Yosemite park ranger Shelton Johnson and documentary film maker Ken Burns

Diversity and the National Parks

Sharing "America's Best Idea" with everyone

Yosemite Park ranger Shelton Johnson talks to the SF Chronicle about race and the national parks system.

"It's bigger than just African Americans not visiting national parks. It's a disassociation from the natural world,” said Yosemite park ranger Shelton Johnson in this 2009 San Francisco Chronicle profile. Johnson was also featured in the Ken Burn’s documentary on the national parks, “America’s Best Idea,” and spoke at length about the history and ongoing struggles to bring diversity to our parks. "Race is the core of this history, the heart of this history," he told the Chronicle. "It shows that the national parks are as much a cultural resource as a natural resource."