Last April, after the annual conference of the American Society for Environmental History in Phoenix, I visited the Grand Canyon for the first time. Our group stopped first at Desert View and then continued on to Yavapai on the South Rim, where we patiently took turns standing in the same spots, holding cameras between ourselves and the canyon, taking photographs of the same views. In our photographs the canyon looked just as it was supposed to look, just as it did in the pictures all of us had already seen.

Such a phenomenon, repeated countless times in national parks across North America every year, is precisely what concerns Keri Cronin in the latest entry in the Nature/History/Society series from...

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