Which was the first national park in the United States?
The first national park in the United States is Yellowstone National Park. Established by the U.S. Congress and signed into law by President Ulysses S. Grant on March 1, 1872, Yellowstone is primarily in Wyoming, with small portions extending into Montana and Idaho. The park is known for its diverse wildlife, unique geothermal features like geysers and hot springs, and stunning landscapes, including the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River. The creation of Yellowstone National Park marked the beginning of the national park movement, which has since led to the establishment of numerous other national parks in the United States and worldwide.
The national park movement in the United States continued to grow, and in 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed the Organic Act, creating the National Park Service (NPS). The NPS was established as a federal bureau within the Department of the Interior to manage and protect the country’s growing number of national parks and monuments.
Today, the National Park System in the United States comprises more than 400 sites, including national parks, monuments, battlefields, historic sites, seashores, scenic rivers, and protected areas managed by other federal agencies. These sites showcase the diverse natural beauty and cultural heritage of the United States, attracting millions of visitors each year from around the world.
The concept of national parks has also spread globally, with many countries establishing their own national park systems to protect unique landscapes, ecosystems, and historical sites. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) recognizes over 6,000 national parks worldwide, highlighting the importance of these protected areas in conserving the planet’s biodiversity, promoting sustainable tourism, and providing opportunities for education and scientific research.