Ken Burns called the National Parks probably the best idea America has had.
Certainly a great idea — really born on this day, 142 years ago, with the designation of Yellowstone National Park.
Yellowstone NP contains the world’s largest collection of geysers. It is the heart of the largest, nearly-intact temperate zone ecosystem on Earth as well, contained in 3,468 square miles (8,983 km²), a laboratory and playground for geologists, geographers, botanists, zoologists, and almost anyone else who loves the nature and the wild.
Only 142 years old? In the U.S., we have more than 300 units in the National Park System, now, including National Historic Places as well as the best of the wild. Around the world, how much land has been saved, for the benefit of humanity, by this idea? Not enough.
What’s your favorite memory of Yellowstone? What’s your favorite feature?
- Note at Indian Country Today media network, on the troubled history, too
- Disease-free Yellowstone bison okayed to start wild herds in other places, Christian Science Monitor
- “Its up, up and away for ancient trapped helium at Yellowstone National Park,” Los Angeles Times
- Yellowstone recruiting for 2014 Youth Conservation Corps
- “The wonders of wolf-watching in Yellowstone National Park,” Washington Post
- “Yellowstone: The great American family vacation,” at Experiential Passage
- Ferdinand Hayden’s geological survey, at Now We Know ‘Em
- “Why we love America’s National Parks,” at Passport To Your National Parks® Blog
- “Hitching a ride” and “Winter Walk” at Fiordiliso Photography
- “Wolf as ecosystem engineer,” at 9 Fox Tales