Yellowstone National Park turns 150 this year and rangers are preparing to celebrate
The following is a press release and photo from the National Park Service.
MAMMOTH HOT SPRINGS, Wyoming – This year will mark the 150th anniversary of the establishment of Yellowstone National Park. Signed into law by President Ulysses S. Grant on March 1, 1872, America’s first national park was set aside to preserve and protect the landscape, cultural heritage, wildlife, geological and ecological systems and processes in their state natural for the benefit and enjoyment of present and future generations.
Yellowstone serves as the core of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, one of the largest nearly intact natural ecosystems remaining on the planet. Yellowstone has the most active, diverse, and intact collections of geothermal features combined with over 10,000 hydrothermal sites and half of the world’s active geysers. The park is also rich in cultural and historical resources with 25 sites, monuments, and neighborhoods on the National Register of Historic Places.
Based on the park’s location at the convergence of the Great Plains, Great Basin, and Columbia Plateau, many Native American tribes have traditional ties to the land and its resources. For more than 10,000 years before Yellowstone became a national park, it was a place where Native Americans hunted, fished, gathered plants, mined obsidian, and used the hot springs for religious and medicinal purposes.
“Yellowstone’s 150th anniversary is a significant moment in time for the world,” Superintendent Cam Sholly said. “This is an opportunity for us to reflect on the lessons of the past while focusing our efforts to strengthen Yellowstone and our many partnerships for the future. I applaud and share the vision of Secretary Haaland and Director Sams on our responsibility to engage more fully with Tribal Nations to honor and learn from their ancestral and modern ties to Yellowstone.
Beginning March 1, the park will host and participate in a wide range of activities to commemorate the occasion. The park has conducted a major awareness campaign with Native American tribes, inviting them to participate directly in this anniversary. Several tribal nations will be present throughout the summer at Old Faithful as part of the Yellowstone Tribal Heritage Center project. The tribes are also coordinating with Yellowstone to set up a large teepee village in the park near Roosevelt’s Arch in August, where tribesmen will interact directly with visitors about their cultures and heritage.
In this anniversary year, Yellowstone will open 40 new employee housing units throughout the park, as well as groundbreaking projects totaling more than $125 million funded by the Great American Outdoors Act. These projects include two of the nation’s largest historic preservation projects and a range of transportation projects that will tackle aging infrastructure. This year will also mark the reopening of Tower Fall to Chittenden Road (near Dunraven Pass), a $28 million road improvement project completed over the past two years.
The park will participate in the 15th Biennial Science Conference on the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem hosted by Montana State University, the Governor of Wyoming Hospitality and Tourism Conference, and the 150th Anniversary Symposium of the National Park of Yellowstone from the University of Wyoming. The park is also grateful to Wind River (Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho) and other tribal nations for planning a multi-tribal gathering on the Wind River reservation later in the year.
Due to COVID-19, the park currently has no major events scheduled; however, this may change throughout the year. Visit the website and follow #Yellowstone150 frequently in 2022 to stay up to date with commemoration information.