Yellowstone National Park was established in 1872 as America's first
national park. President Ulysses S. Grant
signed a law declaring that Yellowstone would forever be "dedicated and
set apart as a public park or pleasuring ground for the benefit and
enjoyment of the people." Yellowstone National Park forms the core of
the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE)—one of the largest intact
temperate zone ecosystems on the earth today. This 28,000 square mile
region of mainly federal lands preserves and nurtures a variety of
wildlife species and the natural processes that sustain them. Each of
Yellowstone National Park’s separate parts—the hydrothermal features,
the wildlife, the lakes, the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River, and
the petrified trees—could easily stand alone as a principle element of a
national park. That they are all at one place is testimony to Greater
Yellowstone’s diversity and natural wealth. Yellowstone National
Park is without doubt one of the most unique places in the world.
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