Crowd gathers around Old Faithful in Yellowstone national park 1949.

The First National Park

On March 1, 1872, President Ulysses S. Grant signed the Yellowstone National Park Protection Act into law, officially creating the first national park in the world. This historic event marked a significant milestone in the conservation movement and laid the foundation for the establishment of the National Park System in the United States.

The signing of the Yellowstone National Park Protection Act was the culmination of several years of efforts by conservationists, who recognized the need to protect the unique geothermal features and wildlife of Yellowstone. The act designated the park as a “public park or pleasuring-ground for the benefit and enjoyment of the people,” and set aside 2.2 million acres of land as a protected wilderness area.

The signing of the act by President Grant was a significant moment, not just for the conservation movement, but for the country as a whole. In his address, Grant acknowledged the importance of the park as a national treasure, saying, “This reservation should be as free to the people as the parks of London are to its subjects. The idea is to protect this spot and keep it as a great natural wonder, as a pleasure ground for the benefit and enjoyment of the people.”

The signing of the Yellowstone National Park Protection Act represented a new era in American conservation, as it established the precedent for the protection of other national parks and wilderness areas throughout the country. The act also set the stage for the establishment of the National Park Service, which was created in 1916 to oversee the management and protection of the nation’s natural treasures.

The signing of the Yellowstone National Park Protection Act by President Ulysses S. Grant in 1872 was a pivotal moment in American conservation history. It established the world’s first national park and set the stage for the creation of a vast network of protected wilderness areas that continue to inspire and awe visitors today.

Michael Vollman
Michael Vollman is a creative writer whose passion for hunting, fishing and hiking lands him in the outdoors regularly, but — he would argue — not nearly enough. Although he wasn’t born an outdoorsman, the occasional camping trip with the family, summer vacations to the Great Smoky Mountains and a hunting trip or two with dad were enough to instill in him a call to the out-of-doors. This calling has led to his interest in and desire to not only spend time in the wild but also do what he can to protect it.

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