Today is the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, the organization responsible for the care and protection of our national parks and monuments. Which is a pretty important job. So to help celebrate all their hard work and dedication over the years, we at the Lodge thought we’d share a bit of their history.
The National Park Service was created by an act of congress on August 25th, 1916. As more and more areas where being designated as national public lands, it had become apparent that a separate agency was needed to manage them. The first national park was Yellowstone, designated as such in 1872, and until 1916 was managed by a series of superintendents and, eventually, the army. It was a similar story with all national parks created before the implementation of the NPS.
The role of the National Park Service was further cemented when President Franklin D. Roosevelt reorganized it in 1933 to strengthen its status and consolidate the national holdings under its purview. A rapid increase of the national lands and parks managed by the NPS began during this same time, as part of the New Deal and the Civilian Conservation Corp.
The second great reorganization of the National Park Service occurred in 1966. The mission of the National Park Service was clarified and new preservation regulations were adopted. The National Park Service now manages and preserves the beauty and history of 450 national lands. The holdings of the National Park System include areas designated as National Parks, National Monuments, National Military Parks, National Historic Sites, National Memorials, National Parkways, National Recreation Areas, National Seashores, National Scenic Riverways, National Scenic Trails and more.
So next time you visit any of the above, spare a thought for the organization that makes it all run smoothly. Happy birthday NPS!