32 color plates, 5 maps

Requiem for America’s Best Idea

National Parks in the Era of Climate Change
By Michael J. Yochim



In his enthusiastic explorations and fervent writing, Michael J. Yochim “was to Yellowstone what Muir was to Yosemite. . . . Other times, his writing is like that of Edward Abbey, full of passion for the natural world and anger at those who are abusing it,” writes foreword contributor William R. Lowry. In 2013 Yochim was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease). While fighting the disease, he wrote Requiem for America’s Best Idea. The book establishes a unique parallel between Yochim’s personal struggle with a terminal illness and the impact climate change is having on the national parks—the treasured wilderness that he loved and to which he dedicated his life.

Yochim explains how climate change is already impacting the vegetation, wildlife, and the natural conditions in Olympic, Grand Canyon, Glacier, Yellowstone, and Yosemite National Parks. A poignant and thought-provoking work, Requiem for America’s Best Idea investigates the interactions between people and nature and the world that can inspire and destroy them.

Contributor Bios
Michael J. Yochim (1966–2020) worked for twenty-two years at Yellowstone National Park as well as at Yosemite, Grand Canyon, and Sequoia. His books include Yellowstone and the Snowmobile: Locking Horns over National Park Use, A Week in Yellowstone’s Thorofare: A Journey Through the Remotest Place, Essential Yellowstone: A Landscape of Memory and Wonder, and Protecting Yellowstone: Science and the Politics of National Park Management (UNM Press).