National Parks: America's Best Idea, continues on Sunday at 10 pm

Sep 19, 2013

To battle unemployment in the Great Depression, Franklin D. Roosevelt creates the Civilian Conservation Corps, which spawns a “golden age” for the parks through major renovation projects. In a groundbreaking study, a young NPS biologist named George Melendez Wright discovers widespread abuses of animal habitats and pushes the service to reform its wildlife policies. Congress narrowly passes a bill to protect the Everglades in Florida as a national park — the first time a park has been created solely to preserve an ecosystem, as opposed to scenic beauty. As America becomes entrenched in World War II, Roosevelt is pressured to open the parks to mining, grazing and lumbering. The president also is subjected to a storm of criticism for expanding the Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming by accepting a gift of land secretly purchased by John D. Rockefeller Jr.         

"Great Nature (1933 - 1945)" on National Parks: America's Best Idea airs on Sunday at 10 pm.

Filmed over the course of more than six years at some of nature's most spectacular locales, THE NATIONAL PARKS: AMERICA'S BEST IDEA is a six-part, 12-hour film by Ken Burns on the history of America's national parks and the people who were willing to devote themselves to saving some precious portion of the land they loved. Pictured: Grand Teton National Park