Open Voices Blog

Archives for posts tagged as "centennial"

National Park Service in Cities

08/09/16 | View Comments

August 25, 2016 marks the 100th birthday of the National Park Service.

A thermal pool in Yellowstone National Park. Source: Michael McCarthy.

A thermal pool in Yellowstone National Park. Source: Michael McCarthy.

For at least 11,000 years Native Americans have lived near the headwaters of “Mi tsi a-da-zi”, the Rock Yellow River. Not so long ago in 1872, the U.S. Congress and President Grant established the country’s first national park in this watershed. This grand ecosystem in Wyoming is our beloved Yellowstone– 3,468.4 square miles of lakes, canyons, rivers, mountains, and the largest supervolcano on the continent. Half of the world’s geothermal features are in Yellowstone, and is rightly held to be the first national park in the world, not just the United States’.

After 1872, 35 additional national parks and monuments had been established by several presidents. On August 25th, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed the Organic Act into law officially forming the National Park Service (NPS). NPS was established to manage and prevent neglect of these sites, and ensured the health of the now 84 million acres of land, monuments, reserves and historical sites under NPS protection. In 2016, NPS manages 411 national treasures in the form of parks, monuments, preserves, bodies of water, and other historical sites.

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