The History, Ecology and Future of America's First National Park


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About the Book

Yellowstone National Park is the focal point of the 22-million-acre, multifaceted Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, located in northwestern Wyoming and in parts of eastern Idaho and Montana. Yellowstone has a uniquely American identity as a place where nature—largely untouched and unmanaged—is allowed to flourish.  This is a detailed survey that blends Yellowstone’s past into its present and explores its likely future. It covers the first inhabitants of the area; the explorers and visionary conservationists who first brought Yellowstone to public attention; the unsung early heroes of the park’s ranger service; and the flora, fauna, and spectacular geology of the region. The book also covers the possible future paths for the park in light of global climate change.

About the Author(s)

Hunt Janin is an American writer living in southwestern France. He has written numerous nonfiction and scholarly books on a range of subjects, including medieval history and cross-cultural studies.

Following a career in corporate finance, Nicole Sheehan has dedicated herself to helping educational and environmental nonprofit organizations pursue national and international causes. She lives in Jackson, Wyoming.

Bibliographic Details

Hunt Janin and Nicole Sheehan

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 204
Bibliographic Info: 5 photos, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2022
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8107-8
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4406-6
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Quote v
Preface 1
Setting the Stage 3
1. The First Peoples 11
2. Exploring and Protecting the Greater Yellowstone Region, 1784 to 1871 16
3. Later Efforts to Safeguard the Yellowstone Region, 1872–1887 39
4. Early Days of the Park Rangers in Yellowstone, 1872–1918 46
5. The Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem 50
6. The Influence of Volcanism and Other Geological Events on the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem 65
7. Life in Yellowstone Under Extreme Conditions 72
8. An Overview of Yellowstone’s Wildlife 75
9. Implications of Climate Change in the Yellowstone Region 94
10. Yellowstone’s Northern Range 99
11. The Return of the Wolf to the Yellowstone Ecosystem 104
12. A Miscellany of Yellowstone Events 110
13. Winter: Animal and Human Uses 123
14. Conflicts of Interest: The Old West vs. the New West—a “­Super-Wicked” Problem 129
15. Monitoring Vital Signs: The Health of the Ecosystem Today 137
16. Management Challenges 144
17. Prospects for the Future 152
Conclusions 159
A Chronology 161
Appendix 1: George Catlin Discusses the Prairie Native Americans 165
Appendix 2: The “Putrified” [Petrified] Forest of Black Harris 168
Appendix 3: Grizzly Bear Hazing Guidelines for Livestock Owners, Homeowners and the General Public 170
Appendix 4: Litigation and Planning History of Winter Use 172
Appendix 5: Waters of Yellowstone 174
Chapter Notes 177
Bibliography 185
Index 195

Book Reviews & Awards

“The emphasis throughout this book’s 17 chapters is that management direction undertaken by the National Park Service—whether past, present, or future—must be synchronized with conditions obtaining in the larger ecosystem, which includes other national parks, national forests, Bureau of Land Management properties, wildlife preserves, state-owned lands, and private property. The authors identify several stressors that directly affect the well-being of the ecosystem, including climate change, visitation rates, increasing residential density on private properties, and invasive species. … Any reader interested in the history, development, and management of U.S. national parks will find this book of value. It will also provide a comprehensive overlook for those planning to visit the park in the future. …recommended”—Choice