Have you been a visitor to one of the parks in our National Park Service? Join us as Heather Hansen, an award-winning author, shares her story about its history — the story of those whose foresight created the places we each make part of our own natural histories.
Anyone who has craned their neck to spy the top of a redwood in Muir Woods, heard the ghostly whispers of long-gone residents among the cliff dwellings of Mesa Verde, or climbed the 354 stairs to gaze out from the Statue of Liberty’s crown would agree that our national park system inspires pride and wonder.
But 100 years ago, creating a bureau to administer America’s vast and diverse park system called for great debate and persuasion. The story of the National Park Service (NPS) is the story of the people who fought to protect the places that help define our national identity, those places we all now hold dear—from the hazy blue mist that hangs over the Great Smoky Mountains to the spouting geysers of Yellowstone to the steamy, sinuous waterways of the Everglades. The National Park Service founders were the architects of our family vacations and the inventors of icons with worldwide appeal. They battled greed and ignorance disguised as “progress,” and their successors nurtured and shaped the National Park Service through a flu pandemic, the Great Depression, two world wars, and beyond.
Prophets and Moguls, Rangers and Rogues, Bison and Bears by award-winning journalist Heather Hansen tells the engaging, accessible tale of the history and characters of the National Park Service. The result of extensive research, dozens of interviews, and countless visits to parks across the country, this highly readable history connects the dots between past and present, and highlights the importance of citizens’ support for the future of the parks. Offering something for everyone, our incredible natural, cultural, and historic resources, and the hardworking National Park Service, need us as much as we need them.
For this book Hansen logged roughly 20,000 miles in her trusty though filthy hybrid Honda visiting many of America’s best places. She ate pounds of campfire mac and cheese while reliving her early days as a junior ranger on Cape Cod National Seashore thirty years ago. Hansen communed with spirits on the Natchez Trace, listened to wolves bay in Yellowstone, relearned everything she’d forgotten about the Civil War, realized how much Steve Jobs had in common with Thomas Edison, and was touched by the fulfilling desolation of Sequoia’s wilderness. She’ll never tire of the question, “Which park is your favorite?”
352 pages * 7 x 8 ½ * 125 color photographs including many archival images * 1 map *
$24.95 * ISBN 978-1-59485-888-8 * Available in bookstores everywhere
About author Heather Hansen: Heather Hansen is an independent reporter based in Boulder, Colorado. She has been on staff at US and international newspapers and magazines, and her work has appeared in many national publications. Hansen is the coauthor of Disappearing Destinations, a critically acclaimed guide to the world’s endangered places that received the American Society of Journalists and Authors’ general nonfiction prize; the Colorado Authors’ League’s creative nonfiction prize; and Society of American Travel Writers’ Lowell Thomas Award. Learn more about Hansen and the National Park Service at www.traveltoparks.com and on Twitter @travel2parks.