William Tweed


A native Californian, environmental historian William C. Tweed attended the College of the Sequoias, the University of the Pacific, and Texas Christian University, where he earned both master’s and doctorate degrees in history. He currently resides in Bend, Oregon, with his wife Frances.

For more than thirty years he pursued a career with the United States National Park Service, where he worked at various times as a historian, ranger-naturalist, park planner, concessions management specialist, public affairs specialist, and park program manager. He spent most of these years at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, California, enjoying the final decade of his career there as the parks’ Chief Naturalist. In that role he oversaw not only the parks’ interpretive programming but also its visitor center design, wayside exhibit, and public affairs programs.

In the years since he left Federal service in 2006, Dr. Tweed has pursued his interests as an author, newspaper columnist, field naturalist, lecturer, and consultant. During these years he also served on the Board of Directors of both the Sequoia Natural History Association (2006-2010) and the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks Foundation (2006-2012). He spent time as chairman of both organizations.

Dr. Tweed is the author or co-author of a number of books, including Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, the Story Behind the Scenery; Challenge of the Big Trees, A Resource History of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks; Recreation Site Planning and Improvements in National Forests, 1891-1942; Death Valley and the Northern Mohave, A Visitor’s Guide; and Uncertain Path: A Search for the Future of National Parks.

Late 2016 saw two new books by Dr. Tweed published: King Sequoia: The Tree that Inspired a Nation, Created Our National Park System, and Changed the Way We think About Nature (Heyday), and Challenge of the Big Trees: A History of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, Revised Edition (George Thompson Books).

His latest book, Granite Pathways: A History of the Wilderness Trails of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, is scheduled for publication in the summer of 2021 by the Sequoia Parks Conservancy.