Parks and park agencies face a huge challenge from a growing population and a society that is becoming out of touch with nature. Tom Smith is a former Chair of the Park Management Department at West Valley College in Saratoga, California, and a long time seasonal Yosemite and regional park ranger. In this book he explores the origin of parks in America, the problems parks and park agencies will face in the future, and how rangers are adapting to deal with this changing culture."Tom Smith is a man who truly loves Parks. Equally, he loves the men and women who are sworn to maintain park resources, provide park interpretation, and protect the people who visit and enjoy parks on a daily basis."—Paul Romero, Former Deputy Director, California State Parks"What distinguishes this book from others on the origins of the United States park movement is that Tom also provides a very personalized and often (behind the scenes) historical and contemporary analysis of the operational challenges for all park units and rangers nationwide."—James Brady, Former Chief Ranger, National Park ServiceAbout the author: Thomas A. Smith is a retired coordinator and instructor in park management from West Valley College in Saratoga, California, and had over 20 years of experience as a seasonal park ranger with the National Park Service and the Santa Clara County Department of Parks and Recreation. In 1986, the County borrowed him from the College to act as an interim director/full-time consultant for the park system while they conducted a nationwide search for a new director. Tom served as the Director of the Region Five Recreation Academy for the United States Forest Service held at West Valley College for 11 years until retirement. He started and served as director of a highly successful in-service training program for park rangers at West Valley that served agencies throughout the West Coast.Tom received the first honorary lifetime membership to the Park Rangers Association of California (PRAC), and is one of the founding fathers of the organization. In 2012, he received the President's Award from the California Association of Park and Recreation Boards and Commissioners for his contributions to parks and recreation in California.