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USGS Photograph taken by David Wieprecht
|Yellowstone National Park|
By Act of Congress on March 1, 1872, Yellowstone National Park
was "dedicated and set apart as a public park or
pleasuring ground for the benefit and enjoyment of the people" and "for the preservation, from injury or spoilation, of all
timber, mineral deposits, natural curiosities, or wonders. . . and their retention in their natural condition." Yellowstone is
the first and oldest national park in the world.
The commanding features that initially attracted interest, and led to the preservation of Yellowstone as a national park, were geological: the geothermal phenomena (there are more geysers and hot springs here than in the rest of the world combined), the colorful Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River, fossil forests, and the size and elevation of Yellowstone Lake.
The human history of the park is evidenced by cultural sites dating back 12,000 years. More recent history can be seen in the historic structures and sites that represent the various periods of park administration and visitor facilities development.
Ninety-nine percent of the park's 3,400 square miles (2.2 million acres) remains undeveloped, providing a wide range of habitat types that support one of the continent's largest and most varied large mammal populations. Yellowstone is a true wilderness, one of the few large, natural areas remaining in the lower 48 states of the United States. Here, you meet nature on its terms, not yours. Park regulations exist for your safety and for the protection of natural and cultural resources. Please obey all park rules and regulations.
Excerpts courtesy of:
U. S. National Park Service - Yellowstone National Park Website, 1999
Link to: Yellowstone National Park Website
Yellowstone National Park
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