Knowing national park service history can be helpful whether you are an aspiring park ranger or a regular nature lover. The United States established a dedicated service because its leaders wanted to preserve the country's rich history and national resources.
The Beginnings Of The National Park Service
Thanks to the efforts of lawyer Horace Albright and businessman Stephen Mather, Congress established the National Park Service in 1916, as part of the Department of the Interior. However, the US Department of the Interior took charge of Yellowstone, the first park that could be considered a truly national park, in 1872.
Albright and Mather, both devoted to the conservation of natural resources, felt the need to establish a separate authority to manage sites with similar historical significance to Yellowstone. Mather became the first director of the National Park Service, and Albright was the second.
The National Park Mission
The chief mission of the National Park Service is two-fold, according to the 1916 Organic Act: "… to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations." The park service not only allows individuals to visit and explore parks, but it also manages that exploration in such a way that prevents overdevelopment and pollution.
Park rangers are the ones who carry out this mission. They provide historical information about the park, and they offer programs like archeology and wildlife preservation. They also keep the peace, make sure guests follow the rules within the boundaries of the park and assist in search-and-rescue missions.
National parks are not limited to parks such as Yellowstone. Monuments like the Washington Monument and battlegrounds like Gettysburg fall under the umbrella of the National Park Service.
Where To Get More Info
If you're looking for information regarding a specific national park, it's best to contact a park historian in your local park. You can look up the contact information for parks near you at the US National Park Service Web site.