The National Parks
Part 2, The Last Refuge (1890-1915) America's Best Idea, A Film By Ken BurnsStreaming Video - 2011
This episode tells how, by the end of the 19th century, industrialization had left many Americans worried about whether the country would have any pristine land left. Poachers in the parks were rampant, and visitors were littering or carving their names in wilderness sites. Congress had yet to establish judicial authority or set aside appropriations for protection of the parks. This sparked a conservation movement by organizations such as the Sierra Club, led by John Muir; the Audubon Society, led by George Bird Grinnell; and the Boone and Crockett Club, led by Theodore Roosevelt. The movement failed to stop San Francisco from building the Hetch Hetchy Dam at Yosemite, flooding Muir's "mountain temple" and leaving him broken-hearted.