Cover Image

Larger ImageView Larger

Uncertain Path

A Search for the Future of National Parks

William C. Tweed (Author), Jonathan B. Jarvis (Foreword)

Available worldwide

Paperback, 248 pages
ISBN: 9780520271388
October 2011
$24.95, £16.95
Other Formats Available:
In this provocative walking meditation, writer and former park ranger William Tweed takes us to California’s spectacular High Sierra to discover a new vision for our national parks as they approach their 100th anniversary. Tweed, who worked among the Sierra Nevada’s big peaks and big trees for more than thirty years, has now hiked more than 200 miles along California’s John Muir Trail in a personal search for answers: How do we address the climate change we are seeing even now—in melting glaciers in Glacier National Park, changing rainy seasons on Mt Rainer, and more fire in the West’s iconic parks. Should we intervene where we can to preserve biodiversity? Should the parks merely become ecosystem museums that exhibit famous landscapes and species? Asking how we can make these magnificent parks relevant for the next generation, Tweed, through his journey, ultimately shows why we must do just that.
Foreword
Introduction

1. South from Yosemite
2. Kings Canyon National Park
3. Sequoia National Park
4. National Parks in the Twenty-first Century

Notes
References
Acknowledgments
Index
William Tweed, Chief Park Naturalist at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks before he retired in 2006, is the author, with Lauren Davis, of Death Valley and the Northern Mojave, A Visitor’s Guide and, with Lary M. Dilsaver, of Challenge of the Big Trees: A Resource History of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.
“Elegant and thoughtful . . .. A welcome -- and long overdue -- call for a fundamental redefinition of the National Park Service's core mission and management goals.”—High Country News
“This is a must-read for anyone who loves national parks.”—Fresno Bee
“Mr. Tweed plays the role of tour guide perfectly, stopping frequently to identify critical flora and fauna, exercising his considerable knowledge about wilderness and its remarkable role in park history.”—National Parks Traveler
“Anyone who has an interest in the physical future and relevancy of our National Park System to our changing society should read this book. “—A Park Ranger’s Life Blog
"I strongly encourage this interested in the future of parks and wilderness to add this jewell of a book to their libraries. It is an important work that is informative and thought-provoking as well as being enjoyable to read. It merits the attention of park professionals as well as those more broadly interested in conservation and natural history."—George Wright Journal
"Uncertain Path is a must read for wilderness and parks lovers who also know that climate change must be addressed if we are to be good stewards of our natural heritage. Bill Tweed is leading us down the right trail just in time." —Carl Pope, Chairman, Sierra Club

"Author and naturalist Bill Tweed, like Muir, assumed that large, wild parks and wilderness areas could protect themselves, if we just let nature run its course. But on a hike along the John Muir Trail Tweed comes to the realization that, 'Natural' processes cannot lead reliably to 'natural' results in a world where climate change, global population, and habitat fragmentation have changed the operating rules...' It is a vital lesson we must all learn and act on—quickly and decisively—if we want to pass on a wild heritage to future generations."—Bruce Hamilton, Deputy Executive Director, Sierra Club

“Bill Tweed has that rare combination of deep historical knowledge and even deeper passion for the national parks. He displays them both in Uncertain Path, a journey through the High Sierra that looks at the past and potential future of these American treasures. I can’t think of a better trail guide.”—Dayton Duncan, author of The National Parks: America’s Best Idea

"This is history from the inside, intimate and provocative, growing from both the trail and from forty years of living with the Sierra Nevada. Younger generations are redefining the value of national parks just as global climate change transforms the very ecosystems that parks preserve. Tempered by managing parks and wilderness and people, Bill Tweed measures these sweeping changes with a clear eye. With deep concern and courage, he offers a sober vision of how to manage our national parks in the 21st century."—Stephen Trimble, author of Bargaining for Eden: The Fight for the Last Open Spaces in America

"After nearly four decades as a park ranger revealing the secrets of nature to the visiting public, Bill Tweed took a 240-mile walk through the Sierra Nevada and took us along. Nothing escapes his loving attention, and like John Muir, Tweed sees each thing as connected to everything else, drawing rich conclusions about the future of the national parks. By all means, don't miss this trip."—Jordan Fisher Smith, author of Nature Noir

"Bill Tweed's Uncertain Path is an invitation to the high country of the Sierra Nevada and also public land issues and philosophy. It's a wise and challenging exercise with a grand broad view."—Gary Snyder, author of The Practice of the Wild: Essays

CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title, American Library Association

Save 20%

Add source code 14W0162 to get your discount at checkout.
Cannot be combined with any other offers.

Join UC Press


Members receive 20-40% discounts on book purchases. Find out more