The most famous national park in the world, Yellowstone, has just turned 150 years old.
Signed into law by President Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885), America's, and the world's, first national park was set aside to preserve and protect the scenery, cultural heritage, wildlife, geologic and ecological systems.
Yellowstone serves as the core of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, one of the last and largest nearly intact natural ecosystems on the planet.
Yellowstone has the most active, diverse, and intact collections of combined geothermal features with over 10,000 hydrothermal sites and half the world's active geysers.
It's is also rich in cultural and historical resources with 25 sites, landmarks, and districts on the National Register of Historic Places.
Based on the park’s location at the convergence of the Great Plains, Great Basin, and Columbia Plateau, 27 Native American Tribes have historic and modern connections to the land and its resources. For over 10,000 years before Yellowstone became a national park, it was a place where Native Americans lived, hunted, fished, gathered plants, quarried obsidian, and used thermal waters for religious and medicinal purposes.
Park managers have learned many lessons during Yellowstone's 150 years. In the early 1900s, the government killed nearly all predators in the park, and the bison population was hunted to less than two dozen.
Later that century, the fires of 1988 burned more than one-third of the park, and the introduction of nonnative lake trout decimated native Yellowstone cutthroat populations.
Through modern resource management efforts involving bison, grizzly bears, native fish, gray wolves, wildland fire, and others, Yellowstone's ecosystem is the healthiest it has been in over a century.
For more info on this wonderful park check out this inspiring video.