Yellowstone National Park became the first federally recognized geographic area in what would later become the National Park Service in March of 1872.
NPS.gov states that Yellowstone has been “set apart as a public park or pleasuring-ground for the benefit and enjoyment of the people.” And yet 149 years later, Yellowstone remains a national park at the convergence of many American ideals and struggles such as land ownership and rights, natural wonder, and investment into the public domain.
As the first national park, Yellowstone went through many experimental stages of management and helped set the groundwork for the role of the National Park Service at large.
Today, the NPS oversees over 80 million acres in the continental states as well as in American territories and not only facilitates protection of these designated areas but fosters scientific research and educational experiences for visitors from all walks of life.
Through the conservation work maintained by the NPS, the park serves the public not only as a travel destination but a sort of living science museum that safely houses the many ecosystems that represent the immense biodiversity of the American west.