PBS Documentary by Ken Burns The National Parks: America’s Best Idea Episode Two, Chapters 1, 3 & 5 “Devastation of the Land” For all of these documentary clips, please watch the video individually and complete the answers on your own. Sharing answers not only denies another student the opportunity to view the documentary firsthand, but also is unfair to other students who have done this on their own. This full documentary was filmed by the most celebrated cinematographer in the country and was watched by millions of Americans when broadcast by PBS in 2009-2010. Episode 2, Chapter 1 “The Last Refuge: Introduction” 1. Park ranger Shelton Johnson describes an experience when he was working at Yellowstone, the world’s first national park. What 2000-pound animal does he describe? Bison 2. According to Johnson, a single moment in a place as wild as Yellowstone, indeed most of the national parks, can last forever . 3. In 1883, a young politician, the eldest son of a prominent New York City family, became alarmed about reports that the vast herds of buffalo that had once blanketed the Great Plains were quickly disappearing. What was his name? Theodore Roosevelt 4. He was afraid the buffalo would become extinct before he had the chance to shoot one. 5. According to historian Clay Jenkinson, Theodore Roosevelt loved to kill . (Note the paradox of Roosevelt’s incredible love and fascination for animals and his desire to kill them.)
6. That first trip to the West, Roosevelt said later, was an important turning point for him. Over the next several years, he would return again and again—to take more hunting trips into the mountains, to ranch on the open plains, to build up his health and character by pursuing what he called the strenuous life. 7. Roosevelt would never lose his love of hunting , but in time he would learn there were much bigger—and more important—trophies to pursue. (As you continue to watch the video segment, what is it that the narrator is referring to as bigger and more important trophies?) Protect these lands 8. Enjoy this outstanding footage of wildlife photography. For your edification I have identified the animals you will see in this sequence, in order: Brown bears in a river Moose sparring Brown bear with older cubs chasing a wolf American Bison (buffalo) running in badlands Caribou in Alaska tundra Bats in the mouth of a cave Elk in snow 9. Terry Tempest Williams says that our national parks are an idea. An idea based on generosity . 10. That’s because they are set aside not only for our own species, but for all species. 11. This is both a declaration of independence and interdependence.
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