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The world’s first national park wasn’t a gift to everybody

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23min 05sec
Courtesy of Megan Kate Nelson
The lower falls of the Yellowstone. Author Megan Kate Nelson recounts the first scientific survey of the region in “Saving Yellowstone.”

Was Yellowstone where hell bubbled up? That’s one of the myths scientists debunked when they did the first formal survey of the region 150 years ago. The federal government commissioned the study as part of its push to dominate the west, a policy that displaced Indigenous people who’d lived in the area for thousands of years. Historian and author Megan Kate Nelson's new book is "Saving Yellowstone: Exploration and Preservation in Reconstruction America."