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National Park Service

Juan Lujan, CCC veteran Add To Scrapbook

Juan Lujan, CCC veteran

Juan Lujan

Episode(s): 5

Juan Lujan grew up in the tiny town of Redford, Texas, along the Rio Grande. He enrolled in the Civilian Conservation Corps and worked at what would become Big Bend National Park and then in Las Cruces, New Mexico, where he could attend New Mexico State University. He served in the Army Air Force in Europe during World War II and finished college under the GI Bill, ultimately earning a bachelor's degree, a master's degree, and a doctorate.

Adolph Murie, Igloo Canyon, Mt. McKinley (later Denali) National Park, circa 1920s Add To Scrapbook

Adolph Murie, Igloo Canyon, Mt. McKinley (later Denali) National Park, circa 1920s

Adolph Murie (1899–1974)

Episode(s): 6

After visiting Mount McKinley National Park in Alaska as a 22-year-old college student, Adolph Murie was inspired to pursue his doctoral degree in biology. He became an important voice in preserving wild nature in national parks. He conducted a number of wildlife studies for the Park Service in a range of parks, the most significant being his landmark observations of wolves in their natural habitat at Mount McKinley. His conclusions that wolves were not a scourge on the landscape – and his call for wolves to be protected, not exterminated – made him unpopular, even within the Park Service itself. But he persevered, and eventually many of his proposals were adopted.

In the 1950s and 1960s, Murie objected to plans for building a paved highway into the heart of Mount McKinley National Park, and for a hotel and gas station near Wonder Lake. He won a partial victory when the Park Service ended the paving after the first 13 miles and abandoned the plans for the hotel and other construction.

Murie's half-brother Olaus, also a biologist, was an important figure in American conservation, serving as a director of the Wilderness Society and playing an instrumental role in the creation of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and the passage of the Wilderness Act. Olaus' wife, Mardy, was his full partner in the conservation efforts and carried on after his death. She played a key role in the fight for creation of the Alaska parks in the late 1970s and was eventually awarded a Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Bill Clinton.

The Murie Center in Grand Teton National Park, created from a ranch given to the park by the families of the Murie brothers, continues their conservation work. On August 16, 2004, the Murie Science and Learning Center in Denali National Park was officially opened and dedicated to Adolph Murie, in honor of his work to enlarge and protect national parks and their wildlife populations.

Claude Tyler, CCC veteran Add To Scrapbook

Claude Tyler, CCC veteran

Claude Tyler

Episode(s): 5
Associated Park(s): Yellowstone

Claude Tyler was the eldest of eight children in a desperately poor farm family from Blossom, Texas. At age 16, he was dispatched to Death Valley National Monument as part of the Civilian Conservation Corps. He was then sent to Lassen Volcanic National Park in northern California, a peak more than 10,000 feet above sea level.

After his time at Lassen, Tyler returned to Blossom, where he attended high school for a year. His parents were still struggling financially, however, so he rejoined the CCC and was sent to Arizona, Oregon, and finally Wyoming, where he built log cabins near the east entrance to Yellowstone.

Tyler spent $5 of his monthly salary on Baby Ruth candy bars and RC Colas; the remaining $25 was sent back to Texas to help his family survive the Depression.

Old Faithful, Yellowstone National Park

Send Email Postcards

Create personalized postcards using images from The National Parks series and email them to friends or family.

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

Download Wallpapers

Download some of the glorious images from the documentary to enjoy on your desktop.

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

National Park Foundation The Peter Jay Sharp Foundation The Pew Charitable TrustsGM

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

Florentine Films and WETA

 

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