Playing God in Yellowstone: The Destruction of America's First National Park

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9780871130259: Playing God in Yellowstone: The Destruction of America's First National Park
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Basing his argument on five years of research, the author refutes Yellowstone Park's reputation as a great game sanctuary by revealing numerous examples of the park's ecological mismanagement

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About the Author:

Alston Chase is a former philosophy professor who has degrees from Harvard, Oxford and Princeton Universities. He served as chairman of the Department of Philosophy at Macalester College in Minnesota, where his disenchantment with the academy led to his early retirement from the professorial life. He is a frequent contributor to national magazines. Some of his books are Playing God in Yellowstone, In a Dark Wood and most recently Harvard and the Unabomber: The Education of an American Terrorist. He and his wife live in Paradise Valley, Montana.

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Beavers have disappeared; their prime food, aspen and willow, have drastically declined. Cougars, bobcats and wolves are no longer here, victims of predator control from earlier times. Deer, moose and bighorn sheep are scarce; black bears are seldom seen by visitors, and the grizzly is threatened with extinction. Meanwhile, bison and elk flourish, to the detriment of rangeland. Wildlife management in Yellowstone has been under fire for decades. Chase reviews the park's history and examines vacillating policies and political pressures that affect the park's management. Attracting visitors is the overriding priority, he finds; their safety is the guiding philosophy, and rangers are mere policemen. Chase tells the story of Grant Village, a development sited in prime grizzly habitat; he discusses the friction between rangers and naturalists, the exclusion of university biologists (though geologists are welcome). Current wildlife policy stresses the "intact ecosystem" i.e., no interference with nature; consequently, bison infected with brucellosis, sheep with "pink-eye" go untreated and stranded animals are left ot die. This policy is supported by major environmental groups. Chase, who heads an education program at Yellowstone, has written an explosive study. First serial to the Atlantic and Outside magazine.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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9780156720366: Playing God in Yellowstone: The Destruction of America's First National Park (with an Epilogue by the Author)

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ISBN 10:  0156720361 ISBN 13:  9780156720366
Publisher: Mariner Books, 1987
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