This history of Yosemite follows it as the seat of controversy
affecting the evolution of national parks, from its path-breaking
establishment in 1864 as a grant to California, 1890 expansion into a
national park, boundary reductions and loss of the Hetch Hetchy Valley,
evolution of wildlife science, management practices threatening Yosemite
Valley, and erosion of wilderness to the present day.
An internationally recognized expert on America's national parks, Alfred Runte is based in Seattle, Washington. He was recently an adviser to the Ken Burns PBS documentary The National Parks: America's Best Idea and appeared in all six episodes of the Emmy Award-winning series. Runte has also been a guest on Nightline, The Today Show, 48 Hours, the History and Travel channels, and speaks frequently in public forums on the need to protect our parks. His other books include Allies of the Earth: Railroads and the Soul of Preservation, and Trains of Discovery: Railroads and the Legacy of Our National Parks, now in its fifth edition. In April 2011, Runte was elected to membership in the College of Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame at Illinois State University (his master's degree institution) "in recognition of exemplary achievement" as a teacher and public scholar. He also holds a B.A. from the State University of New York at Binghamton and a Ph.D. from the University of California, Santa Barbara.