Insight With Beth Ruyak

Hosted By Beth Ruyak

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Monday, June 30, 2014 Permalink

Insight Goes To Yosemite





Ken Rudin, known to NPR listeners from his many years talking all things politics with Neal Conan on "Talk of the Nation," joins Insight host Beth Ruyak for our signature segment that puts California politics in the context of the national scene. Rudin joins us from Washington D.C. in an effort to put it all in perspective.

Editor's Note (4 p.m.): This segment was re-recorded this afternoon to correct a statement regarding the Supreme Court decision in Burwell vs. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.


It's been 150 years since President Abraham Lincoln signed the Yosemite Grant, paving the way for Yosemite National Park. It's one of the best-known and most-visited National Parks in the country. An anniversary celebration and groundbreaking for a $36 million restoration project in Yosemite’s largest sequoia forest called the Mariposa Grove is happening at the park today. Today, on that anniversary, we visit Yosemite to learn more about the park's history and what it makes it so special to visitors and the people who work there and call it home.


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 Click here to view the slideshow A Day In the Park

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Click here to view the slideshow Behind The Scenes

 Then and Now (click to enlarge)

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Above: Troops relax on the Fallen Monarch during a respite from World War II (left, source: "Seed of the Future," Dayton Duncan); Fallen Monarch today (right, source: Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio)

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Above: After Ralph Waldo Emerson gave the Samoset Tree its name, John Muir sketched it in his journal. "You are yourself a sequoia," he told the old philosopher. (left, source: "Seed of the Future," by Dayton Duncan) The Samoset Tree today (right, source: Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio)

Emmy Award–winning writer and documentary filmmaker, Dayton Duncan, has a beautiful new book about the history of Yosemite National Park and the creation of the national park system. “Seed of the Future: Yosemite and the Evolution of the National Park Idea” features a compelling narrative, accompanied by archival images and full-color landscape photographs, that tells the story of how the world learned of Yosemite, flocked to it, nearly destroyed it and finally saved it.  The book was published just ahead of Yosemite’s 150th anniversary in 2014.  Duncan discusses his book and his continued focus on the America’s national parks. 


In honor of Yosemite’s 150th anniversary, Beth Ruyak, Insight producer James Morrison and photographer Andrew Nixon took to the road and spent a full day at the park. They took in the sites, walked the trails and talked with dozens of people, including visitors, locals and rangers. Take a look at the photos while you listen to their audio tour of this extraordinary California landmark.


Ben Cunningham-Summerfield is a Native American demonstrator and teacher in the park. Here he recalls a tribal legend of how fire came to the Yosemite Valley:


Here, Cunningham-Summerfield recounts the tribal legend of how the Yosemite Domes came to be:



  • Insight: The Political Junkie Goes West

    The Political Junkie is turning his analytical gaze west.

  • The History Of Mariposa Grove

    Insight visits Yosemite National Park in light of its 150th Anniversary.

  • Day In The Park

    Insight explored some of the famous sites at Yosemite National Park.

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