Who actually lived in The Adirondacks, Yosemite, and The Grand Canyon before they became national parks? This is the simple, but compelling, question Karl Jacoby asks in Crimes against Nature: Squatters, Poachers, Thieves, and the Hidden History of American Conservation.
When Lady Bird took the podium, as one of a host of national and local politicians, she pointed out that the region surrounding the dam “consists of eons of time laid bare – on stone pages and in the treasure troves of Indian myths and artifacts” that would make the resulting Lake Powell “a magnet for tourists.”
Flip through the pages of almost any American history textbook. Within the first few sections, you will find paragraphs dedicated to the American Revolution and the ideological groundwork that supported it; the pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps mythology that surrounds Abraham Lincoln; the rise of a cotton-based economy in the South and the enslaved manpower that sustained it; the westward expansion of the American population and the lines of communication and transportation that they created in the wake of their migration.