Yellowstone

Image for YellowstoneNot currently available on BBC iPlayer

Episode 2 of 3

Duration: 1 hour

As the world's first national park, Yellowstone has long served as a model for the protection of wilderness around the world. For Americans it has become a source of great national pride, not least because it encapsulates all our popular notions of what a wilderness should be - vast, uninhabited, with spectacular scenery and teeming with wildlife. But Yellowstone has not always been so. At the time of its creation in 1872, it was renowned only for its extraordinary geysers, and far from being an uninhabited wilderness it was home to several American Indian tribes.

This film reveals how a remote Indian homeland became the world's first great wilderness. It was the ambitions of railroad barons, not conservationists, that paved the way for a brand new vision of the wild, a vision that took native peoples out of the picture. Iconic landscape paintings show how European Romanticism crossed the Atlantic and recast the American wilderness, not as a satanic place to be tamed and cultivated, but as a place to experience the raw power of God in nature. Forged in Yellowstone, this potent new version of wilderness as untouched and deserving of protection has since been exported to all corners of the globe.

  • Yellowstone National Park, 1894.

    Yellowstone National Park, 1894.

    Sixth Cavalry with buffalo heads taken from poacher Edgar Howell, Yellowstone National Park.

  • BBC Two: Yellowstone

    BBC Two: Yellowstone

    A three part natural history portrait of a year in Yellowstone, following the fortunes of some of America's wildlife as it faces the challenges of one of the most extraordinary wildernesses on Earth.

    Watch video clips from the BBC Two series Yellowstone
  • Yellowstone National Park in art

    Yellowstone National Park in art

    Landscape painting of Lower Falls Yellowstone National Park, by Thomas Moran.

  • BBC Nature

    BBC Nature

    Watch thousands of world-class wildlife video clips from BBC programmes.

    Explore the wildlife of North America

Credits

Narrator
Deborah Maclaren
Narrator
Deborah Maclaren
Executive Producer
Neil Nightingale
Executive Producer
Neil Nightingale
Series Producer
Andrew Murray
Series Producer
Andrew Murray
Producer
Susie Painter
Producer
Susie Painter

Broadcasts

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