Yellowstone National Park was the first national park. It was created in 1872 to preserve the land for the species native to the area. It set a precedent around the world, making the idea viral so that now there are thousands of pieces of land set aside for the species in that area and for the next generation.
Yellowstone is 63 miles (101 km) North to South and covers the states of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho. Primarks states that it was discovered during the Washburn Expedition in the 1870s. The group of men that were in the Washburn expedition upon their arrival saw the value in the land and wanted to preserve its integrity. Soon after, Congress approved the bill and the area was protected by the national army according to NPS.
PHOTOS COURTESY OF LOCAL ADVENTURER (left) AND MOUNTAIN FORECAST (right)
Years later, a Scottish man named John Muir came across Yosemite National Park and he, too, saw the value in the land. He was part of a movement larger than himself known as the Romantic Transcendentalists. His investment and push to preserve the land led to the the creation of the second national park in the United States. Muir also created the Sierra Club, an environmental organization that was started in San Francisco. Their motto is to “explore, enjoy and protect the planet”.
At the time the obsession to preserve the land affected the people that were already settled in those areas. Although the idea to preserve these lands and allow the biodiversity to thrive as well as possible sounds great. In many of these cases, however, indigenous peoples had lived on those lands for years and asking them to leave was unfair. At the same time a movement of this nature set a precedent for the other national parks around the world. The good never comes without the bad.