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Yellowstone is 150 Years old: Birth of the National Park System

Publish Date: January 20, 2022
Contact Name: Phillip Imler
Contact Number: GANP Contact Page

President Ulysses S. Grant launched the global national park system when he signed into law establishing Yellowstone National Park as the world's first national park.

March 1, 2022, Yellowstone and the world celebrate the anniversary of one of the world's most renowned national parks along with the global achievement of almost 4,000 national parks established since then now protecting the world's natural resources.

Although Yellowstone delivered so many unique wildlife, geological, and ecological facets of nature making it an easy target as a national park, it represented something so much more.  The world is full of abundant and amazing wildlife and ecological and geological wonders.  And the establishment of Yellowstone served as a catalyst of global national parks that now protect and place these incredible features of nature on display.

The vision of President Grant has extended well beyond Yellowstone with most of the world's countries delivering some type of national park-protected areas in each of their counties.  And there is room for more.

The Yellowstone National Park is the foundation of the larger Yellowstone Ecosystem which also represents one of the world's largest supervolcanoes.  Collectively throughout the park, there are over 10,000 hydrothermal sites that represent a varied distribution of geothermal features.  Half of the world's entire active geysers are located in Yellowstone.

Active thermal features are not all that Yellowstone celebrates.  There are 290 waterfalls spread across the park that feature a drop of at least 15 feet (4.6 m).  Lower Falls on the Yellowstone River create the tallest drop falling 308 feet ( 94 m) to the river below.

Wildlife is abundant with bison, elk, and deer found throughout the park.  Other wildlife sightings that visitors hope to experience include grizzly bears, black bears, timber wolves, moose, and bighorn sheep.

Superintendent Cam Sholly stated on the NPS website, "Yellowstone's 150th anniversary is an important moment in time for the world.  It's an opportunity for us to reflect on the lessons of the past while focusing our efforts to strengthen Yellowstone and our many partnerships for the future."

The Global Alliance of National Parks is honored to celebrate Yellowstone and the greater achievement of the world's national park system.  

The park's celebrations this year are centered on conservation and historic preservation while keeping an active drive on delivering a tremendous visitor's experience.  The park is also actively seeking to celebrate with tribal partners who were stewards of this land long before that national park was established.

You can learn more about Yellowstone National Park here.