HAPPY 100th BIRTHDAY TO THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE

August 25, 2016

When the National Park Service was created on August 25, 1916, there were just 35 national parks and monuments. Today The National Park System comprises more than 400 areas  covering more than 84 million acres in 50 states, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, Saipan, and the Virgin Islands. These areas are of such national significance as to justify special recognition and protection in accordance with various acts of Congress.

March 1, 1872: Yellowstone National Park (Territories of Montana and Wyoming) was established. The founding of Yellowstone National Park, administered by the Department of the Interior, began a worldwide national park movement. Today more than 100 nations contain some 1,200 national parks or equivalent preserves.

yellowstone sign mom dad 2012DSCN1367

Geoff and Laura Carter (blog author) visiting Yellowstone in winter.

In the years following the establishment of Yellowstone, the United States authorized additional national parks and monuments, many of them carved from the federal lands of the West. These, also, were administered by the Department of the Interior, while other monuments and natural and historical areas were administered by the War Department and the Forest Service of the Department of Agriculture. No single agency provided unified management of the varied federal parklands.

 

OTHER EARLY PARKS AND DATES ESTABLISHED

Yosemite-sunset-2013-DSCN2435-crop

Sunset in Yosemite National Park.

October 1, 1890: Yosemite (California)

September 25, 1890: Sequoia National Park (California)

March 2, 1899: Mt. Rainier (Washington)

January 9, 1903: Wind Cave (South Dakota)

June 29, 1906: Mesa Verde (Colorado)

May 11, 1910: Glacier (Montana)

January 26, 1915: Rocky Mountain (Colorado),

August 1, 1916: Haleakala (Hawaii)

August 25, 1916: President Woodrow Wilson signed the act creating the National Park Service, a new federal bureau in the Department of the Interior responsible for protecting the 35 national parks and monuments then managed by the department and those yet to be established.

Executive Order in 1933: transferred 56 national monuments and military sites from the Forest Service and the War Department to the National Park Service. This action was a major step in the development of today’s truly national system of parks—a system that includes areas of historical as well as scenic and scientific importance.

 

PARKS FOUNDED AROUND THE SAME TIME AS THE HUYCK PRESERVE (1931)

Tetons Dec 2012 DSCN1306

Grand Teton National Park in winter.

1929: Grand Teton (Wyoming)

1930: Carlsbad Caverns; was a National Monument first in 1923 (New Mexico)

1934: Everglades designated as a National Park, but not officially established until 1947 (Florida)

1934: Great Smoky Mountains chartered but not established until 1940 (North Carolina and Tennessee)

1938: Olympic; was Mt Olympus National Monument first in 1909 (Washington)

 

GENERAL AUTHORITIES ACT
1970: Congress declared in the General Authorities Act of 1970 “that the National Park System, which began with the establishment of Yellowstone National Park in 1872, has since grown to include superlative natural, historic, and recreation areas in every region…and that it is the purpose of this Act to include all such areas in the System….”

 

REFERENCES
https://www.nps.gov/aboutus/history.htm
http://www.worldatlas.com/articles/oldest-national-parks-in-the-united-states.html
Websites for various parks

About L. Stephenson Carter

L. Stephenson Carter is a science writer/editor and was also on the board of directors of the E.N. Huyck Preserve in Rensselaerville, NY.
This entry was posted in National Parks, Natural History and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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