Forget that old Native American weeping over garbage — Yogi and Boo Boo are absolutely inconsolable now that budget cuts threaten our California parks. In lieu of not knowing what you've got until it's gone, tonight National Parks Conservation Association photographer Ian Shive presents and signs his book, The National Parks: Our American Landscape , which contains more than 200 new breathtaking, majestic images of our parks. There's a reason the Department of the Interior saves these wide-open spaces, and it's not just to deflect attention from the latest Teapot Dome Scandal. More than just emblems of camping trips, family reunions or knee-jarring hikes, national parks include Abraham Lincoln's birthplace, the Statue of Liberty, the Appalachian Trail and the volcanoes of Hawaii. Even if something's wrong with human nature, nature itself remains cosmically awesome and unassailably beautiful – all the more reason to see them, and save them.

Wed., Aug. 5, 7 p.m., 2009

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