Yellowstone and the Biology of Time: Photographs Across a Century
Established in 1872, Yellowstone National Park is the oldest and one of the largest national parks in the world. In this remarkable book, scientists Mary Meagher and Douglas B. Houston present one hundred sets of photographs that compare the Yellowstone of old with the park of today. Most of the photo sets include three pictures — not the usual two — with many of the original views dating back to the 1870s and 1880s. From the same photo points used by the early photographers, Meagher and Houston rephotographed the scenes in the 1970s, and then, following the great fires of 1988, again in the 1990s. The result is an illuminating record of Yellowstone’s dynamic ecosystem and its changes over time. Through close analysis of the photos and reference to the vast amount of available data, Meagher and Houston describe changes in vegetation, growth of wildlife populations, the effect of beaver occupancy on wetland areas, and geothermal and elevational shifts. At the same time they point out the extent to which many sites have not changed — despite important switches in park policy and an increase in human activity. Yellowstone National Park has long been the focus of major ecological debates. Should managers allow wildfires to burn? Should the elk and bison populations be controlled? Are too many people visiting the park? "Yellowstone and the Biology of Time" offers a wealth of information to help us answer these questions. A visual treasure, this book will be of value to scientists from various disciplines as well as to the many people who care about Yellowstone and other protected wilderness areas around the world.