National Parks Need the National Park Service
January 22, 2018 • Leave a Comment
Yellowstone National Park was established as the world's first national park on March 1, 1872 by President Ulysses S. Grant. For a historical perspective, Montana would not become a state until 1889 and Wyoming not until 1890. The area was set aside due to the unique landscape and abundant geothermal features. At the time, setting it aside for protection was important, but how to enforce that protection hadn't been given much thought. Finally, in 1886, the US Cavalry was sent in to protect the resources found within the new national park. Poaching of the park's wildlife was abundant and a significant issue but protecting the geothermal features was also important. The cavalry would serve in Yellowstone for 30 years until finally the National Park Service (NPS) was created in 1916. Today, the National Park Service administers 58 national parks. But the NPS also administers historic sites, battlefields, and many other places of great cultural value for a total of 417 total units under their administration. If it was important in 1886, when visitation to Yellowstone numbered around 1,000 people, to have the US Calvary there to protect the park resources, how important must it be now, when visitation is over 4 million, to have the National Park Service in place?
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