Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park
Lower Yellowstone Falls
Map showing the location of Yellowstone National Park
Map showing the location of Yellowstone National Park
Location of Yellowstone National Park
Map showing the location of Yellowstone National Park
Map showing the location of Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park (the United States)
Location
Nearest townWest Yellowstone, Montana
Coordinates44°35′47″N 110°32′50″W / 44.59639°N 110.54722°W / 44.59639; -110.54722Coordinates: 44°35′47″N 110°32′50″W / 44.59639°N 110.54722°W / 44.59639; -110.54722[2]
Area2,219,791 acres (8,983.18 km2)[3]
Elevation8,104 ft (2,470 m)
EstablishedMarch 1, 1872 (1872-03-01)
Visitors3,806,306 (in 2020)[4]
Governing bodyU.S. National Park Service
Websitewww.nps.gov/yell/
Designations
TypeNatural
Criteriavii, viii, ix, x
Designated1978 (2nd session)
Reference no.28[5]
RegionThe Americas
Endangered1995–2003

Yellowstone National Park is an American national park located in the western United States, largely in the northwest corner of Wyoming and extending into Montana and Idaho. It was established by the U.S. Congress and signed into law by President Ulysses S. Grant on March 1, 1872.[6][7][8] Yellowstone was the first national park in the U.S. and is also widely held to be the first national park in the world.[9] The park is known for its wildlife and its many geothermal features, especially Old Faithful geyser, one of its most popular.[10] While it represents many types of biomes, the subalpine forest is the most abundant. It is part of the South Central Rockies forests ecoregion.

Although Native Americans have lived in the Yellowstone region for at least 11,000 years,[11] aside from visits by mountain men during the early-to-mid-19th century, organized exploration did not begin until the late 1860s. Management and control of the park originally fell under the jurisdiction of the United States Department of the Interior, the first Secretary of the Interior to supervise the park being Columbus Delano. However, the U.S. Army was eventually commissioned to oversee management of Yellowstone for a 30-year period between 1886 and 1916.[12] In 1917, administration of the park was transferred to the National Park Service, which had been created the previous year. Hundreds of structures have been built and are protected for their architectural and historical significance, and researchers have examined more than a thousand archaeological sites.

Yellowstone National Park spans an area of 3,468.4 sq mi (8,983 km2),[3] comprising lakes, canyons, rivers, and mountain ranges.[10] Yellowstone Lake is one of the largest high-elevation lakes in North America and is centered over the Yellowstone Caldera, the largest supervolcano on the continent. The caldera is considered a dormant volcano. It has erupted with tremendous force several times in the last two million years.[13] Well over half of the world's geysers[14][15] and hydrothermal features[16] are in Yellowstone, fueled by this ongoing volcanism. Lava flows and rocks from volcanic eruptions cover most of the land area of Yellowstone. The park is the centerpiece of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, the largest remaining nearly-intact ecosystem in the Earth's northern temperate zone.[17] In 1978, Yellowstone was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Hundreds of species of mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, and amphibians have been documented, including several that are either endangered or threatened.[10] The vast forests and grasslands also include unique species of plants. Yellowstone Park is the largest and most famous megafauna location in the contiguous United States. Grizzly bears, wolves, and free-ranging herds of bison and elk live in this park. The Yellowstone Park bison herd is the oldest and largest public bison herd in the United States. Forest fires occur in the park each year; in the large forest fires of 1988, nearly one third of the park was burnt. Yellowstone has numerous recreational opportunities, including hiking, camping, boating, fishing, and sightseeing. Paved roads provide close access to the major geothermal areas as well as some of the lakes and waterfalls. During the winter, visitors often access the park by way of guided tours that use either snow coaches or snowmobiles.[18]

  1. ^ "Yellowstone in United States of America". protectedplanet.net. IUCN. Archived from the original on August 27, 2019. Retrieved December 31, 2018.
  2. ^ "Yellowstone National Park". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. August 31, 1992. Retrieved October 13, 2020.
  3. ^ a b "Listing of acreage as of December 31, 2011" (PDF). Land Resource Division, National Park Service. Retrieved March 8, 2012.
  4. ^ "Annual Visitation Highlights". nps.gov. National Park Service. Archived from the original on February 9, 2021. Retrieved July 8, 2020.
  5. ^ "Yellowstone National Park". UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Archived from the original on February 24, 2017. Retrieved March 24, 2012.
  6. ^ "Yellowstone, the First National Park". Archived from the original on May 11, 2017.
  7. ^ "An Act to set apart a certain tract of Land lying near the Head-waters of the Yellowstone River as a Public Park" (PDF).
  8. ^ "U.S. Statutes at Large, Vol. 17, Chap. 24, pp. 32–33. "An Act to set apart a certain Tract of Land lying near the Head-waters of the Yellowstone River as a public Park." [S. 392]". Archived from the original on June 24, 2013.
  9. ^ "Biosphere Reserve Information – United States – Yellowstone". UNESCO – MAB Biosphere Reserves Directory. UNESCO. August 17, 2000. Archived from the original on August 4, 2007. Retrieved August 14, 2016.
  10. ^ a b c "Park Facts". National Park Service. December 22, 2015. Archived from the original on December 13, 2015. Retrieved December 27, 2015.
  11. ^ "Yellowstone, History and Culture". National Park Service. Archived from the original on September 22, 2013. Retrieved May 8, 2011.
  12. ^ "eRecords of the National Park Service [NPS]". National Archives. Archived from the original on October 16, 2014. Retrieved January 9, 2016.
  13. ^ "Questions About Yellowstone Volcanic History". United States Geological Survey, Yellowstone Volcano Observatory. Archived from the original on June 30, 2011. Retrieved May 6, 2011.
  14. ^ Bryan, T. Scott (2008). The Geysers of Yellowstone (Fourth ed.). University Press of Colorado. p. 9.
  15. ^ Johnson, JB; Anderson, JF; Anthony, RE; Sciotto, M (April 15, 2013). "Detecting geyser activity with infrasound". Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research. 256: 105–117. Bibcode:2013JVGR..256..105J. doi:10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2013.02.016. Archived from the original on August 5, 2018. Retrieved August 5, 2018.
  16. ^ "Yellowstone National Park". Encyclopedia Britannica. Archived from the original on August 5, 2018. Retrieved August 5, 2018. Yellowstone's principal attractions, however, are its some 10,000 hydrothermal features, which constitute roughly half of all those known in the world.
  17. ^ Schullery, Paul. "The Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem". Our Living Resources. U.S. Geological Survey. Archived from the original on September 25, 2006. Retrieved March 13, 2007.
  18. ^ Rediscovering Yellowstone. Enduring World Archived October 30, 2016, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved July 16, 2020.