Yellowstone National Park: A Brief History
Yellowstone National Park, one of the largest and most famous parks in the United States, was born 151 years ago when President Ulysses S. Grant signed the Yellowstone National Park Protection Act on March 1, 1872. This landmark law reserved and withdrew the headwaters of the Yellowstone River from settlement, occupancy, or sale, and dedicated the area as a public park for the benefit and enjoyment of the people.
Native American Ties to Yellowstone
For thousands of years before Yellowstone became a national park, Native American tribes hunted, fished, gathered plants, quarried obsidian, and used the thermal waters for religious and medicinal purposes in the area. According to the National Park Service, at least 27 different tribes have ties to the land within Yellowstone, which is situated at the convergence of the Great Plains, Great Basin, and Plateau Indian cultures.
Yellowstone's Role in Establishing the National Park Service
Yellowstone's management from 1872 through the early 1900s played a critical role in the establishment of the National Park Service, an agency specifically tasked with caring for national parks. The park's unique geothermal wonders, including about half of the world's active geysers and the greatest concentration of hydrothermal features, helped showcase the importance of preserving America's natural resources for future generations.
UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Site Designations
In recognition of its remarkable natural beauty and significance, Yellowstone was designated a UNESCO biosphere reserve in 1976 and a World Heritage site in 1978. These prestigious designations highlight the park's importance to the global community and emphasize the need for continued efforts to protect and preserve its unique resources.
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Meet the Artist
Rob Decker is a photographer and graphic artist who had the rare privilege of studying under Ansel Adams in Yosemite National Park when he was just 19 years old. Now, Rob is on a journey to explore and photograph all 63 of America's National Parks. He's creating WPA-style posters to help people celebrate their own national park adventures -- as well as encourage others to get out and explore!
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