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The Book of the National Parks

The Book of the National Parks by Robert Sterling Yard
By: (1861-1945)

"The Book of the National Parks" by Robert Sterling Yard is a comprehensive and fascinating guide to America's national parks. Yard's passion for nature and conservation shines through in his writing, as he takes readers on a journey through some of the most breathtaking landscapes in the country.

Yard's detailed descriptions and beautifully written prose truly bring each park to life, making readers feel as though they are right there alongside him exploring the wonders of the natural world. His deep respect and admiration for these national treasures is evident on every page, inspiring readers to appreciate and protect these precious landscapes for future generations.

In addition to the stunning visuals and engaging writing, Yard's book also provides valuable historical context and practical information for visitors looking to plan their own adventures in the national parks. Whether you're a seasoned outdoor enthusiast or a newcomer to the world of conservation, "The Book of the National Parks" is sure to educate, inspire, and entertain. Highly recommended for anyone with a love for nature and a sense of wonder.

Book Description:
Robert Sterling Yard (February 1, 1861 – May 17, 1945) was an American writer, journalist, and wilderness activist. Born in Haverstraw, New York, Yard graduated from Princeton University and spent the first twenty years of his career in the editing and publishing business. In 1915, he was recruited by his friend Stephen Mather to help publicize the need for an independent national park agency. Their numerous publications were part of a movement that resulted in legislative support for a National Park Service (NPS) in 1916. Yard worked to promote the national parks as well as educate Americans about their use. Creating high standards based on aesthetic ideals for park selection, he also opposed commercialism and industrialization of what he called "America's masterpieces". In 1935, he became one of the eight founding members of The Wilderness Society and acted as its first president from 1937 until his death eight years later. Yard is now considered an important figure in the modern wilderness movement.

In the preface to this book, published in 1919, he writes, "In offering the American public a carefully studied outline of its national park system, I have two principal objects. The one is to describe and differentiate the national parks in a manner which will enable the reader to appreciate their importance, scope, meaning, beauty, manifold uses and enormous value to individual and nation. The other is to use these parks, in which Nature is writing in large plain lines the story of America's making, as examples illustrating the several kinds of scenery, and what each kind means in terms of world building; in other words, to translate the practical findings of science into unscientific phrase for the reader's increased profit and pleasure, not only in his national parks but in all other scenic places great and small."

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