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Contemporary Commentators

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Clay Jenkinson on Thomas Jefferson, Nature and the Parks (00:52)

  • Clay Jenkinson on Thomas Jefferson, Nature and the Parks
  • Clay Jenkinson on Teddy Roosevelt, the Parks and Democracy

Clay Jenkinson

Episode(s): 1, 2

Clay Jenkinson, a former Rhodes Scholar, is one of the nation's most popular humanities scholars and the host of the syndicated radio program, "The Thomas Jefferson Hour," in which he portrays the third President of the United States.

Jenkinson is a co-founder of the modern Chautauqua movement, portraying Thomas Jefferson, Meriwether Lewis, Theodore Roosevelt and other historical characters in first-person interpretations. He has performed as Thomas Jefferson for President Clinton as well as Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report."

He lives in his native North Dakota, where he is director of the Dakota Institute, a columnist for the Bismarck Tribune, and Theodore Roosevelt scholar in residence at Dickinson State University.

Pam Wright Lloyd Add To Scrapbook

Pam Wright Lloyd

Pam Wright Lloyd

Episode(s): 5

Pamela Wright Lloyd is an environmentalist and the daughter of George Melendez Wright, the first chief of the National Park Service's Wildlife Division.

Martin Murie Add To Scrapbook

Martin Murie

Martin Murie

Episode(s): 5, 6

Martin Murie is the son of conservationists Olaus and Mardy Murie and nephew of Adolph Murie. He grew up in Jackson, Wyoming; served in the U.S. Army; studied at Reed College and the University of California, Berkeley; and taught life sciences at UC Berkeley and UC Santa Barbara, and Antioch College. He is the author of Losing Solitude, Windswept, and Red Tree Mouse Chronicles.

Former NPS Superintendent, Ernest Ortega Add To Scrapbook

Former NPS Superintendent, Ernest Ortega

Ernest Ortega

Episode(s): 5

Ernest Ortega, whose ancestry includes both Spanish settlers and Apache Indians in New Mexico, had a long career in the National Park Service, from being a ranger at San Antonio Missions National Historic Site in Texas to superintendent of Wind Cave National Park in South Dakota. He now works in historic preservation for the State of New Mexico.

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Carl Pope on the Parks and Democracy (00:27)

  • Carl Pope on the Parks and Democracy
  • Carl Pope on National Parks and the Immigrant Experience

Carl Pope

Episode(s): 1, 2, 3, 5, 6

Carl Pope is the executive director of the Sierra Club and has worked with the organization for almost 30 years. Since taking over as executive director, Pope has helped the Sierra Club protect almost 10 million acres of wilderness and has overseen the growth of the club's membership by 150,000 to 700,000 members. Pope served two years with the Peace Corps in India after graduating from Harvard.

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Alfred Runte on Visiting the Parks as a Child (00:48)

  • Alfred Runte on Visiting the Parks as a Child
  • Alfred Runte on His First Visit to the Grand Canyon

Alfred Runte

Episode(s): 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Alfred Runte is an author, a noted environmental historian and a political figure from Seattle, Washington. He is the author of Allies of the Earth: Railroads and the Soul of Preservation; The National Parks: The American Experience; Yosemite: The Embattled Wilderness; and several other books. He was born in Binghamton, NY, where he graduated from the State University of New York. He holds an M.A. from Illinois State University and a Ph.D. in history from the University of California at Santa Barbara.

Old Faithful, Yellowstone National Park

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View with fog in valley and peaks lighted by sunset, winter; Yosemite National Park

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Untold Stories

Untold Stories

Discover the "hidden" stories of the national parks that explore the role of minorities in the creation and protection of the parks.

National Park Service rangers

Visit America's Best Idea

You own 391 national parks. Come for a visit and take away the experience of a lifetime. Help the National Park Service make America's Best Idea even better!

Bank of America Evelyn & Walter Haas, Jr Fund Corporation for Public Broadcasting The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations Park Foundation

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THE NATIONAL PARKS: AMERICA'S BEST IDEA is a co-production of

Florentine Films and WETA

 

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