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The Fight for Wildlife and Wilderness in the National Parks

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The Fight for Wildlife and Wilderness in the National Parks

 

In the beginning, national parks were mostly about scenery — not entirely because some early parks like Yellowstone, Mount Rainier, and Crater Lake featured unusual marvels of the natural world.

But the focus was on scenic beauty and providing opportunities for visitors to enjoy it.

From those earliest days wildlife, particularly big critters like bears and elk, was one of the attractions in some parks like Yellowstone and Yosemite where they were on “display” at, for instance, the Yellowstone garbage dumps.

Wildlife protection was an afterthought, if a thought at all, in the establishment and management of national parks. George Meléndez Wright changed this, at least for a while.

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