The National Parks: America's Best Idea

  • 2009
  • 1 Season
  • TV-G

A sumptuously filmed documentary series that explores the origins of America's national parks, from their genesis in the mid-1800s to the present. It features archival photographs, personal memories, more than 40 interviews and gorgeous cinematography of such locales as Acadia, the Grand Canyon, Yosemite and Yellowstone.

Where to Watch

Available to Stream

Season 1, Episode 5 Great Nature (1933-1945)

First Aired: October 1, 2009

The years 1933-45 are recalled. Included: the Civilian Conservation Corps are created during the Depression to undertake renovation projects in the national parks; NPS biologist George Melendez Wright pushes to reform the NPS's wildlife policies; Florida's Everglades become a national park; FDR is pressured to allow mining, grazing and lumber work in the national parks during World War II and is also criticized for expanding the Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.

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