Storytelling and Public Lands with John Clayton author of Natural Rivals 

Apr 18


The Great Falls Public Library, in conjunction with Humanities Montana, is thrilled to announce the 2024 Winter Speaker Series. The series is dedicated to the storytellers of Montana who connect us to the world, to our land, and to our people.
In 1916, when Steve Mather and Horace Albright founded the National Park Service, they imbued their new agency with the stories of essential heroes (like John Muir in Yosemite and John Wesley Powell in the Grand Canyon), ideas (such as America’s Best Idea of the national park inspired by the grandeur of the American West), and stories of what their agency’s lands could do for America. Other public-land formats such as national forests, national monuments, and lands of the Bureau of Land Management don’t have such well-known stories. Why not? And if they did, what might these stories look like? John Clayton, author of Natural Rivals: John Muir, Gifford Pinchot, and the Creation of America’s Public Lands, examines elements of storytelling and how they apply to the public land debate. He shares examples of stories from the world’s first national forest (quick: where was it?) to the creation of Muir Woods to the alliance of rivals John Muir and Gifford Pinchot on the shores of Glacier’s Lake McDonald.

  • Date(s):
    • Thu, April 18 - 7 p.m.