On This Day: Yellowstone Park became the first national park

Posted at 10:10 AM, Mar 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-01 11:10:27-05

WYOMING  — On this day in 1872, Yellowstone Park was established.

President Grant signed the bill creating the nation’s first national park at Yellowstone on March 1.

Native Americans lived and hunted in the Yellowstone region for hundreds of years.

John Colter, the famous mountain man, was the first Anglo to travel through the area, according to

In 1807, Colter explored part of the Yellowstone plateau and returned with fantastic stories of steaming geysers and bubbling cauldrons.

Early in 1872, U.S. Congress moved to set aside 1,221,773 acres of public land straddling the future states of Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho as America’s first national park.

The Yellowstone Act of 1872 designated the region as a public “pleasuring-ground,” which would be preserved “from injury or spoilation, of all timber, mineral deposits, natural curiosities, or wonders within.”

The Yellowstone Act set a precedent and popularized the idea of preserving sections of the public domain for use as public parks.