If you have ever toured or visited any of the national parks throughout the country you may have wondered when exactly the US National Parks were created. They were created way back in 1916 when President Woodrow Wilson signed the National Park Service Organic Act. At this time care and control of the parks were the responsibility of the Department of the Interior. At that time there were already 40 national parks already in existence, most of these parks are located in wilderness areas. Most would be inaccessible except that this protection allows visitors to enjoy them.
First Official National Park
Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming was the first official US National Park that was created and it was done earlier by a previous act of Congress. The whole process was started in 1872 and it took until 1890 to complete. Before the process got started Yosemite Valley had been donated to the state of California in 1864 as a state park in order to keep the wilderness land preserved. Later in 1891 President Harrison the first establishment of the forest reserve, Yellowstone Timberland Reserve. A little later in 1903 in Florida, President Roosevelt protected Pelican Island as the first of the national wildlife refuges.
Yellowstone National park was the first time that public lands were used “for the benefit and enjoyment of the people”. It was the first in a long line of lands that have been dedication to National Parks, National Monuments, National Historical Parks and National Forests. As of today the US enjoys more than 58 National Parks. Not only that the US started a trend with other countries establishing their own national park systems.
Preservation of Land
While National Parks not only preserve the land but they serve as important places of recreation and education. Tourism brings in funds that allow the National Park Service to take care of the parks and the people who enjoy them. You have many college students that work here during the summer as interns in exchange for room and board along with a small salary. These parks ensure that wildlife, forests and mineral reserves all stay protected. Nearby there are hotels, motels and campgrounds that the public can stay in while coming to visit the park system. Many of the park rangers will offer tours and have a pretty extensive knowledge of the park and the wildlife that call it home.
While the credit for setting up the first of the US National Parks goes to President Wilson back in 1916, it should be noted that American artist George Catlin back in 1832 first proposed the idea of protecting the land he loved. It doesn’t matter really where the credit goes but take the time and visit some of the incredible parks that make up the landscape of our country.