Memoirs Detail UM Faculty Member’s Career in the National Park Service

September 16, 2016

MISSOULA – Memoirs highlighting the career of former University of Montana faculty member B. Riley McClelland, who worked for the National Park Service for 42 years, now are available to the public in the UM Mansfield Library Archives and Special Collections.

McClelland taught courses in recreation and park management, among other areas, at UM’s College of Forestry and Conservation from 1977 until his retirement in 1993. He also conducted research on cavity-nesting birds and bald eagle migration in Glacier National Park.

The memoirs summarize McClelland’s long career with the National Park Service at Yellowstone and Glacier national parks. He details his own work experiences and changes in the park’s management and policies while analyzing what makes these parks special to so many people.

McClelland starts his book:

“On the morning of 14 August 1949, I was in the Biscuit Basin parking area, two miles west of Old Faithful. It was shortly after dawn as I watched the dense fog take on mysterious shapes in the Basin. From out of the vapors, a person in uniform gradually appeared. It was Ranger-Naturalist George Marler, on duty to observe and record hydrothermal activity. What a wonderful job! I was 14 yrs old and that episode established my career goal. I wanted to be a ranger in YNP.”  

McClelland also remembers highlights from his time at UM, such as the annual weekend field trip to Yellowstone he led with students in his park management class.

The memoirs are available online at    


Contact: Leana Schelvan, director of communications, UM College of Forestry and Conservation, 406-243-6693,