Today is the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service and I’d like to believe that Leslie Knope gave all of her employees the day off today to celebrate.Like I’m pretty she has a big event planned and everything.
The National Park Service manages more than 400 parks, monuments, and historic sites that touch just about every corner of the US. But while the National Park Service has been preserving the natural beauty and resources within these parks for nearly 100 years, it can only do so much when the climate in and around the parks is drastically changing.
“Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That there is hereby created in the Department of the Interior a service to be called the National Park Service…The service thus established shall promote and regulate the use of the Federal areas known as national parks, monuments, and reservations hereinafter specified by such means and measures as conform to the fundamental purposes of the said parks, monuments, and reservations, which purpose is 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.”
As the conservator of the United States’ most storied and important landmarks, the National Park Service is charged with the preservation and operation of each of the nation’s 59 national parks, as well as hundreds of protected shorelines, preserves, and historical landmarks.
This summer, the National Archives will be commemorating the 100th anniversary of the National Parks Service by displaying the document that founded the NPS, the Organic Act of 1916.
Though the first national park had been established at Yellowstone on March 1, 1872, it and subsequently designated national parks were only loosely managed under the Department of the Interior.
By establishing a National Park Service, the Federal Government ensured the efficient and responsible conservation of national landmarks for future generations.
The passage of the Organic Act was the result of a collaborative effort between businessmen, government officials, and private citizens, who together had advocated for the establishment of a National Park Service for decades.
President Wilson signed the bill on August 25, 1916, and the National Park Service was born.
The Organic Act provided for the appointment of a full-time Director of the National Park Service as well as a support staff to manage the parks from Washington, D.C. These employees were to be paid out of a pool of funds appropriated by Congress. Additionally, the Parks Director was tasked with organizing the system of local officials and park rangers that operated each site.
Today the National Park Service employs over 22,000 full time employees as well as 221,000 volunteers across more than 400 park areas. Each year, the National Park Service enables more than 275 million visitors to experience the beauty and wonder of America’s protected landmarks.
The National Archives will be displaying the Organic Act of 1916 in the East Rotunda Gallery from June 30 through August 31, 2016. Plan your visit and see the origins of the National Park Service for yourself!
(Dogs at Yosemite National Park, excerpted from the film “Yosemite Valley“)
This is not express delivery. In an age of one-hour delivery and overnight shipping, a corner of the country still gets its mail by mule.
These hooved carriers trek three hours down (and five hours up!) the Grand Canyon to deliver the mail to a small group of people in a remote region only accessible by foot, raft or helicopter—and they do it six day a week.
What gets delivered? Mostly food, but also medicine and small appliances. See if you can spot the Amazon Prime boxes.
The last official mule route isn’t the only thing connecting the National Parks and the mail, as we learned through our National Postal Museum.
Happy 100th birthday, National Park Service! For the last century, the National Park Service has protected America’s Best Idea, ensuring current and future generations can experience the country’s natural, cultural and historic treasures. The birth of the National Park Service can be traced to back to June 30, 1864, when the federal government set aside Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias – land that would later become Yosemite National Park in California. Photo by Lesli Cohan (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Cheers to 100 years! 🎉 Help us wish the National Park Service a happy birthday and celebrate the centennial with a #FindYourPark adventure this fee-free weekend!
Thank you to the women and men of the National Park Service who help safeguard our heritage and share the many stories that make up our national narrative. Here’s to kicking off the second century together! http://prks.org/1pbOyNm
Celebrating the #HumansofDenali for the National Park Service’s Centennial
August 25 marks the 100th anniversary of the US National Park Service. Celebrate and #FindYourPark. To see more from Denali National Park and Preserve, follow @denalinps and check out #HumansofDenali on Instagram.
When most people think of US national parks, they think about pristine wilderness. But for ranger Keith Gortowski of Denali National Park and Preserve (@denalinps) in Alaska, it’s about the people in service of these enchanted places — so he’s been collecting their stories in #HumansofDenali.
“The park itself is a challenge,” says fellow ranger Nick Virgil (@nick.virgil). “We talk a lot about what a good life we live out here, but what makes it a good life are the trials and tribulations that come with it. That’s what Denali offers. Not just for the rangers or the visitors, but for the wildlife and even the landscape itself.” For Nick, these challenges come with great rewards. “It’s an adventure into the unexpected. That’s the kind of feeling that gets you going, that you feel deep down inside yourself. Where else can you get that?”