In September and October of 2017, John Baden presented this lecture to participants of the MSU / Montana Wonderlust extended education program.  Following are four videos representing the four sessions conducted for the Wonderlust classes.

Yellowstone and the Second Century of Our National Parks

How has Yellowstone National Park survived as a national treasure that can be enjoyed by the public, yet retain its wildness? Success at striking the balance depends on the National Park Service’s management strategies. We will consider how Park management changed as scientific knowledge increased, demand for access grew, and competition for government funding intensified. We begin with Yellowstone’s early management by the Army. Next, we will view Park leaders who tackled three major problems: feeding bears, eliminating predators, and extinguishing fires. We will examine emerging threats to Yellowstone and other “romance lands” and conclude by exploring conservation efforts including those by Yellowstone Forever and American Prairie Reserve.


Session 1: History of Yellowstone


Session 2: The Progressive Enlightenment and Scientific Management


Session 3: Wisdom of the Elders


Session 4: Social Entrepreneurship and Sustainable Ecology in Yellowstone and Other Romance Lands



BadenLifelong conservationist John Baden earned his PhD in economic anthropology from Indiana University. He held a NSF post-doc in environmental economics and policy in 1970 and then came to MSU. Author and editor of a dozen books on environmental policy, he co-founded the approach known as New Resource Economics. He and his wife, Professor Emeritus Ramona Marotz-Baden, placed their ranch in a conservation easement with GVLT. It is agriculturally productive and a haven for fish and wildlife.