Best Intentions

Job #3614

Job Posting Details

Job # 3614 Best Intentions

Posted Date
May 19, 2007 @ 01:47
Respond By
May 23, 2007
Word Count
English (North American)
Age Range

Job Description

Project description:

This narration is for a 25 minute documentary about wildfire being produced for the National Park Service (specifically for Yosemite National Park). We're looking for a mature male voice, not overly dramatic, able to compliment a vérité style production.

Narration sample:

In the fourth year of America’s bloody civil war, few people took notice when the President signed a bill preserving sixty square miles of California wilderness.

In signing the Yosemite Grant, Abraham Lincoln marked the first time in western history that a government set aside land purely to protect its scenic beauty for everyone to enjoy.

Yosemite Valley, along with this grove of Giant Sequoias suddenly belonged to all Americans, and it was our government’s responsibility to protect them.

This was a new idea, and with no precedent to guide them, Yosemite’s early managers did what made sense. Their job was to protect some of the largest living things on earth, and that meant keeping one obvious enemy well away from what was now national treasure.


In 1899 a USGS report declared “fire’s effects were always evil, without a single redeeming feature.” Looking at the effect wildfires had on communities, this made sense. As for the health of the forest, the logic seemed obvious. Everyone knew fires destroyed forests, so protecting our public lands meant stopping fire whenever possible.

As more Americans moved west, and larger fires got more attention, the battle against wildfire grew into an all out war. On the front lines were thousands of firefighters, and backing them was a nation quick to label fire as the enemy.


Fire was evil. We had to stop it before it destroyed our precious forests. By mid century America’s fire crews were working to put out every reported wildfire before 10 am the next day. The fight was on, and at least in some places we appeared to be winning.

In the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias, looking back through the centuries lightning strikes had started fires in the grove every few years until the mid 1800s when Yosemite’s managers began stopping these fires in order to protect the trees. What happened next was not what those managers expected.

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