This Land Was Saved for You and Me

Mount Saint Helens National Monument ©2022

New Hardcover — Now Available for Preorder

In 1864, a man stood in California’s Yosemite Valley marveling at the sheer granite walls framing his perspective and “simply the grandest tall trees you ever saw…not merely for the unusual size of the trunk but its remarkable color, a cinnamon color, very elegant. You feel that they are distinguished strangers, have come down to us from another world.” 1

Naturally, Frederick Law Olmsted, the already renowned landscape architect of Central Park, quickly understood that this hallowed ground should become a park as well. But he also understood — far before  almost anyone — that such a park would draw millions of people each year and the importance of protecting the native plants and other natural features of the park from destruction in the name of generations to follow.

Along the way, we meet well-known advocates for America’s lands and waters including Gifford Pinchot, Theodore Roosevelt, and Aldo Leopold. But importantly, we also meet many lesser-known people who gave their all to protect forests and wilderness areas before they would be gone forever and ensured that all Americans would retain the benefits of ownership.

This Land Was Saved for You and Me book cover
My latest book, This Land Was Saved for You and Me, traces the path from Olmsted’s first realizations that mountains and forests should be saved to the signing of The Wilderness Act of 1964. 

Published by Stackpole Books in hardcover format, This Land Was Saved for You and Me has a release date of September 1, 2022. As many of you know, pre-orders often ship prior to the release date, so if you want to be one of the first readers, here’s your chance.  

Ryan's story traces an integral thread all the way from the creation of Central Park to the signing of The Wilderness Act. This book is wonderful and much needed.
Mark Madison
USFWS Historian

1 Letter from Frederick Law Olmsted to Mary Cleveland Perkins Olmsted, November 20, 1863. Image 2 of Frederick Law Olmsted Papers: Subject File, 1857-1952; Parks; Yosemite Valley, Calif., 1863-1891.

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