Date of this Version
In 1986, Alston Chase published his book Playing God in Yellowstone. In it, he argues that Yellowstone had never, in historic times, ever been in a truly natural state. He points out that when the early European and Anglo explorers first entered Yellowstone, fires were burning everywhere. The fires, he tells us, were set by the Indians in Yellowstone to drive game into areas where they could be trapped and killed. In setting those fires, the Indians were actually controlling and contributing to the ecological balance of the region.