National Park

Tuesday: Former ranger’s ALS diagnosis didn’t stop his tribute to US national parks

This interview will be on “St. Louis on the Air” on Tuesday noon hour. This story will be updated after the show. You can Listen live.

Fenton native Michael Yochim spent decades working for the National Park Service. While he made shorter stints in Grand Canyon and Sequoia National Parks, his heart was always with Yellowstone.

Michael Yochim stands in front of Yosemite Falls in 2012.

Yochim was in Yellowstone as the park recovered from the largest wildfire in its history. He also saw wolves successfully reintroduced to Yellowstone during his 22 years there.

He loved national parks so much that he refused to allow his ALS diagnosis to prevent him from writing a book in their honor. He painstakingly wrote it line by line – using only his eyes and an eye-tracking device.

Yochim passed away in 2020. But thanks to his family and his friend William R. Lowry, Yochim’s book is now published. “Requiem for America’s Best Idea” is now out of High Road Books, an imprint of the University of New Mexico Press.

Tuesdays Saint Louis live, Lowry will join host Sarah Fenske in remembering his friend. Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the University of Washington, Lowry will also discuss the unique parallel between Yochim’s struggle with a terminal illness and the impact of climate change on our national parks.

Related event
What: A special event to celebrate Michael J. Yochim – Requiem for America’s Best Idea
When: 7 p.m. March 15, 2022
Where: Left Bank Books Facebook live page Where YouTube page

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Saint Louis live” tells you the stories of Saint-Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. The show is hosted by Sarah Fenské and produced by Emily Woodbury, Kayla Drake, Danny Wicentowski and Alex Heuer. Jane Mather-Glass is our production assistant. The sound engineer is Aaron Dorr.