From the time it was established in 1872, Yellowstone set the stage for public lands conservation around the world. We've gathered up some of the biggest milestones in the history of the world's first national park.
Click through the slideshow to see all ten!
President Ulysses S. Grant signs the Yellowstone National Park Protection Act. Yellowstone officially becomes the world's first national park.
March 1, 1872
President Theodore Roosevelt dedicates one of Yellowstone's most iconic landmarks by laying the cornerstone of the historic Roosevelt Arch. The Arch still stands today at the original entrance to Yellowstone National Park with the inscription, "For the Benefit and Enjoyment of the People."
April 24, 1903
Construction was completed on the famous Old Faithful Inn, designed by architect Robert C. Reamer. At a cost of $140,000, the enormous wood structure is considered a masterpiece of rustic "Parkitecture." The hotel remains one of the largest log-style structures in the world and is a National Historic Landmark.
President Woodrow Wilson approves the National Park Service Organic Act, formally creating the National Park Service. The new agency's mission as managers of national parks and monuments was clearly stated:
"....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."
Yellowstone welcomes its first one million visitors. Although visitors in this photo are seen approaching the Old Faithful cone at Old Faithful Village, this activity is illegal today.
Yellowstone National Park implements the Bear Management Plan. Prior to the new plan, visitors often fed bears from their vehicles, conditioning the wild animals to human food. Today the plan protects bears and visitors by eliminating park garbage dumps, enforcing bear-proof food storage, and making it illegal to come within 100 yards of the animals.
Public law protects hydrothermal features in national parks from geothermal development on adjacent federal lands.
Summer of fires. More than 790,000 acres are affected by fires in Yellowstone.
Wolves are restored to Yellowstone. Thirty-one gray wolves from western Canada are relocated to Yellowstone National Park. Preliminary data from studies indicate that wolf recovery will likely lead to increased biodiversity in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.
The National Park Service Centennial. The agency celebrates its 100th birthday with a special event in Gardiner, Montana, to kick off a second century of the National Park Service. The celebration served as a reminder of the significance of preserving wild places for the enjoyment and appreciation of all humankind - perhaps the greatest benefit of the establishment of Yellowstone National Park.