Today the US National Parks celebrate their 100th centennial. Yes, being 100 is cool when you have the gorgeous historic beauty surrounding you when you are a Park Ranger.
The very first National Park was Yellowstone signed into law by President Ulysses S. Grant on March 1, 1872. Congress moved to set aside 1,221,773 acres of public land making it America’s first national park. Although Yellowstone primarily encompasses the state of Wyoming, it also extended into Montana and Idaho and was managed by the US secretary of the interior.
The United States authorized additional national parks and monuments, administered by the Department of the Interior, while other monuments and natural and historical areas were managed by the War Department and the Forest Service of the Department of Agriculture. No single agency provided unified management of the varied federal parklands.
Now just like the internet, people are going to find a way to exploit it to their benefit. Many creative capitalistic entrepreneurs developed schemes to use the newly establish parks to their advantage and plundered its vast resources while visitors were priced gouged to enjoy its beauty.
Over the years I have visited many National Parks & Monuments, including Zion, Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon, Glacier, (my favorite,) Redwood National Forest, Acadia, & Denali. Words cannot describe the immense beauty my eyes and senses have enjoyed.
On my current travels across the US, I stopped to tour The Great Platte River Road Archway. Its focus is the Settlers who traveled across America by foot and wagon along the Oregon, 49’er and Mormon Trails.
They began their journeys in search of fertile lands, gold, and a promise lands to practice their religion. Their travels included the visual beauty seen for their fist time which fed their curiosity and wonderment to witness more of what they saw so far in their travels.
Conservationist and the founder of the Sierra Club John Muir is one of my favorite authors. His quotes are what I and many American’s live by.
So today take the time to benefit from the beauty of our National Parks and let your eyes gaze upon the beauty and wonderment to behold.